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Absorbents are typically used to clean up spills in repair shops. Absorbent material can be granular (kitty litter type) or made of foam. Absorbent foam pads can be used to absorb spilled oil and then pressed to remove the oil so the pad can be reused. Absorbent books or pigs can be used to reduce the amount of absorbent material needed for cleanup by initially diking the spill. Absorbent usage can be reduced by practicing good housekeeping procedures such as the use of drip pans, funnels, and detection and repair of leaks.


  • Use drip pans, keep lids on, and repair equipment leaks to prevent spills and avoid the need for absorbents.
  • Use the minimum amount of absorbent to complete the job.
  • Keep absorbent materials nearby or in a well placed spill kit to quickly clean up any spills.
  • Clean up any spilled material immediately. If the spilled material is hazardous, then label the container and submit the collected waste for pickup.


  • Do Not put used absorbents into drains or on the ground.
  • Do Not mix non-hazardous material with absorbents containing hazardous waste.