What You Can Do with Used Engine Oil?

  • Used engine oil is a common byproduct of car maintenance, but what happens to it after it's drained? Improper disposal can be harmful to the environment, so responsible management is crucial. Luckily, there are several responsible and even useful options for used oil, beyond simply throwing it away.


    This is the most recommended and environmentally friendly choice. Used oil can be re-refined into new lubricants, processed into fuel oils, or used as raw materials for various industries. Many auto parts stores, service centers, and even some curbside recycling programs accept used oil for free. Remember to store it in a sealed container and check with your local facilities for specific guidelines.

    Reuse (with caution)

    In some limited cases, used oil can be reused for specific purposes, but only after proper filtering and purification. This is not recommended for most individuals due to the potential risks of improper handling and residual contaminants. Some possible (but not universally recommended) applications include:

    Lubricating non-critical machinery: Used oil can be used for greasing hinges, lawnmowers, or other non-critical equipment, but ensure proper disposal once its lubricating properties diminish.

    Rust prevention: A thin coat of used oil can be applied to metal tools or surfaces for temporary rust prevention, but be mindful of potential staining and environmental impact.

    Important Note

    Never pour used oil down drains, on the ground, or into the trash. These practices contaminate soil and water sources, posing significant environmental risks.

    Always wear gloves and protective gear when handling used oil, as it can irritate skin and contain harmful contaminants.


    By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your used engine oil is disposed of responsibly and doesn't contribute to environmental harm. Remember, recycling is the most recommended and environmentally responsible option for used oil.