Oil heat is a comforting, efficient way to keep your home comfortable throughout the winter weather season, but it isn't without its hazards. If you have an oil spill, you're going to need to address it right away. Whether the spill on the floor is due to overfilling the tank or because of a leak, it still needs to be cleaned up immediately. Here's a look at what you need to know to clean up a heating oil spill safely.
Protect the Space from Heat and Open Flames
As soon as you see any signs of a heating oil leak, you need to act quickly to remove any source of heat or flames from the immediate area. Then open up every window in the vicinity to help vent the fumes out of the space.
Soak Up the Surface Pooling
Pour some absorbent material over the whole spill area so that it covers at least an inch or two beyond the boundaries of the oil puddle. Use either a commercial oil absorbent, sand, cat litter or even powdered laundry soap. Once applied to the spill, let it sit for an hour or two to absorb as much as possible.
Sweep the material off the space with a push broom. Push it all into a dust pan so that you can dispose of all of the contaminated material. Put it into a heavy plastic trash bag, close and tie it tightly. Then reach out to your local waste management company to find out about how to dispose of hazardous waste. You can't just put it out with the trash because it's oil-soaked.
Clean Up the Residue
Even the best absorbent material will still likely leave some residue behind on the floor. Use a mixture of a mild dish detergent with warm water to clean it up. You'll get the best results if you use a dish detergent that's made to cut grease.
Create the mixture by adding several drops of detergent to a gallon of hot water. Mix it well until you start to see suds. Then, scrub the floor with a heavy brush and the detergent mixture. Once the residue is gone, rinse the floor with fresh hot water.
With the tips here, you can address a heating oil spill quickly and efficiently. Follow the cleanup efforts with a call to a local heating oil supplier, such as Peterson Oil, to inspect the tank and valves to troubleshoot the source of the leak.