Staying Safe with Car Chemicals

Are you a DIY car mechanic? Take precautions to keep both yourself and the environment safe when changing your own motor oil and other automotive fluids.

Prevent Spills & Leaks

  • Check your vehicle for leaks regularly and fix them as soon as possible.
  • Use a drip pan when changing motor oil and all other automotive fluids.
  • All major vehicle maintenance and repair should be performed at a licensed and environmentally responsible auto repair facility. Need a place to work on your vehicle? Consider using a DIY garage like Stew’s Self Service Garage.

Clean Up All Spills & Leaks

  • Clean up leaks or spills with commercial products designed to absorb automotive fluids. If you live in an apartment complex, your property may have a spill kit, which includes appropriate absorbent pads. Alternatively, use old towels, kitty litter or sand. Sweep up used absorbent materials immediately, bag them and put them in the trash.
  • Clean up every spill, no matter how small. Any fluid left on the pavement will get washed into the nearest storm drain the next time it rains. Water in the storm drains and stormwater system isn’t filtered or cleaned before it flows into our streams and Lake Washington.

Safely Dispose of Chemicals

  • Save used oil and other used automotive fluids for recycling. Dispose of them at a household hazardous waste collection facility, like the Factoria Transfer Station or the Wastemobile.
  • In Kirkland, single family residents can recycle used oil next to their cart. Place used oil in 1-gallon plastic jugs with screw-on lids, labeled with your name and address. Recycle up to 3 gallons a week.
  • Many auto parts stores also offer oil and automotive fluid recycling.