View Full Version : Help! I spilled motor oil on everything, how to clean?

06-07-2005, 08:52 PM
I'm in a bit of a quandry, I had a container of synthetic two stroke motor oil (silcolene or something like that) in the bin of my scooter which leaked all over the inside of the bin. It got on my keys which also have a cloth coin bag attached to them.

Now I've heard that spilling oil is a very bad thing.

So my question is,

1. How do I clean my keys and the bag without polluting the earth?
2. How do I clean the inside of my plastic scooter bin and dispose of the cleaning materials properly?
3. While extricating my keys, the oil got on my hands, on the doorknob, etc. I washed my hands with soap and laundry detergent. Is this sufficient? How dangerous is getting oil on your hands? I'm sure I probably ingested or inhaled minute quantities.

I am kind of in a hurry since I need my keys and also am worried the plastic or the finish on my scooter bin will be dissolved by the oil. I hope someone can give good advice!

06-07-2005, 09:09 PM
I wouldn't worry about short-term exposure to the oil or breathing the fumes, you'll be fine. For the rest of it, soap and water is probably your best bet. Laundry detergent is good, especially the powder, but you must wash the residue of the detergent off with a soap. I would use paper towels to get as much of the oil out of the bin as I could, then a rag and bucket or warm water with laundry detergent in it. Rinse that well too with clean water.

If there is a measurable quantity of liquid (more than a few spoons full), you could try to collect it in a container and see if a Jiffy Lube or gas station will take it for you. Any less than that and paper towels are best.

If you are really worried about disposing of the paper towels, I'm not sure what to tell you. Personally, I would just wrap them up and toss them in the trash.

06-08-2005, 01:03 AM
You didn't say. Is this used motor oil?
Used oil is harder to get off because of the minute particles of whatsit.Carbon?
I sometimes use clean motor oil to remove dirty grease from my hands.
just clean everything up with a good hand cleaner like GoJo.
The motor oil plastic quart jugs still have a tablespoon or so of oil in them when we consider them empty.
It is not considered a hazard. So why should you?

06-08-2005, 01:28 AM
I have used grease cutting dishwashing detergent (i.e., Dawn) to clean engine blocks, and it should clean your keys, bag and scooter just as well. Use paper towels to soak up as much oil as they can, then switch to the dishwashing soap. You might also try Formula 409 for the doorknob or anything where you can't use soap.

Used motor oil is a known carcinogen with long term exposure, but that doesn't necessarily apply to you. I'm not sure about the new stuff, but I'd make a completely WAG that one exposure won't be any worse than repeated exposure to mineral oil, which people use as a skin moisturizer.

I'd just throw the excess in the trash. Most oil collection sites aren't set up for small scale collections. Of course, if your city has a hazardous waste collection site, then you could probably dispose of the waste there.

06-08-2005, 01:43 AM
I'm not sure about the bag (personally I'd try hot water + dish soap or something, but IANASMOE). For the bin, paper towels then soap, as has been mentioned.

I really just wanted to hype the citrus orange cleaners more. Since you seem to be (excessivly) environmentally concious, these are usually made with oranges and corn husks. A tiny bit of Gojo or Fast Orange on dry, greasy hands makes them nice and clean in less than a minute, and orangey-fresh to boot. :)

06-08-2005, 01:50 AM
Gojo, Simple Green, trisodiumphosphate all will make it nice. Read and follow directions.

06-08-2005, 07:56 PM
If you have any sawdust handy, you could pour the sawdust on the oily areas to soak up the oil. Then sweep up the used sawdust and dispose of into a trashbag. Now you can use the citrus cleaners to completely clean your keys, bag and bin.

06-08-2005, 09:51 PM
New oil washes out pretty completely, or at least new 4-cycle oil does. The dyes in 2-cycle oil may stain though (is it blue, purple or some other bright color?).

As for getting it out of clothes, the best laundry degreaser I've run across is the mechanic's cream hand cleaner like Goop or Gojo. They have directions for using it like this, but you can put it on and leave it for quite a while, and it'll still work. Just don't let it dry out, or it may take a couple of washings to get it all out.

06-09-2005, 01:24 AM
It is pink, actually. :)

Yes, the oil is unused.

Why is used motor oil worse than new motor oil? Is new motor oil carcinogenic as well? Forgive my ignorance, but why all the warnings about it getting into the ground, down the sink, etc, if it's an organic chemical why isn't it biodegradable? I washed everything in the sink with water and detergent

06-09-2005, 02:10 AM
It is pink, actually. :)

Yes, the oil is unused.

Why is used motor oil worse than new motor oil? Is new motor oil carcinogenic as well? Forgive my ignorance, but why all the warnings about it getting into the ground, down the sink, etc, if it's an organic chemical why isn't it biodegradable? I washed everything in the sink with water and detergent

Used oil will have traces of unburned gasoline in it.
Also exhaust gas particles and metal traces from engine wear.

06-09-2005, 09:08 AM
A paste of water and washing soda (in the laudry aisle) will cut grease. Apply, let sit, wipe off.

06-10-2005, 04:30 PM
My car transmission fluid leaks and the tarred surface below looks terrible. How can I clean the mess ?

Mr. Duality
06-10-2005, 09:13 PM
Used or new motor oil on skin must not be dangerous. If it was, mechanics would have shorter lifespans.

Kitty litter works well for soaking up spilled oil.

06-11-2005, 09:50 AM
You have a 2 cycle Ďscooterí and this is your first oil spill? Iím impressed. ;)

Donít sweat it. Wipe it up. Oil wonít hurt you. A little gas on a rag does wonders.

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