As the saying goes, “oil and water don’t mix.” So when the bottle of cooking oil spills all over the kitchen floor, reaching for the mop probably isn’t the best idea. If there is any broken glass in the spill, cleaning can seem even more impossible. However, the steps below will help you easily clean up the oil, as well as the broken glass.

Tips to clean a cooking oil spill

  1. If there is any broken glass in the oil spill (if the bottle shattered), first put on shoes that have rubber soles or are washable. Then, use ice cube tongs or garden gloves to pick up the larger pieces of glass. (Do NOT use oven mitts.) Wrap the glass pieces in newspaper or collect them in a brown paper bag before tossing them into the trash.
  2. Soak up the excess oil with paper towels or old dish towels (that you make sure to wash separately) using a dabbing motion. Do not wipe or you risk spreading the oil further.
  3. Generously sprinkle cornstarch over the remaining oil and let sit for about 10 minutes. **You can cover the oil with an absorbent material, such as kitty litter, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, wood shavings, or sand.
  4. Vacuum the cornstarch using a handheld vacuum.
  5. Wipe the surface using a little water and liquid dish soap if any oily residue remains.
  6. If there was any glass in the spill, wait for the floor to dry, then run a lint roller or thick tape over the area to pick up any shards.

Bonus tips to clean a cooking oil spill!

  • Dip a cloth in soapy water and wipe the outside of the oil container after each use to remove any oil residue. This will prevent the container from being slippery when you pick it up in the future.
  • If the oil gets on your clothes, rub a little cornstarch into the clothing and let it set before washing.
  • If the oil gets on your carpet, sprinkle it with cornstarch and wait about thirty minutes for the cornstarch to soak up the oil. Vacuum excess cornstarch and — fingers crossed — the stain should be gone.
  • If you use a cloth towel to clean up the spill, wash it in hot water with your usual laundry detergent. Let the towel air dry after the wash.