What To Do With Old Motor Oil

If you’re one of the many at home car mechanics out there, there’s a good chance you change your own oil as opposed to taking it in to a shop or dealership. If you don’t, this is great way to save money, get your hands dirty, and get to know the ins and outs of your own car better. However, after a few changes you’ll start to notice that your old oil is beginning to take up space in the garage and you’ll want to get rid of it. This leads to a lot of questions like:

  • What to do with your oil after an oil change?
  • What’s the best way to get rid of old engine oil?
  • Who will take your waste oil?
  • What else can used oil be used for?

What many people don’t know is that motor oil never wears out, which means that it just needs to be put through a filtration / cleaning process. Even better news; this is something that one of the many 12,000+ community-based oil recycling centers nationwide can do for you! Below, we put together a state by state oil recycling information resource to help you find the recycling center nearest to you. This way you can safely discard all of your hazardous materials like oil, transmission fluid, even old car batteries!

What Qualifies As Used Oil?

Any engine oil that has been used inside of a vehicle is considered used. This is because during its use the oil comes in contact with metal particles, dirt, water and other impurities which can contaminate it. Because of this and the fact that oil may contain other additives such as rust inhibitors and stabilizers, it is classified as a hazardous material and must be handled like one.

Is Recycling Motor Oil Free?

In most cases, taking your oil to a recycling center or business will be at no cost to you. In some cases however, like California, they will even pay you when you drop off your oil. It is worth mentioning this is usually less than a dollar per gallon, but still a nice incentive.

How Should I Store My Oil?

The best way to store used oil is to put it in an air-tight container that can be sealed with a screw on cap. Once you’ve done that, you can take it to your nearest recycling facility, auto-store that offers recycling, or in some cases, even schedule a pick-up.

What Else Can I do With My Old Oil?

If you’re looking to get creative with your used oil, remember that it still has lots of life left and can be used for other purposes. There are tons of great ideas online showing off unique uses for motor oil; use in an oil burning furnace (many people on craigslist are always taking oil for exactly this), keeping it around the shop to help loosen rusted bolts, mixing with diesel fuel for penetrating lube, filtering it yourself for re-use in chainsaws, coating machined parts left in storage, and many more!

Find Oil Recycling Near You

As mentioned above, here’s our state by state list of oil and hazardous waste recycling centers and environmental information. Just click on the state’s link to find locations nearest to you.

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3 responses to “What To Do With Old Motor Oil

  1. I have a 02 impala 3.4 v6 engine. White smoke is coming from the tailpipe and when I lift my oil stick out it looks like milk chocolate instead of black so I’m thinking water is mixing with the oil…. Do you have a product that will help.me..???

    1. Joshua-

      These are all telltale signs of a blown head gasket. We recommend that you use the BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer. You will need to change the oil before and after the BlueDevil process.

      BlueDevil can be purchased through your local auto parts dealer (AutoZone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly Auto, NAPA, etc.)


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