What Is the Best Way to Clean Engine Oil?


Quick Answer

Soaking up excess oil, emulsifying the remainder and then using solvents when appropriate combine to make the best cleaning solution for engine oil. Time is of the essence to ensure that as much of the oil is cleaned up as possible.

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Full Answer

If there is still fresh oil on the ground, the first step is to drop cleanup compound on it to soak up as much oil as possible. Paper towels make an adequate substitute, so long as clean paper towels replace soaked ones immediately. Then, it is necessary to go and get a bucket of cleanup compound and to spread it on and near the spill, following the manufacturer's directions regarding letting it sit. As soon as the compound starts soaking up the oil, it is important to sweep it up with a dustpan and push broom, and then to keep adding compound to absorb even more of the oil.

Once the maximum amount of oil possible has been soaked up, it is time to emulsify the rest. Applying warm water and grease to the spill area keeps it from solidifying and sticking to the surface below even more tightly. Scrubbing the oil with a bristle brush or broom after applying the soap emulsifies the oil. As liquid emerges, adding cleanup compound soaks up even more of the mess.

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