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What To Do With Car Oil After Oil Change

When you bring your car in for an oil change, you may not give much thought to what happens to the old oil. However, it is important to properly dispose of used car oil to protect the environment and prevent pollution. This article will cover what to do with car oil after an oil change, including recycling options, DIY options, and tips for safe disposal.

Why Proper Disposal of Car Oil is Important

Used car oil is considered hazardous waste and should never be disposed of in the trash, dumped down the drain, or poured on the ground. Improper disposal can harm the environment and wildlife, contaminate waterways, and damage the soil. It is estimated that just one gallon of used oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water.

Recycling Options for Used Car Oil

One of the best options for disposing of used car oil is recycling. Many auto parts stores, service stations, and recycling centers accept used oil for recycling. These facilities can recycle the oil to be used again, which reduces the need for new oil and helps the environment.

When recycling used oil, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • Store the used oil in a clean, leak-proof container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Do not mix the used oil with other fluids or chemicals.
  • Take the container to a recycling center or auto parts store that accepts used oil for recycling.

DIY Options for Used Car Oil

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you may be interested in reusing your used car oil. While it may not be suitable for use in your car’s engine again, it can still be used for other purposes. Here are some DIY options for using used car oil:

  • Lubricating door hinges, locks, and chains
  • Preventing rust on metal surfaces
  • Treating wood to make it weather-resistant
  • Starting fires in wood stoves or fire pits (use caution and do not use in areas with fire restrictions)

Tips for Safe Disposal of Used Car Oil

If recycling or DIY options are not available to you, it is important to dispose of used car oil safely. Here are some tips for safe disposal:

  • Do not pour used oil down the drain, onto the ground, or into the trash.
  • Check with your local waste management facility for guidelines on how to properly dispose of used oil.
  • Use a funnel and a clean container to transfer the oil to a disposal container.
  • Label the container as “Used Oil” and store it in a safe, dry place until it can be disposed of properly.


Proper disposal of used car oil is an important part of protecting the environment and preventing pollution. Recycling, DIY options, and safe disposal are all viable options for getting rid of used oil. Remember, never pour used oil down the drain, onto the ground, or into the trash.


  1. Can I recycle used car oil myself?

    • No, it is not recommended to recycle used car oil yourself. Proper recycling requires specialized equipment and facilities.
  2. Can I mix used car oil with other fluids or chemicals?

    • No, do not mix used car oil with other fluids or chemicals. This can contaminate the oil and make it unsuitable for recycling.
  3. What should I do if I accidentally spill used car oil?

    • If you accidentally spill used car oil, clean it up immediately with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand. Do not wash it into storm drains or sewers.
  4. How often should I change my car’s oil?

    • Check your car’s owner manual for the recommended oil change interval. This can vary depending on factors like driving habits and climate.
  5. Can I reuse motor oil after an oil change?

    • While used car oil is not suitable for reuse in your car’s engine, it can be repurposed for other uses or recycled.
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