What Absorbs Spilt Motor Oil?

by Serena StylesUpdated July 21, 2017
itstillruns article image
Wet oil. image by bluefern from Fotolia.com

Motor oil is a thick lubricant used in combustion-based engines to protect moving parts. According to Deanna Sclar, author of "Auto Repair for Dummies," when working with motor oil, spills are commonplace. Different substances will absorb spilt motor oil to help clean up the mess and remove the stain.


Cornstarch is a thickening agent used in cooking that works well to absorb spilt motor oil from most any surface. You simply need to sprinkle cornstarch over the motor oil until the powder covers the entire area. Let it sit for five minutes and brush away the oil-soaked powder.

Cat Litter

According to Gill Chilton, author of "Cleaning & Stain Removal for Dummies," clay cat litter is an effective substance for absorbing spilt motor oil. Simply pour cat litter over the motor oil spill and sweep it away after letting it sit for two or three minutes.


Dirt is an effective and simple method of soaking up spilt motor oil. Dry dirt works best as it has the highest absorbency. After allowing the dirt to soak up the motor oil spill, dispose of it properly, as motor oil is a toxic substance.

More Articles

article divider