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What is Oil Absorbent?

oil absorbent on garage floor
You can clean up oil spills easily with oil absorbent.

If you change oil, you need oil absorbent. Accidents happen, and oil change mechanics know that oil gets spilled. Oil spills are hard to clean up, and there are very strict government rules on how you must clean up and dispose of waste oil. If you dispose of your oil improperly, you could risk contaminating soil, groundwater, streams, and rivers. Be environmentally responsible and recycle your oil. Part of protecting the environment from oil spill pollution is properly cleaning up when oil is spilled. The easiest way to clean up oil is by using an oil absorbent to remove it from the surface it’s been spilled on. Oil absorbent can come in multiple forms. The two main types of consumer oil absorbent are granular and pad-type.

Granular oil absorbent

Granular oil absorbent is made from clay compounds that naturally absorb oil due to their porous, dry makeup. This type of absorbent looks like coarse sand, and is usually sold in large bags. Sometimes called sweeping compound, granular oil absorbent can be sprinkled on an oil spill to absorb the oil, allowing it to be swept up and properly disposed of. This is the cheapest and easiest method of cleaning up spilled oil, but the most labor-intensive to recycle. Just throw it on the oil and sweep it up!

Pad-type oil absorbent

The other common type of oil absorbent is in the form of fabric pads made of various fibers that repel water and absorb oil. These oil absorbing sheets are laid onto an oil spill to absorb the oil from the surface before they are put in a sealed bag or container to be properly disposed of. Oil absorbent pads are more expensive than granular absorbent, but they are easier to manage and recycle. Also, absorbent pads don’t leave any dust behind like granular absorbent does.


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