Author Options:

I have a 55 gal drum that had new motor oil in it. What can I clean it with to make it good to build a composter out of? Answered


Take an old scrubbing brush, one that you use to wash dishes with is good as you can really get into the seams of the drum.
Use methylated spirits as your solvent as it will degrease the oil and has a strong affinity for water this will make the final rinsing with soap and water easier.
You may consider a face mask for use in solvent atmospheres a good idea.
Tip the drum enough on its side that you can scrub the oil with the meths. Pay close attention to the vertical seam and where the bottom of the drum meets the wall.
Pour out the oil / meths mixture into a suitable - container e.g PET cola bottle + original container *NOT* anything made of polystyrene, we've all been there.
Either keep it handy as a degreaser or pour it in the sump oil tank at your recycling facility.
Final wash round with fresh meths ( pour out and recycle ). Finally wash out with liquid clothes detergent and very hot water.
As a check pour neat hot water in and see if any oil bubbles come to the surface - if so - empty and repeat until clear.

I cleaned mine by burning it. I set a wood fire inside and eventually the oil burned away.

Just use a degreaser, hence, soap will be effective. Oil is a carcinogen, so don't eat out of your drum once it is "clean!"


White spirit / turpentine substitute - but think of how you're going to dispose of this - follow up with a bit of soap & water, then water. L