What To Do With Old Spark Plugs

When it comes to vehicle maintenance, spark plugs are a critical component that plays a vital role in the engine’s performance. Over time, these spark plugs wear out and need to be replaced. But what should you do with your old spark plugs once you’ve removed them? In this guide, we’ll explore various options for handling old spark plugs responsibly.

1. Recycle Them


Recycling spark plugs not only helps the environment but also contributes to the responsible use of natural resources.

2. Recondition Them

In some cases, old spark plugs can be reconditioned or refurbished rather than being discarded. This process involves cleaning and regapping the plugs to restore their performance. However, reconditioning is typically only practical for certain types of spark plugs, such as those with replaceable electrodes.

How to recondition spark plugs:

  • Clean the spark plugs: Use a spark plug cleaner or a wire brush to remove carbon deposits and other debris from the spark plug’s electrodes.
  • Check and adjust the gap: Use a spark plug gap tool to measure and adjust the gap to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Inspect for damage: Look for any signs of physical damage or excessive wear. If the spark plug is severely damaged, it’s best to replace it.

Reconditioning can save you money and reduce waste if it’s feasible for your spark plugs. However, it’s important to note that not all spark plugs can be effectively reconditioned.

3. Dispose of Them Properly

If recycling or reconditioning isn’t possible or practical, you should dispose of old spark plugs responsibly. Here are some steps to follow:

How to dispose of old spark plugs:

  • Check local regulations: Different regions may have specific guidelines for disposing of automotive parts. Check with your local waste management authority or environmental agency for guidance on spark plug disposal.
  • Wrap them securely: To prevent injury and environmental contamination, wrap old spark plugs in a cloth or newspaper and secure them with tape.
  • Label the package: Clearly mark the package as “Used Spark Plugs” to alert waste handlers to its contents.
  • Dispose of them in accordance with local regulations: Follow your local regulations for disposing of hazardous waste. This may involve placing them in a designated hazardous waste bin or taking them to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

4. Consider Donation or Repurposing

If your old spark plugs are still in good condition and can be safely reused, consider donating them or repurposing them for non-automotive applications.

Ideas for repurposing old spark plugs:

  • Decorative items: Some craft enthusiasts use old spark plugs to create unique sculptures, candle holders, or decorative items.
  • Gardening: Spark plugs can be used as plant markers in your garden. Paint them and label them with the names of your plants.
  • Toolmaking: The metal casing of spark plugs can be repurposed to create small tools or implements.

Before donating or repurposing spark plugs, ensure they are safe for their intended use and won’t pose any safety risks.

Recycling Options

Recycling CenterLocationContact InfoAccepted QuantityNotes
Local Auto Parts StoreCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxUnlimitedCall ahead for details
Municipal RecyclingCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxLimitedCheck local regulations
Scrap Metal YardCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxBulkPrices may vary
Environmental AgencyCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxLimitedFollow disposal rules
Online Recycling SitesN/AWebsite: example.comVariousShipping costs may apply

 Spark Plug Disposal Methods

MethodDescriptionEnvironmental ImpactCostRecommended
RecyclingReclaims valuable materials like metals, reducing resource wasteLowVariesYes
Proper DisposalFollows local regulations for safe disposal, minimizing harmLowVariesYes
ReuseRefurbishes old spark plugs for limited reuseLowLowYes
DIY ProjectsUpcycling spark plugs into creative projectsLowLowYes
LandfillLeast eco-friendly option, avoid if possibleHighLowNo

 Creative Upcycling Ideas

Upcycling ProjectMaterials NeededInstructionsBenefitsDifficulty
Spark Plug KeychainOld spark plug, keyringClean and attach keyring; makes for a unique keychainPersonalized keepsakeEasy
Spark Plug Garden MarkersSpark plugs, paintPaint with plant names; use as garden markersOrganize your gardenModerate
Spark Plug Candle HolderSpark plugs, candlesSecure candle on the spark plug; creates a rustic holderDecorative ambianceModerate
Spark Plug Coat HooksSpark plugs, wooden boardAttach plugs to a board as hooks; mount on a wallSpace-saving solutionModerate
Spark Plug PaperweightSpark plug, adhesiveAdd adhesive to a spark plug base for a heavy paperweightFunctional desk decorEasy

Spark Plug Donation Centers

OrganizationLocationContact InfoAccepted QuantityNotes
Vocational SchoolsCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxVariesSupports education
DIY WorkshopsCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxVariesEncourages community projects
Car Enthusiast ClubsCity, StateEmail: example@emailVariesMay request specific types
Local Repair ShopsCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxVariesSupports small businesses
Non-Profit OrganizationsCity, StatePhone: xxx-xxx-xxxxVariesCheck their needs

Spark Plug Recycling Benefits

Resource ConservationReduces the need for mining and production
Pollution ReductionPrevents harmful substances from leaching
Energy SavingsRequires less energy than making new plugs
Economic OpportunitiesSupports recycling industry and jobs
Environmental ResponsibilityReduces carbon footprint and landfill waste



Dealing with old spark plugs doesn’t have to be a headache. By recycling, reconditioning, or responsibly disposing of them, you can ensure that these critical engine components don’t harm the environment and, in some cases, even save money in the process. Always be sure to follow local regulations and safety guidelines when handling and disposing of old spark plugs. Remember, taking the time to deal with old spark plugs responsibly benefits not only your wallet but also the planet.


What To Do With Old Spark Plugs

Leave a Comment