How to Recycle Used Motor Oil at Home

October 6, 2021

If you’re a DIY kind of person, you may choose to change your vehicle’s motor oil at home. It’s not easy—and it might not always be pleasant—but it can be worthwhile, and it’s always cheaper than bringing the car to a mechanic.

However, you may be wondering how to safely get rid of oil at home. Here are our leading tips to put into practice with your next oil change.

Capture all used oil

The first step in used oil disposal at home is to ensure you safely catch all of it. When you drain the crankcase and remove the oil filter, you need something to collect every drop of used oil. Using a drain pan with a screen on it—which will catch the drain plug or filter if it falls out—is a smart move.

If any oil ends up on the ground, you’ll want to absorb it using kitty litter or an oil absorbent powder. You can then sweep it up and clean the surface using a degreaser to remove the oil stain.

Prep the used motor oil to be transported

Now it’s time to pour the used oil into a metal or plastic container that will seal tightly. You may want to use a bottle from the previous oil change. Avoid mixing the oil with other automotive fluids like windshield wiper fluid or antifreeze, as this may make it ineligible for recycling. If you’re unable to tightly seal the bottle, wrap it in a trash bag to avoid spillage during transport.

Find out how to safely get rid of oil

You’re now at the point where all you need to do is get rid of the oil. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing the bottle in the trash or pouring it down the drain. The fact is that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the oil from a single oil change can contaminate up to a million gallons of water.

You do have options for where to bring your used oil. Most auto parts stores and oil change facilities will accept used motor oil for free or for a modest recycling fee. Call ahead to make sure they’ll take your used oil. You can also use online resources like Earth 911 to locate where you can bring motor oil for recycling.

Benefits of oil recycling

If you fail to properly dispose of or recycle used oil, it can result in environmental damage. However, if you find the right partner, you can reuse motor oil. The reality is that once the oil has been filtered and cleaned, it’s as good as new. Motor oil is refined and processed, meaning it only needs filtering and screening to be reused. This is a much less intense process than that of converting crude oil into a usable product.

If you’re wondering about used oil disposal at home, check out the services Safeway Used Oil and Grease offers. For more than two decades, we’ve provided dependable oil removal and recycling services. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote.

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