How to Dispose of Oily Paper Towels

Paper towels are a necessity in any kitchen. They come in handy for everything from cleaning up spills to drying dishes, and so many people use them daily that it is easy to forget how much waste they produce over time. However, oily paper towels can be especially problematic because they tend to clog drains and cause other problems such as mold growth.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to dispose of oily paper towels! This powerful cleaner will cut through oily residue and leave your drain clear and clean without harming pipes or septic systems like bleach would. There are also plenty of other ways that you can get rid of oily paper towels as well! Continue reading this blog post to know more.

How to Dispose of Oily Paper Towels

What are Oily Paper Towels?

Oily paper towels are those that, after use, leave a noticeable oily residue on your hands. This may be because the towels were not properly pre-saturated with cleaning solution or too much was used, and it was applied to a dry surface instead of a wet one.

The solution may also have dried up, making the towels not effective. Or it could be that the oil-based cleaner was too concentrated and thus reacted with the towel causing it to change form.

10 Reasons Why You Should  Dispose of Oily Paper Towels:

1. Contaminate your hands.

If you leave oily paper towels on your hands, they can cause many problems such as acne and clogged pores, leading to the development of pimples. Therefore, oily products should be avoided by people who already have oily skin or are prone to acne breakouts.

You will also find it more difficult to remove the oily residue from your skin once it is applied and will most likely require a type of cleanser that you would rather not use on your skin.

2. Wastefulness

Oily paper towels are wasteful because they can only absorb so much oil before they become saturated and can’t be used to clean anymore.

3. Need more paper towels

For a paper towel to be effective in cleaning solvents, grease, or oil, it must have some absorbent power. Without this added component, the only things the towel will attract are dust and dirt if it’s a white towel or color if the towels are dyed. In effect, you will have to double up on paper towels because one may not be enough to absorb the spill completely.

4. Increased cost of cleaning

Oily paper towels require more time and effort from both yourself and your cleaning products. They must be disposed of and replaced, or your clothes washed separately because water alone will not remove the oily residue.

5. Damaged floors, walls, and cabinets

The paper towel can end up stuck to a surface, which you would then have to scrape off, resulting in damage such as nicks, scrapes, and even holes in your floors, walls, and cabinets. The scuff marks left behind are also an eyesore that will require a lot of time or money to clean up.

6. Damaged Machinery

Many paper towel brands are non-abrasive, but even if they were, the oily residue it leaves on your hands is not something you want to be spread all over your office or home. The residue can end up in any machinery you may be using, thus changing the quality of its finish and affecting its overall function.

7. Locks up

If oils come into contact with metal components, they tend to lock together, restricting movement and even stopping them from completing their intended task properly. This is especially true regarding oil, paper towels, and machinery.

8. Requires specialist cleaning services

If the oily residue is not properly cleaned from a surface, the area will require replacement or restoration, which can be costly and time-consuming. To avoid this situation, have your oily paper towels removed by disposing of them correctly.

9. Contamination

When oily paper towels come into contact with other non-oily materials such as clothing and fabrics, the results can be disastrous, especially if the items are not washed immediately after coming into contact or at all. There is also a chance that they will contaminate other areas or surfaces which then causes additional problems.

10. Effectiveness

Oily paper towels are ineffective at cleaning up oil spills as they are made to attract dust, dirt, and solvents which only serve to spread the substance further around an area rather than absorb it. For this reason alone, you should ensure that you do not dispose of oily paper towels in your household garbage but instead use the correct disposal method.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Paper towels
  • Trash bag
  • Disposal container with lid
  • Protective gloves (optional)

Step by Step Guide: How to Dispose of Oily Paper Towels

You must dispose of oily paper towels correctly as they can cause much damage if not dumped properly. In addition to this, some health and safety issues can arise from improper disposal, which must be considered.

Step 1:

Place paper towels in a disposal container that is lined with a trash bag. Be sure to wear protective gloves if you dispose of oil-soaked towels with raw chicken juice on them, as they may carry foodborne illnesses. Carefully tie the top of the bag shut.

Step 2:

Take the container outside and place it beside your garbage can. Use heavy gloves to lift/carry the can, push it to the ground (to help with stability), remove the lid, then carefully drop it into place.

Step 3:

Please place a new, clean trash bag into the can and tie it off. If there is no lid, place a brick or heavy object over the top to help prevent animals from ripping into the trash bag. Ensure that nothing falls out as you carry it back inside.

Step 4:

Inform your local household hazardous waste center or sanitation department about your oily paper towels. They will either come and pick up the bag themselves or provide you with a hazardous waste disposal location. 

Additional Tips and Advice:

Additional Tips and Advice for Oily Paper Towels

1. Never dump oily paper towels into a trash bin that other people use. This may result in cross-contamination.

2. If you are not wearing gloves, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything else, especially your face. Also, be careful not to touch your eyes as this could cause irritation or infection.

3. Never burn oily paper towels as this can result in toxic fumes harmful to the environment and anyone who may inhale them.

4. Be sure to store your used paper towels properly until they are ready for disposal. This will help prevent cross-contamination if you need to use them again or if someone else uses them accidentally.

5. If your hands are stained by raw chicken juice, be sure to use an antibacterial scrub after removing your gloves. Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds to avoid food poisoning.

6. Do not flush oily paper towels down the toilet as they may clog it and cause damage. Flushing any paper towel can also result in sewer blockages.

7. Check with your local sanitation department if you are unsure how to properly dispose of oily paper towels.

8. Never ignore the warning labels on hazardous products, as they will tell you exactly what protective gear you will need to wear and what safety precautions you must take. This is especially important for items that may cause respiratory and skin irritation.

9. Do not attempt to use any chemical products that aren’t marked as “non-toxic” as they may cause irritation and harm you or the environment.

10. If you are using a public restroom, be sure to place used paper towels in waste bins instead of on the floor. This is an unsanitary practice that can lead to the spread of germs and disease.

Should You Recycle or Reuse Oily Paper Towels?

Should You Recycle or Reuse Oily Paper Towels

If you’re like most people who use paper towels. Your first instinct is to put the dirty ones in the trash. After all, why would you want to touch them once they’ve touched something dirty? There are certainly plenty of reasons to keep oily paper towels out of recycling bins. But should you try to reuse or recycle them instead? What’s the best way to dispose of oily paper towels?

At first, you might think it’s obvious. Why would you want to reuse something that’s touched it, especially if your hands have touched it too? The fact is that some oils are more harmful than others. And while most people assume all oils are bad for the environment. the truth is that some types of oils are less harmful and may be able to be reused or recycled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Throw Out Oil-soaked Rags?

It depends on the type of oil-soaked rag you have and the amount of oil that has been absorbed into the rag.

If the oil-soaked rag is made from vegetable oil, it is safe to throw out. However, if the rag is made from a petroleum-based oil, it should not be thrown out as it may contain harmful chemicals that could contaminate your environment.

Instead, you should try to dry the rag completely to remove any residual oil. You can also place the rag in a sealed container to prevent it from contaminating other items in your home.

What Do You Do With Oil-Based Stain Rags?

Oil-based stain rags are typically used to clean surfaces that have been stained with oil, grease, or other types of oils. They are also effective at removing food residue and cleaning up messes.

To use an oil-based stain rag, wet the rag with water and then apply the stain to the surface you want to clean. Rub the rag over the stain until it is completely removed. Rinse the surface with water to remove any residual stain or dirt.

Can Grease Rags Explode?

it depends on the type of grease rag and how it is used. However, if you use a cloth grease rag, it is best to avoid using it near open flames or other high-heat sources. If you do accidentally ignite the rag, take appropriate precautions to prevent injury.


Paper towels are often used to clean up oily messes, but disposing of them can be tricky. So here is how you should go about it! The best way to dispose of oil-soaked paper towels is by placing the soiled material in a sealable plastic bag and then tossing it.

It into a landfill or trash bin. Other options include sending the item with regular garbage pickup. Services or adding it directly to your compost pile if you have one on-site.

If there’s any chance that someone might come across this type of waste, they’re doing their own recycling. Make sure all oil traces are removed from the surface before throwing them away. Your local government likely has specific instructions for what types of materials must be recycled.

We hope this blog post on how to dispose of oily paper towels has given you some insights, and you can properly clean up any messes when they do arise.

Jennifer Branett
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