How To Clean Up A Hydraulic Oil Spill

Thursday 28th September 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

No comments, yet!

Hydraulic oil spill CONTENTS

Hydraulic oil spills must be cleaned up immediately to protect the environment and your health, and prevent damage to your property. Unfortunately, like all types of oil, hydraulic oil is dangerous and difficult to clean up. You must always bring in professional cleaners to deal with a spill. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer quick, thorough hydraulic oil spill cleaning services. Our technicians can use state-of-the-art technology and non-abrasive methods to remove all traces of the fluid safely. We operate nationwide, 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Keep reading to find out what the effects of a hydraulic oil spill are and how to clean it up. 

What is hydraulic oil?

Hydraulic oil, also known as hydraulic fluid, is a vital component in the functioning of numerous types of machinery from construction equipment like diggers and cranes to car brakes.

The main job of this special type of lubricant is to transmit power within hydraulic systems. By flowing smoothly under pressure, it allows parts in these machines to move seamlessly and with precision. Hydraulic oils help protect system components from rust and wear while keeping them cool by transferring heat away, too.

A spillage can happen anywhere where machinery using hydraulic oil operates. Spills often occur due to problems with the machinery like wearing, inaccurate tolerances, and the use of the wrong components, or when filling up a machine's reservoir with fresh oil. Something as simple as knocking over an open container could result in a spill, as well. You can find out more about the causes of hydraulic fluid leaks here

The dangers of hydraulic oil spills

One of the most serious impacts of a hydraulic oil spill is environmental harm. Oil spills can pollute water sources, affecting wildlife and ecosystems for years to come. 

As with any oil spill, it can create a slip hazard, too, which could lead to people falling or getting injured. Prolonged exposure can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems among those who inhale fumes directly from the spilled liquid. Some studies even suggest potential carcinogenic effects.

Although hydraulic fluid has a low fire risk as it requires high ignition temperatures, the right conditions could still cause a fire to break out. Quick, careful clean up is essential to make the area safe again. However, as with any type of oil, clean up is a challenge, particularly if it is left to sit. If hydraulic oil is not cleaned up immediately it will leave behind a dark, unsightly stain and can even damage surfaces like asphalt and concrete.

What to do when hydraulic oil spills

If hydraulic fluid spills at home, such as in the garage, contact oil spill cleaning professionals immediately. In the workplace, you should follow your spill response procedure which should contain the following steps:

Communicate that a spill has occurred

Notify staff and supervisors working in the area. You may need to also evacuate the employees depending on the size of the spill and the danger it poses to them. Should you require the emergency services, contact them immediately and tell them what was spilled and how much. 

Contain the spill

You then need to stop the oil from spreading. This can be as simple as putting the tipped over container upright, but you should only do this if safe to do so and you are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), 

Employees trained to use hydraulic oil spill kits should then use spill control equipment to limit the oil's spread so it can't spread into the environment or go down any drains. Otherwise, bring in professionals to do this. 

Remove ignition sources from the spill area

To make sure the oil does not ignite, remove or turn off ignition and heat sources. If this is not possible, make sure staff are a safe distance from the area. You must then contact the emergency services so they can provide guidance on what to do next. 

Clean up the oil

Unless you are trained to do so and have the necessary equipment required for clean up, you must bring in oil spill cleaning professionals. Hydraulic oil will leave a residue on every surface it touches and all traces must be removed to make the area safe again. The waste must then be disposed of appropriately.

You can find out more about what to do when oil spills in the workplace in this blog

Why you should bring in oil spill cleaning professionals

Cleaning up hydraulic oil spills requires specific knowledge of how to do it properly. Professionals can give you peace of mind that all traces of the oil have been cleaned up. 

They will use advanced equipment that can handle heavy-duty clean ups without damaging your property or harming the environment. With years of experience dealing with similar situations, they understand how to approach different types of spills in various environments and on different surfaces.

By letting a professional take care of hydraulic oil spill clean up, you can keep yourself safe, too. Hydraulic fluid is dangerous to be exposed to, let alone clean up as you will be in close contact with the substance and might touch it. 

Hydraulic oils can be hazardous if mishandled, as well - you may accidentally wash it down the drain, let it spread onto soil, or incorrectly dispose of waste which could cause pollution. Professionals can also deal it within a very short timeframe, allowing normal activities to resume quicker. This is critical in the workplace as an oil spill could cause serious disruption. 

Contact us today

Our technicians are fully permitted to handle and dispose of hydraulic oil as well as other hazardous waste. If it's an emergency, they can be on site within a matter of hours, wherever you are in the UK. 

To find out more about our oil spill clean up services, get in touch with our team on 0208 066 0360 or send an email to

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

Add to contacts

Speak with me today,
I’m here to help

By asking you a few questions either via phone or email I can immediately provide a realistic estimation of the cost.

You’re in good company. We’ve cleaned for the following commercial clients… View all

Customer reviews

Our happy customers have rated our service as
Excellent on Trustpilot.

View All Reviews

Why choose us

Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
  • Cater to commercial and domestic clients
  • Free survey provided prior to quotation 
  • Emergency response team
  • Offer a bespoke service designed to suit all your needs 
  • All technicians hold professional health and safety qualifications, including BICSc, IOSH, Dewpoint Professional & Safe Contractor 

We’re fully accredited

We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

Dewpoint® Professional Corporate Membership
0208 066 0360Open 24/7

We use cookies

If you continue without changing your settings we'll assume you're happy to receive our cookies.
If you'd like to change this just update your browser settings. Find out more.

Okay. I got it.