Best Products for Cleaning Garage Oil Spills

It happens to even the best of mechanics and hobbyists; whether it’s by having a shaky hand, leaving a bottle to the side and knocking it over, or a little too much sloshing when you pull the drain pan out from underneath a vehicle, you’ve managed to get some oil spills on your garage floor.

But don’t fret, even if it’s a big spill – despite the trickiness of oil spills when it comes to cleaning, we’ve got just the tips for you to get rid of it in a jiffy. Since just squeezing it out into your yard isn’t going to work for the grass or for you, here are some of the best-rated products (and how to use them) for tidying up oil spills that are both effective and responsible.

Just make sure that when you’re finished, you check your state’s guidelines for disposing of oil.

Brake Cleaner

CRC’s Brakleen-brand brake cleaner is one of the most versatile automotive cleaners on the market, and you can spray it on any areas that may have gotten some stray oil that hasn’t dripped down onto the floor. Plus, once you’ve cleaned the oil off, this spray evaporates in seconds – just avoid spraying it on painted surfaces or rubber.

Pig Mats

Coming from the PIG Home Solutions brand, we have these amazing, heavy-duty mat rolls that work just like paper towels but with a hundred times the absorbency. All you have to do is tear off a sheet (or more depending on the size of your spill), lay it on the spill, wait a little while, and it’ll do all the heavy lifting and absorb the oil for you. 

Check your local guidelines again, though, because some states require that all loose oil be wrung out of pads like these before being disposed of.

Automotive Absorbent

Oil-Dri is the next product brand we recommend, and specifically their premium multi-purpose absorbent. This stuff is ideal for big spills, but you can use it on any size mess–even if it isn’t oil! It works just like cat litter in the sense that it absorbs moisture. For the best results, pour some out and leave it on for one to two days, being sure to periodically stir and shift it around on the spill to get the maximum absorbency out of it.

Be sure to wear a mask when using Oil-Dri, as the dust it can kick up is harmful when inhaled.

And when you’re ready to pick it up, consider acquiring a commercial-grade broom and dustpan set with a long handle that prevents you from getting too close to the dust when you’re sweeping it up.

Liquid Dish Soap on Oil Spills

After getting loose oil up off the floor with the pads and absorbents, you may be left with a stain on the floor to clean up. Dawn-brand dishwashing liquid is particularly useful as a first option. Simply pour some on, splash some hot water on, and scrub with a strong-bristle brush.


Oil-Eater is a professional-grade oil cleaner that’s perfect if your stain is something even Dawn can’t tackle. It’s nontoxic and lifts oil particles right out of concrete, and you can dilute it with water to adjust the strength if you’re worried about it being too strong.

If you want further tips like this, though. Look no further than Straight up Garage Doors for all these basics and more.

Published On: February 24th, 2023 / Categories: Articles / Tags: /