Oil Spill Kits Discussion Thread


...This is for the discussion of Oil and fluid spill's, clean up, and products..

..Although this thread is more geared to offroad clean ups of fluids, this is a common issue whether it be in your garage, yard, on your driveway, or Offroad..


...Believe it or not, many years ago it was a common practice to just dig a hole and bury your old fluids..:eek:

..Over the years after seeing the results on our Ecological System of such practices and through research and education, we now recycle our fluids by using one of those franchise places to change our fluids or we take the fluids to somewhere such as an auto parts store that will accept these used fluids when we work on vehicles ourselves..

..When working on our vehicles at home no matter how hard you try, every once in a while you will have a major "aw crop" spill that you will need to clean up..

...When we go offroading there are times when a power steering hose will blow, someone punches a whole in their diff or oil pan, or one of the rigs overheat and you are left with a fluid spill to clean up...

..What you need to do before one of these accidents happen to you is to prepare yourself by making an Oil Spill Kit...

..While most of us are familiar with products from the auto parts stores sold as an "Oil Absorbent" in a bag, some may not know that kitty litter is a much cheaper and highly absorbent resolution to the higher priced products sold through the parts stores such as "Oil-Dry"..

..A simple spill kit at home can consist of:

1-five gallon bucket or heavy duty lawn/trash bags (to use as recovery bags)

1- bag of kitty liter
1 - pair of latex gloves
1- can or more of brake cleaner for clean up of tools or concrete
1- bag or roll of wipes for spill clean up, even blue shop towels

and orange hand cleaner with pumice for scrubbing clean items and hands..

...The above kit works great in a pinch both offroad and when you are around the home and have access to storing and getting rid of the used products and trash quickly when done with them..

...Offroad, some clubs require you to carry a spill kit in each vehicle in order to participate on trail runs..

..This home oil spill kit above is also handy but comes with some other complications you don't think about until you are in the middle of nowhere trying to clean up a spill and figuring out how to transport it in your vehicle to the nearest town who can properly dispose of it for you..

...The kitty litter in a bag itself is heavy and when full of used fluid, can equally be a toxic spill waiting for a simple tear in the trash bag to spill it's contents all over the interior of your vehicle..:(

:scratch:..What is a better alternative offroad and to kitty litter?

...This is something I have been working on over a number of months...A couple months ago while researching this I had my "Tread Lightly-Trainer" course and this was a subject that was brought up for not only offroad but also marine applications...

..One of the items for offroad that was brought up were toddler gel diapers and adult diapers for those leaks that are draining onto the ground...They are light weight, easily store in a small space and throw one or two of those down and quickly absorb the draining fluid before it hits the ground and they work great with radiator fluid too..;)

Oil Absorbent Sheets
..During the discussion it was brought up that the boating world has been using these sheets to absorb oil spills in boats during servicing and to safely pump out the bilge...

...From that discussion spawned another write up and experiment using these sheets that can be found at places like WestMarine.com and it is well worth the read..

..In the mean time I continued my search for convenient offroad "Spill Kits"..I came across a number of companies selling these kits in a bag and they work well for offroad and at home..This can be found at places like Polyperformance.com..

..This is another variable to the offroad spill kit in a bucket container..

The Motherload
..I continued my search for more options as in buying in bulk at a reasonable cost but I also wanted a couple more options:

1) The ability to use the products in both the garage and offroad
2) The ability to take a packaged product and break it down into smaller, more convenient packages for size and weight.

..and then I stumbled across this online company..They are one of many that carry small kits for the garage to full marine and warehouse containment products..

...Their portable spill kits are designed for over the road truckers and are perfect for a little bit larger spills..

...They even carry mats that you can easily cut up to whatever size you want...These mats are convenient offroad as the oil can be rung from them into a bucket or container and the mats can be re-used..


..Please feel free to add any useful items or information you may have for "Oil Spill Kits"..

..Remember, keeping our trails clean can mean the difference of keeping our trails open or giving them a reason to close them..


Expedition Leader
Human hair is one of the best absorbents for oil. There're businesses that collect it from barber shops and sell if for major spills, particularly when they occur in water.
One advantage, if someone wanted to go to the effort, is to collect it and compress it. It would take up less space and be lighter (depending on how densely it was compressed.
Alternatively, everyone could have their head shaved over the spill. ;)


...Although it may be a business, I would assume it may have some health issues for the common man storing human hair..

..I recently saw a documentary hosted by comedian Chris Rock called "Good Hair"...It was pretty enlightening on all aspects of the hair business but I think they left out it's use for oil absorption..:(


..One of the items for offroad that was brought up were toddler gel diapers and adult diapers for those leaks that are draining onto the ground...They are light weight, easily store in a small space and throw one or two of those down and quickly absorb the draining fluid before it hits the ground and they work great with radiator fluid too..;)
I dont think diapers will work well at all, if you are in a situation (rainy day) the diaper will fill up with water way before it will absorb any oil spill. the spill cloths are designed not to absorb any water.


I have used kitty litter for decades...I have always heard that you needed the clay stuff not the fancy man made or other materials used...These days that may not hold true but for your garage and driveway...where you can leave it down for a long time...it can clean the concrete pretty well...almost to the point of being barely noticeable that there was ever a spill. It does work better on the polished garage floor better than the more porous driveway finish.


you need the proper stuff for spills near water. I use PIG mats, not had to use them on the trail but use them at work and at home in the garage. They dont absorb water, only the oil so a must really for any outdoor use.

worth carrying some, great post to get people thinking about it... Especially Rover drivers!



Supporting Sponsor
A huge stack of oil absorbing and water resistant pads are my favorite. We help clean up fluids from rolled rigs at KOH every year and end up collecting huge amounts of sand that had some sort of oil spilled onto it. The absorbent pads also work very well for gasoline spills.



I am currently putting together spill kits for our club events. They are very inexpensive. Each kit contains (1) 16"x20" oil absorbent pad, (1) 16"x20 Universal absorbent pad, 2.5 lbs of oil-absorb (2) pairs of nitrile gloves, (1) 33 gallon low density disposal bag, (1) 14" 50 lb cable tie.

The oil absorbent pad of course absorbs oil. The universal pad will pick up brake fluid, antifreeze, gasoline, water... almost anything liquid. The oil-absorb is the industry standard absorbent. The 33 gallon bag is a puncture resistant bag to contain all of the debris from the spill. The 14" 50 lb tie is to securely close the disposal bag. All of this is sealed in gusseted high density polyethylene storage bag. The kit will pick up and hold 3-4 quarts of liquid and will meet the current BLM requirements for a spill kit. The great thing is the cost to assemble this kit is only $1.57.


..A couple questions..

..Are the BLM requiring spill kits in certain areas by you (and if so where)?

...I am assuming that the $1.57 cost is after buying in bulk and breaking it down to smaller packages. Could you share where you are buying from and the quantity, and number of how many kits you need to assemble to get that low of a cost?


We'll try again...
We started this project after a discussion with a BLM rep at the Cal4wheel Winter Funfest. They had set up a table display outlining DIY spill kits. The rep was telling me spill kits are now a requirement as are shovels, drinking water and fire extinguishers etc. I have not been able to find any online info to back this up. The rep and I were discussing the off road event that our club puts on each year and he asked if we could make up a few kits and help spread the word to the many none club members that attend.

After a discussion at the next club meeting, we all agreed that it was something that we should add to our club required minimum equipment list for each vehicle on our runs. Of course since I brought it up, I was assigned to do it. I am a buyer for an ag & industrial supply company and have easy access to the materials. The attached spread sheet outlines the products, the mfg number, the vendor, the individual cost (with a short margin) as well as the minimum quantities to purchase. I've adjusted the pricing on the spreadsheet as the $1.57 is an aggregate wholesale cost. The cost in the spreadsheet currently is listed at $2.05 These are all commodities and carry short margins, so even if these items carried a 50% margin that would only double the cost. The key is buying it right. In our case my company will donate the material to put together the kits. The only thing they ask is to put their name on the finished label. Speaking of labels. I think that is the only thing (other than labor) that is left off of the cost of goods list.

I originally posted a spreadsheet with my actual vendor cost, but took it down as I realized it was proprietary information. My apologies for that error.

View attachment RETAIL OIL SPILL-1.xls
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..Thanks, got it..:D

..I am going to keep my ears and eyes open for info on BLM requiring spill kits. I will be trailing from southeast to southwest Utah in the next couple of weeks

..I am curious if others have ran into this recently and if they have anything else to add.