How To Clean Up Oil Spill On The Floor

Wednesday 1st November 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Oil spilled on the floor from a tipped over container CONTENTS

Whether oil spills at home in a garage on in a workplace, it must be cleaned up immediately to protect people's health, minimise damage to your property, and prevent pollution occurring. This should always be left to people trained to clean up oil spills.

Here at ICE Cleaning, our oil spill cleaning service can quickly get things back to normal. Our technicians are fully permitted to handle and discard of oil, and can tackle both surface and water oil spills. In an emergency, we can be on site within several hours to clean up a spill. 

Keep reading to find out what to do when oil spills on the floor and why clean up must be left to professional cleaners. 

The effects of an oil spill

Oil spills, be it on a large scale or small, have profound impacts. The immediate effect is making surfaces slippery which poses a risk of accidents and injuries.

Moreover, different surfaces react differently to oil. For instance, concrete tends to absorb the oil, resulting in stubborn stains that are difficult to get rid of. It can also destabilise the concrete matrix and affect the integrity of the concrete floors over time.

Some types of oil are highly flammable, too, and can cause a fire to break out if there is a flame or spark. 

Apart from this physical damage caused by oil spills, there is the potential harm they can cause health-wise, as well. Exposure to the vapours can lead to serious health problems from dizziness and high blood pressure to illnesses like cancer. Should oil get onto your skin, it could cause itching and blistering. 

If not cleaned up properly, such as allowed to wash onto soil, a body of water, or down the drain, it could pose significant environmental threats. Oil breaks down very slowly in water bodies, for example, causing long-term issues such as oxygen depletion which is very harmful for aquatic life.

Business operations can suffer due to an unplanned halt because of an accidental spillage. A quick, thorough clean up is essential to resume operations as soon as possible. 

How to clean up an oil spill

If oil spills at home, like in the garage, contact professional cleaners immediately to clean it up for you unless you have the specialist kit and training to clean it up yourself. 

If oil spills at work, follow these steps to manage the situation. First, notify the staff working in the area that a spill has occurred. Ensure the safety of all individuals present in the vicinity by evacuating them from the area, if possible. 

You may also need to contact the emergency services - if you do, tell them what has spilled and how much so they know how to respond to it.

Then, stop the oil spilling at source, such as by closing the open valve. This must be left to professionals wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE). They will use spill control equipment to limit the oil's spread and prevent it from entering drains or spreading into the environment, as well.

All ignition sources must be removed, too, to reduce the chances of a fire. If this is not possible, make sure you keep yourself and others a safe distance from the spill. 

Finally, trained professionals should be brought in to clean up the spill. Should you or your employees be trained in oil spill cleaning and have spill kits on site, you can do this yourself. Otherwise, contact specialist cleaners, like ICE Cleaning, immediately. 

Why only professionals should clean up oil spills

Cleaning up spilled oil is more than just wiping away the surface residue. It seeps into floor cracks and crevices, and if not cleaned up thoroughly and immediately, can cause irreversible damage to your flooring. 

Even small amounts left behind can continue to pose risks, such as making surfaces slippery or producing harmful fumes. Improperly cleaned spills may lead to environmental pollution because incorrect disposal techniques can let residual contaminants escape into drains or soil, too.

For peace of mind that your home or workplace is made safe again, contact professional cleaners. They will have the expertise, equipment, and industrial-grade cleaning agents tailored specifically for these situations. 

Besides effective clean up methods, trained specialists understand how crucial correct waste management is when dealing with petroleum products. They can prevent secondary contamination scenarios which could make things worse instead of better.

Ways to prevent oil spills

Always store your oils in secure containers with tight-fitting lids to stop leaks before they start. Make sure you use the right equipment when handling or transferring oils. This could mean using funnels for pouring or investing in high-quality pumps for larger volumes of oil.

Regularly inspect all equipment that comes into contact with oil to help catch any potential problems early on.

In workplaces such as garages where oil usage is common, it's essential to have proper spill response kits ready. These kits, recommended by HSE, are equipped with absorbents and protective gear, and can help you manage minor spills quickly.

Ensure everyone who might handle oils knows how to do so carefully. This will limit accidents caused by carelessness and ensure swift action when mishaps do occur. You can find out more about the best ways to prevent oil spills in this blog

Contact our team today

We have technicians stationed across the UK who are available to clean up oil spills safely and effectively. They have access to state-of-the-art technology and professional expertise to rapidly restore your site to its previous non-hazardous condition. 

Get in touch by calling 0208 066 0360 or emailing to find out more about our oil spill clean up service

Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison

Sales Representative

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