How to Snag Shipping Pallets for Your Next Project

How to Snag Shipping Pallets for Your Next Project: The foundation for many furniture projects—such as whimsical wine racks, whimsical swing chairs, and elegant daybeds—relies on old-fashioned elbow grease and stacks of shipping pallets.

Durable, versatile, and affordable, pallets are a must-have in your workshop if you need to know where to find them. While you can order shipping pallets online, bargain-hunting DIYers may be more tempted to upcycle shipping pallets found in dumpsters or lumber yards.

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These innocent-looking palettes may look like a DIY treasure, but they can be unsafe to bring into your home. To find the cleanest and cheapest pallets, consider these tips.

Leave it to large commercial companies that may have contaminated pallets or have disposal methods already in place.
Instead, often small businesses such as nurseries or gardens, hardware and power tool stores, furniture stores, and neighborhood construction zones. These sites regularly have a steady supply of clean and safe pallets that they are often willing to unload for free if you ask.

If a new storefront has opened in your town, consider swinging by and asking them out as well.
Often times their products arrive via shipping pallet, and they’ll be happy to donate some to your DIY cause. But remember, never take what seems like a freebie without asking! Some companies charge for unreturned pallets, so always check first.

How to Snag Shipping Pallets for Your Next Project

You can always search Craigslist for customers looking to get rid of their stash.
If the places around town fail you, go online! Before you commit to picking up, keep in mind that not all pallets are created equal: some may have scratches or nails, may be stained by food or fungus, or treated with harmful chemicals.

Always check for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) logo, which confirms that the pallet has been heat-treated or washed to prevent the spread of pests or plant diseases.

Don’t risk whether unsealed pallets may be safe to use or not. Heat-treated pallets (marked “HT”) are safe to use, as are debarked pallets (marked “DB”). Those marked “MB” have been treated with methyl bromide, a highly toxic pesticide—not something you want to use as a building material.

Choose pallets with a seal that appears sturdy enough to support your future DIY endeavors and, ideally, were made in the United States (an acronym that should indicate the country of origin on the IPPC stamp).

What is the pallet used for?

A pallet is a portable, rigid platform that’s flat and can carry the load. Different types of pallets are used to pile up, store, assemble, or transport goods. They improve warehouse operational efficiency by allowing easy movement of stacked goods using machines or tools, such as forklifts and pallet jacks.

What are pallets and their types?

Pallets exist in two general styles: single-face and double-face. Double-face pallets are comprised of decks on both top and bottom surfaces. The bottom deck increases the strength of the pallet and helps evenly distribute the weight of the load.


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