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OT - Oil Spill Cleanup

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  • OT - Oil Spill Cleanup

    A couple of nights ago, just as I was ready to quit and hop in bed (naturally), I had a massive oil spill in a corner of my garage/shop.

    Somehow I snagged the little drain plug of a plastic oil change container and before I noticed and got it stopped, I had probably a quart or two ...maybe more, of black oil spread out over a 4ft square area.

    Fortunately I had a large bag of Oil Dri on hand, and with it and a piece of plexiglass used as a squeegee I got it contained and soaked up.
    After cleaning up all the liquid soaked clay granules, I left a fresh layer of Oil Dri on overnight and next day removed that, and then scrubbed over the area with Gunk engine cleaner. Then I cleaned up the Gunk with Simple Green, followed by hot water to dilute/remove the Simple Green.

    The area still appears as a stain, darker than the surrounding concrete, but that's probably the best I'm going to do appearance wise.
    The problem now is the odor of that Gunk. ...a strong kerosiney, gasoliney smell.
    Anybody have any good suggestions for ridding the odor?

    For that matter, I'd be interesting in hearing of other, better approaches than what I did.

  • #2
    Hum, maybe baking soda? Worth a shot.

    I've never used Gunk to clean up oil stained concrete. In general I stick with Simple Green or TSP and a good stiff brush.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dr Stan View Post
      Hum, maybe baking soda? Worth a shot.

      I've never used Gunk to clean up oil stained concrete. In general I stick with Simple Green or TSP and a good stiff brush.
      It does a great job of getting the oil stain off. On a driveway or outside surface where the odor doesn't matter that's always been my "go to" solution.
      Spray that on, and use a wire brush, and the stain is gone. ...of course you're left with a bright, clean spot surrounded by the normal dirty, worn, weathered surface. But in time the difference fades away.

      I just finished going over it again with Zep Purple cleaner. I see how that works. ...it's still damp now.
      If that doesn't do it I'll give the ol' baking soda a try.

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      • #4
        What about asking BP, think they learned a few tricks lately ?
        .

        Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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        • #5
          Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post
          What about asking BP, think they learned a few tricks lately ?
          That was exactly my first thought when I saw that oil spreading out! ...BP.

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          • #6
            Pour some mineral spirits on the stained area. Then cover that with your oil absorbent and leave it for a day or so.
            Byron Boucher
            Burnet, TX

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            • #7
              Call up you local oil furnace/service supply house, they sell stuff that you can spray on cleaned up diesel spills that will remove the odour instantly, I cant remember the name of it but any supplier should have it. Years ago when I drove a service truck up north, I always had a can on hand for oil burner servicing...
              Cheers,
              Jon

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              • #8
                When using TSP remember that it cleans the inside of your lungs as well as the stain. Use plenty of ventilation.

                I go for the painted floor trick. Go to a large paint supplier and ask for their leftover.
                It is surprising the good paint you can get cheap if you don't care about the color.

                I have an orange floor and an off color gray one and God-awful blue-green one, all high quality deck paint.
                Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, chip, crack or peel

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                • #9
                  I like to use sawdust from my table saw as an absorbent , and use a water based cleaning agent such as laundry detergent . Add some water, and use a stiff bristle brush to scrub. Some of my spills are in my basement , and too close to my gas water heater to use flammable solvents. As a final treatment, some of that odor eliminator mentioned above sounds good, if it's also non-flammable.
                  ( I've never used it, but I'll do a search for it.)
                  Last edited by Bill736; 11-25-2012, 10:14 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I always grind in the oil dry into the concrete with my boot making it break down into smaller particles that I'm guessing get into the rough surface better.
                    I haven't noticed a stain when I do this.
                    Cheers,
                    Gary

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                    • #11
                      Get down on your hands and knees. Use a brick or short chunk of 2X4 and grind oil dri into the stained area. After clean up you won't be able to see the stain. Also it dosen't smell bad.

                      Ross
                      GUNS Don't kill people
                      Drivers using cell phones do.

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                      • #12
                        What a great excuse to buy another machine! You need it to cover up that stain.
                        Seriously, years ago I heard that spreading dry Portland cement would dry up oil stains and help remove them. I never tried it but at this point, if nothing else works it may be worth a shot. If not, then buy that new machine.

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                        • #13
                          Some years back worked in a fuel oil tank farm. WE stored #6 fuel oil the nastiest,smelliest,staining stuff you ever saw. Cleaning floors in the pump rooms had to be done on a regular basis. We'd go over the floor with a mop soaked in kerosene, then do the oil dry bit moving it back and forth with large squeegees. Sweep it up and then throw down another layer and literally grind it into the concrete surface with our boots. 95% of the time all of the stains and oil would be removed. Bleach is good for the smell. Not so good for your lungs. Frank

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by firbikrhd1 View Post
                            What a great excuse to buy another machine! You need it to cover up that stain.
                            .
                            Problem is, I already had a machine to put there.

                            That was essentially the whole point of the exercise leading up to the spill: I was doing some reorganizing and shifting around in an attempt to gain some space. I really have more machines an "stuff" than places to put it. It's so crowded in there you can't cuss a cat without getting hair in your mouth!

                            Interesting how everybody has the same idea about crushing and grinding in the oil dri granules. I've never heard or read any directions to do that ...just one of those intuitively obvious concepts I guess.

                            I think the visible stain I'm now seeing is the result of this spot being cleaner than the rest of the floor. That Zep Purple is scary strong stuff! I had the mixture in an empty metal coffee can, and it etched all the shine from the can interior

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                              Anybody have any good suggestions for ridding the odor?

                              keep a window or door open for a few days?

                              maybe add some heat (turn up the heat in the building
                              or a small space heater or the like -- no direct flames!)
                              to encourage evaporation?

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