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How To Clean Used Motor Oil

When it comes to working with automobiles, one of the most important tasks is to maintain and clean used motor oil properly. Cleaning used motor oil is not only important for the longevity of your vehicle, but it is also for the health of the environment. So, how do you clean used motor oil?

To clean used motor oil, you will need to separate the oil from the contaminants by using an oil filter. Then, dispose of the oil appropriately, such as in an oil recycling center.

In this article, we will discuss the steps to cleaning used motor oil safely and effectively. We will also discuss the importance of proper disposal of used motor oil, as well as the benefits of recycling the used motor oil.

Can Used Motor Oil Be Cleaned?

Can Used Motor Oil Be Cleaned

Yes, used motor oil can be cleaned. This process, known as oil re-refining, is becoming increasingly popular as a way to extend the life of motor oil and reduce the amount of waste produced.

The process involves separating the various components of the oil, such as the lubricants and additives, and then treating them in different ways. The oil is then blended with new oil to produce a product as close to the new oil as possible.

Oil re-refining is a cost-effective way to reuse a valuable resource. While new oil is expensive, re-refined oil is much cheaper and can be used with fewer environmental impacts. Re-refined oil also reduces the amount of used oil that must be disposed of, as it can be used repeatedly.

Benefits of Recycling Used Motor Oil

Recycling used motor oil is a great way to protect the environment while saving money in the long run. Here are some of the benefits of recycling used motor oil:

Benefits Of Recycling Used Motor Oil

  1. Prevents Environmental Pollution: Recycling used motor oil prevents it from entering the soil and water, which can lead to contamination. This is especially important because motor oil can contain toxins, heavy metals, and other hazardous materials.
  2. Saves Money: Recycling used motor oil can save you money in the long run. Recycled motor oil can be reused in many applications, such as lubricants and fuel, reducing costs associated with purchasing new oil.
  3. Reduces Waste: By recycling used motor oil, you can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. This benefits both the environment and your wallet since it reduces waste disposal costs.
  4. Creates Jobs: Recycling used motor oil can create jobs for people responsible for collecting the oil, transporting it, and processing it. This can create economic opportunities for people in the local area.
  5. Conserves Resources: Recycling used motor oil conserves valuable resources such as petroleum, which can be more expensive. This also reduces the amount of energy required to produce new oil.

How To Clean Used Motor Oil

How to Clean Used Motor Oil

Used motor oil is a hazardous material that requires special care regarding cleaning and disposal. So, take the necessary precautions and follow the proper steps to clean used motor oil from surfaces and tools.

Here’s a guide on how to clean used motor oil properly:

Step 1: Safety Precautions

Before attempting to clean used motor oil, safety precautions should be taken. So, you should wear appropriate protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, and gloves to protect your skin from coming into contact with hazardous oil.

Eye protection is also necessary to protect the eyes from splashes and fumes. It is also important to ensure that the area is well-ventilated and that no open flames or sparks are present.

Step 2: Materials Needed

Before beginning to clean used motor oil, gather the necessary materials. These materials include absorbent materials such as rags, sawdust, cat litter, a bucket, and a suitable cleaner such as a degreaser or dish soap.

Step 3: Cleaning Process

Once the necessary materials have been gathered and safety precautions have been taken, the cleaning process can begin. The first step is using absorbent materials to soak up as much oil as possible. Once the bulk of the oil has been soaked up, the remaining oil should be wiped away using a rag.

The next step is to use the cleaner to remove any remaining oil. The cleaner should be applied to the affected area and allowed to sit for a few minutes before being wiped away. The area should then be wiped with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Step 4: Disposal

Once the area has been cleaned, the used motor oil should be disposed of properly. However, you should never pour used motor oil down the drain as it can cause serious damage to the environment. The used motor oil should be taken to a designated recycling center for proper disposal.

Importance of Proper Disposal Of Used Motor Oil

Proper disposal of used motor oil is essential to protecting our environment and health. Here are some of the key points to consider:

  1. Used motor oil is contaminated with heavy metals and other materials that can be hazardous to the environment if disposed of improperly. These contaminants can seep into groundwater, contaminate soil, and disrupt natural habitats.
  2. You can also use motor oil as a fire hazard when improperly disposed of. It is flammable and can ignite easily, leading to dangerous and costly fires.
  3. Used motor oil can contain toxins such as benzene, a known carcinogen. Inhaling the fumes of used motor oil can cause various health problems, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and respiratory issues.
  4. It is important to know the proper disposal method for used motor oil. Many auto repair shops will accept used motor oil for recycling, and some communities offer special collection days for used motor oil.

How To Identify Contaminated Motor Oil

Contaminated motor oil can be difficult to identify because it does not always have a distinct appearance. However, some signs can help determine if your motor oil is contaminated. Here are some points to consider when trying to identify contaminated motor oil:

  1. Smell: Contaminated motor oil will have a strong, unpleasant odor. This is often caused by water or other contaminants mixed with the oil.
  2. Color: Used motor oil will often have a dark, murky color. This mainly happens for dirt or other particles mixed with the oil.
  3. Texture: Contaminated motor oil will often have a thick, sticky texture. Accumulation of sediment that has mixed with the oil cause the problem.
  4. Viscosity: Used motor oil can also have a higher viscosity than normal, as contaminants can make the oil thicker.
  5. Mileage: Contaminated motor oil can also cause a vehicle to use more fuel than usual, as contaminants can clog the engine and reduce efficiency.


Cleaning used motor oil is an important step when working with any engine. Using a few simple steps, you can easily and safely clean used motor oil and keep your engine running smoothly.

It is important to remember to always dispose of used motor oil properly and never add new oil to old oil.

With the proper safety precautions and following the steps outlined in this guide on how to clean used motor oil, you can successfully clean used motor oil and keep your engine in top shape.