Oil Spill Kits — How to Select the Right Spill Kit

Oil spills can cause a lot of damage, whether they are big or small.  So it’s important to have oil spill kits available to clean them up fast. Here’s how to select the right kit for your situation.

Maybe it’s just a drum that toppled over or sprung a leak. Maybe it’s a tractor trailer that flipped onto its side and spilled its content.  And maybe it’s an oil tanker that had a spill near the coastline, as has been the case in the Gulf of Mexico recently, or in the Valdez Oil Spill.  In the latter cases, an oil spill kit won’t even be a BandAid, but fortunately, for most oil spills they work just fine.

After all, the kinds of spills you’re likely to deal with are probably much more manageable though they can vary in size.  So here’s how to assess the potential for spills in your facility and on your equipment and choose the most suitable spill kits.

Spill kit type

There are three major types to choose from: Universal or general purpose, oil only, and hazmat.

The oil only kit may be the one to choose  It is perfectly designed to deal with the exact substance you’re trying to handle. And if you have a spill on water, it is able to clean up the oil while repelling the water.

But it’s not the only logical choice.  If the oil gets mixed up with other fluids, especially water-based fluids, and it all has to be cleaned up, the universal kit might be even better.

And if you’re potentially dealing with more aggressive chemicals, you might even consider the hazmat kit.

Spill size

Oil spill kits come in small, mobile, drum size versions. So you should try to figure out how big of a spill you could possibly encounter from any single container.

Type of container

There are bucket or bagged spill kits to handle small spills.  But if you have larger spills, you’ll need a drum kit, or a mobile kit, possibly one with wheels.


Don’t just get the cheapest one you can find. That’s saving in the wrong place. Look for quality, and make sure that safety items for your employees, for example gloves, goggles, and such, are included.

Yet even high quality oil spill kits don’t have to be expensive.  If you check online, you can find them at very reasonable prices.

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