How To Clean Up Cooking Oil

Have you ever been in the middle of cooking a great meal and accidentally spilled a bottle of cooking oil?

If you haven’t had the privilege of cleaning this fun mess up then I envy you.

However, just like the oil that pops out of the skillet and onto your kitchen walls, it’s not if it will ever happen, it’s when!

By the way, if you need help with that, check out our article How To Remove Cooking Oil Stains From Walls.

If you have spilled vegetable oil on the floor, you know just how difficult it can be to clean it up.

With this particular spill, you must clean it up properly because oil and water don’t mix and you want to be certain that you don’t try to make them.

Throughout this article, we tell you exactly what items you will need and give you detailed steps on how to clean up cooking oil.

What You’ll Need

In this section, we go over all the items you will need to clean up the cooking oil spill.

We are going to add the items needed to clean up a vegetable oil spill that included the glass bottle also breaking.

If you didn’t break the glass or had a plastic bottle you can just skip those steps.


It sounds silly, but make sure that you are wearing some type of footwear during this process.

It can protect your feet from broken glass and also give you better traction from the oil on the floor.

Gardening Gloves

These are necessary only if you have broken a glass bottle.

If you don’t have gardening gloves you can use any type of thick glove.

I like this pair of micro-foam coating gardening gloves because they have a tight fit.


Again, this is to be needed only if you have broken glass on the floor.

You will be using this to put the broken glass into to avoid tearing your garbage bag.

Any Absorbent Material

You can use anything that will absorb the oil.

Some suggestions are kitty litter, baking soda, wood shavings, salt, sand, or corn starch.

My personal favorite is baking soda but they will all work.

Paper Towels

Any good absorbent paper towels will do fine.


You’re using this to scoop up the absorbed oil and whatever material you used.

Make sure that you use a spatula with no holes in it.

This one on Amazon gets great reviews.


Any simple dustpan will work.

Dishwashing Liquid

You need a good grease and oil fighting dish liquid.

I like the Dawn brand.


You will need to mop after everything else has been cleaned up.

Make sure your mop is in good shape and can handle a heavy mop job.

Lint Roller

This is another item that will only be used if glass is broken.

I like this low-cost option from Amazon.

And there you go!

The above are the materials you will need to clean up the oil spill.

Again, if you haven’t broken any glass, you won’t need almost half of the above items.

Now let’s get started cleaning that oil up off the floor!

Step By Step Instructions For How To Clean Up Cooking Oil

Here, we go over in detail how to clean up the cooking oil spill.

#1. Put Shoes And Gloves On And Remove Glass

If you have broken glass, you want to start by making sure you have rubber-soled shoes and a good thick pair of gloves on before you do anything else.

You know how glass is when it breaks, it goes everywhere!

Use your gloves to pick up the pieces of glass that you can see.

We will remove the little shards that you can’t see later in the process.

Wrap the larger pieces in a newspaper or brown paper bag before you trash them so that you don’t tear your trash bags.

#2. Cover Oil With Absorbent Material

Here you pour the absorbent material that you chose onto the oil.

Make sure that you cover the entire spill even if it is all over the floor.

Pro Tip:

Some people say to let it sit for 10-15 minutes but I like to let it absorb the oil for at least half an hour.

This is the most important step in this process and I want to make sure it’s done right.

#3. Scoop Up Mixture

Next, you will either use paper towels or your spatula to scoop the mixture into your dustpan.

You could also use a vacuum cleaner or even a dust buster to do this part.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have removed almost all the oil or at least the large portions of it.

#4. Wipe Floor

Now you will wipe your floor with paper towels to remove any of the remaining oil.

You will continue to see the glossy look of the oil on the floor but that is normal.

Pro Tip:

If you run out of paper towels, pieces of bread work great to wipe up the remaining oil.

#5. Mop Floor

Pour a tablespoon of the dish liquid into your hot water mop bucket and mop the entire area where the spill occurred.

#6. Run Lint Roller Over Floor

Wait for the floor to completely dry, then run your lint roller over the entire floor.

This will pick up any of those pesky shards of glass that you couldn’t see.


There you have it!

Now you know the proper steps to successfully clean up a cooking oil spill.

The process is very short and once you do it a couple of times you will be a pro!

Happy cleaning!