Q:

How do you clean up a gasoline spill?

A:

Quick Answer

Spills of less than 10 gallons can be soaked up with an absorbent material, such as kitty litter, while larger spills must be handled by professional hazardous waste authorities, such as the fire department. Once the gas is absorbed, dispose of the material according to local rules for handling hazardous waste.

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Full Answer

Gasoline is a petroleum-based fuel used in everyday machines, such as cars and lawnmowers, that are powered with gas engines. It is not uncommon for a small amount of gasoline to spill when filling one of these machines. Spills of less than 10 gallons can easily be cleaned up with the right materials.

  1. Stop the spill
  2. Stop the gasoline from spilling any further by closing the container or, if using a gas pump, shutting off the flow of gas. If the gas flow cannot be stopped, use a pan or some other container to catch the spilling gas.

  3. Spread out absorbent material
  4. Spread an absorbent material over the spill to soak up the liquid gas. Materials that can be used include kitty litter, sand, sawdust, straw, wood chips, ground corncobs and dirt. Companies also produce an absorbent pad that can be used to soak up gas spills. Allow the material to completely soak up the gas.

  5. Collect the absorbed gas
  6. Use a broom and a bucket to sweep up the absorbent material with gas in it. The absorbent material can also be swept into barrels or onto a plastic sheet. Dispose of the collected material in a manner as directed by the local Pollution Control Agency.

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