How to Clean Oil From a Plastic Barrel

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Salt

  • Disposable rubber gloves

  • Bucket

  • Water

  • Pack of disposable cloths

Plastic barrels may be used as outdoor water butts.

Recycled plastic barrels make great outdoor rain catchers and you can use the rainwater to nourish plants around your garden. The barrels also make handy storage holders for long garden tools such as rakes and outdoor brooms. You must thoroughly clean the oil residue from the barrel before recycling it for these new uses. You can easily remove the oil residue with common household items.


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Step 1

Sprinkle baking soda on the oil stains on the inside of the plastic barrel. The baking soda will absorb the excess oil. Leave the baking soda in the barrel.

Step 2

Mix 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup of salt in a bucket filled halfway with hot water.

Step 3

Put on disposable rubber gloves and dip a cloth into the solution.

Step 4

Wipe the inside of the barrel with the cloth. Repeat until all oil residue is removed.


You may need more than one cloth to complete the cleaning job.


Clean the plastic barrel outdoors. Oil stains are difficult to remove from household fabrics.


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