7 Deadly Sins of Outdoor Oil Spill Control

We spoke to environmental professionals from all sorts of mobile outdoor industries to find out what their biggest challenges were in oil spill control and containment.

Here's what they had to say:

  1. Traditional white spill pads hate water and don't work in wet weather
  2. Conventional white oil spill pads, socks and booms take up too much space
  3. Old-fashioned oil spill sorbents take too long to deploy and clean up
  4. Outdated oil spill cleanup materials create too much waste
  5. Wimpy white oil spill products disintegrate in sunlight in a few short weeks
  6. Antiquated white oil spill materials are designed to be tossed after one use
  7. Overall cost to buy, ship, store, move, depoly, cleanup and dispose of white oil spill products is far too high

Real Solutions

We created Spilltration® spill control products to fill a big void that the godfathers of the absorbent industry had basically ignored… cleaning up oil and fuel spills in the rugged outdoors (especially in wet weather). Oil spill clean up equipment needed an upgrade.

We weren’t trying to be all things to all people. Instead we focused on one set of problems… absorbing oil and fuel and allowing clean water to filter through.

The more we focused on the mobile industrial workforce during inclement weather, the more we realized that the Good Ol’ Absorbent Boys had been resting on their rumps. They probably knew their oil spill products didn’t work well in wet conditions, but that just meant customers had to use more and more and more…. and we guess they figured that more is better.

But that’s not how we think. We think less is better. Waste is bad. Time is money. Products should constantly evolve. Customers should get better value as time goes by.

In the final analysis, we realized that old-fashioned absorbents were guilty of what we call The Seven Deadly Sins of Outdoor Oil Spill Control.

Let’s take a look at how we engineered Spilltration® products to atone for those sins with real solutions.

Sin #1

PRIDE: Functionality

water beads on white pads prevent oil from reaching absorbent

Water beads up on white pads.  This ultimately prevents oil from reaching the absorbent pad.

White pads say, “So what. The Spilltration® products absorb oil and filter water.  I was engineered to HATE water and I’m darn proud of it. Do you have a problem with that?”

Old-fashioned oil spill products feel they have every right to be proud. They’ve been the go-to control and containment method for oil and fuel spills for the past several decades. Then, along comes Spilltration®. All of a sudden, people are noticing the ways their white spill pads have been letting them down. That’s enough to hurt anyone’s pride.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“My traditional white spill control materials don’t do their job when moisture or rain comes into play.”

If you’re like many customers, you may be tired of relying on outdated sorbents simply because that’s all there is to choose from.

Have you been experiencing some of these spill control problems, year after year?

  1. Have you noticed that white oil spill pads are only about 30% effective in wet conditions?
  2. Does rain and moisture ‘bead up’ on your white oil-only pads and block oil absorption?
  3. Have you seen an oil sheen or stain that runs beyond your old white oil pads, pillows and socks?
oil spreads 100x faster in wet conditions

Are your profits going down the drain?

Did you know that oil spills spread 100 times faster in wet weather than in dry conditions? Can your current spill control products stand up to wet and rainy conditions?

Here are some interesting facts about wet weather spill control:

According to Industrial Supply Magazine, traditional sorbents operate at less than one-third of their capacity in wet weather. If you’ve tried to contain hydrocarbon leaks and drips (think motor oil, diesel, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, and many others) in the rain, then you are already familiar with this struggle.

Rain water beads up on white oil-only pads and creates a barrier that cuts oil absorption by 400-500%.

Spilltration's Virtue #1: HUMILITY


Traditional spill cleanup materials are no match for wet weather and can cost you more in products, equipment and labor! If you’ve ever tried to prevent oil leaks and drips from spreading, you know what we’re talking about. With Spilltration® Husky Polybacked Rugs you can finally have “set and forget” products that will solve your problems.

Here’s the truth: Rainwater makes cleanup harder. Oil spreads faster and farther when the ground is wet. So, you need spill cleanup materials that are engineered to work quickly in the rain. You need wet weather solutions that can trap oil, while allowing clean and clear water to filter through.

Spilltration® works!

You might think we have been ruthlessly bashing old-fashioned spill cleanup materials because they are ineffective when wet. Should you throw away all your current spill kit materials and replace them with Spilltration products?

Heck No!

Traditional sorbents work fine in most dry conditions—even if they are wimpy in the rain (shhhh… we don’t want to hurt their feelings). So, we recommend you pack a few key Spilltration® Products in your existing kits for a rainy day.

And if you want to replace ALL your materials with Spilltration®, we promise we won’t mind.

Does any of this look familiar?

Outdoor Oil Leaks - the old way or our way?

Old white spill pads don’t work. Rain washes oil down the drain. Husky Rugs absorb oil and allow clean water to filter through.

Here’s what real customers are saying:

Spilltration products are the first true innovation that I have seen in two decades. They source their raw materials in an environmentally sound fashion, they know the holding capacity of their product, and if you use the poly-backed product you directly address the local and federal EPA’s primary concern; oil getting into the ground. Nobody else does that.” —Area Manager, Electric Utilities Transmission and Distribution

Have you just accepted that the extra clean-up and material costs are part of the job? Are you okay budgeting for increased labor hours and material? You may be shocked to know that solutions to your spill problems exist. Yes, they do exist. And they actually work.

When it comes to those old white pads, you know what they say, “Pride goeth before the fall”. Maybe it’s time outdated sorbents take a lesson in humility and see that other options finally exist out there. It’s called Spilltration®.

spilltration husky polybacked rug - easier spill containment

Sin #2

GREED: Space


White sorbent booms and pads say, “So, the Spilltration® family is all about sharing their space with others. Look how skinny they are. I bet they have to starve to get that thin. In our family, we were taught to hog up all the room you can. There’s only so much to go around, and if we don’t grab it someone else will.”

Are you tired of your spill control products dictating how you run your operation? Space is a precious commodity, especially in mobile applications.

Frustrated with your spill control?

Storage space is tight on emergency vehicles. Old-fashioned oil spill booms take up 400% too much space.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“I have space constraints and traditional materials are simply too bulky.”

Bulky materials mean increased spending from transportation to storage costs. Not only that, you spend more in increased labor hours to deploy bulky sorbents. Oil spills spread fast, especially in wet weather. You need ample spill control solutions on hand to tackle those leaks and spills quickly and efficiently.

Take back the space in your vehicles, mobile equipment and warehouses by using oil leak and spill control products that were designed with your unique work environment in mind.

Spilltration's Virtue #2: CHARITY


Standard sorbents are bulky. And bulky sorbents require more storage space than you have access to. If you have a bunch of bulky sorbents, your workers and cleanup teams probably don’t have access to sufficient stocks in your storerooms – not to mention your response vehicles.

Due to the bulkiness of traditional spill control materials, we’ve heard over and over again that it’s difficult for people to keep enough materials in the right places. That’s exactly why our team developed innovative spill containment and cleanup tools that are specifically designed to take up 80% less space. Spilltration® has sacrificed its size and bulk to give you practical solutions to your everyday problems.

As a result of our impressive Smoosh-packing™ vacuum compression, you can fit 4x more products in the same amount of space as ever before. This seriously maximizes what you can pack into your vehicles, equipment, service trucks, emergency vehicles and spill kits and dramatically improves how well equipped you are to respond to oil and fuel spills.

Smooshed™ Spilltration® kits

SmooshKit™ Product Line
Img. 1 – Unsmooshed Spilltration® on left. SmooshKit™ on right.
Img. 2 – 25 gallons of sorbency in SmooshKits™ on left. 5 gallons in traditional spill kit on right.
Img. 3 – Seat Pocket SmooshKit™ stows anywhere, goes anywhere.

Compared to the traditional spill cleanup materials, Spilltration® Products save you big time $$$!

Here’s how:

  • 400% less storage space needed
  • Lower your shipping costs by 50%
  • 3–10x faster deployment
  • 4–5x less materials used
  • Reduce waste disposal costs by up to 400%
  • Save up to 500% in overall usage costs

If you have space constraints, grab a SmooshKit.

If you are a mobile worker, space is at a premium in your vehicles. Old white oil spill pads hog up too much space. We engineered the SmooshKit line to fit your tight spaces.

SmooshKits compact sorbents

SmooshKits pack a ton of sorbents into a tiny space!

Here’s what a real customer has to say:

“The Smooshkit is a great fit for our smaller fleet vehicles.  It fits perfectly behind a seat and can absorb a lot more oil compared to other products – 5 gallons of oil while only weighing 2 pounds.  It also works well in wet conditions. The Smooshkit is a great step up from the outdated products that we previously used and helps us quickly mitigate any incident.”

— A Senior Environmental Coordinator at a major electric and gas distribution utility company

Spilltration Oil Spill Smooshkit

Sin #3

SLOTH: Speed


Old fashioned white booms look at a speedy patent pending SpillBoa™ and say, “OK, so We’re slow and hard to work with. We’ve lived this way for three generations and we’re entitled to it. If the SpillBoa™ dude wants to work fast,let him go ahead.”

The old booms think they have earned the right to take it easy. While they may be in their golden years, you still have a job to do. You value speed and efficiency when it comes to containing spills. And you don’t have time to waste.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“The size and weight of my sorbents makes it difficult to deploy in a timely fashion.”

The longer it takes for you to contain a spill, the more damage it can do to the environment, jobsites and waterways. And, the more damage it does to your wallet. From increased labor hours, remediation costs, litigation fees and environmental protection fines, ineffective spill containment can cost hundreds, if not several thousand dollars.

Spilltration's Virtue #3: DILIGENCE


We’ve worked with folks in the spill cleanup world for four decades. What we’ve learned is that your team needs tools that can deploy quickly and contain a spill until spill cleanup professionals arrive.

Mobile oil and fuel spills seem to happen when you least expect…a leaky diesel tank, ruptured hydraulic hose or electric transformer-oil blowout. The top priority is to contain the spill quickly to keep it from spreading.

Quick spill containment prevents catastrophe to the environment and the jobsite.

Patent pending SpillBoa™ in action

What does this mean for you?  You need to be prepared to mobilize and contain as quickly as possible. The faster you can respond, the more damage that you prevent. Not only that, but your spill control materials should be designed to pick up hydrocarbons quickly.

spillboa rapid spill containment deployment

Don’t waste time, energy, and space on stocking and deploying boom. The SpillBoa™ was designed with rapid deployment in mind. Out with the old, in with the new.

Spilltration® products deploy up to 10x faster. They also weigh up to 90% less than traditional sorbents, making them easier to use.  

You don’t need an advanced degree in sorbent technology to be able to use these products effectively.

This is what real customers have to say:

“As a spill-response professional, I’m always looking for ways to help our customers save time and money. As soon as we saw the [patent pending] SpillBoa™ barrier in action, we recommended it to all our clients to keep in their vehicles and equipment as a first line of defense. It deploys up to 40 times faster than traditional products and helps mitigate the impact of oil and fuel spills.”Tim Acri, COO, Environmental Management Specialists

This [patent pending SpillBoa™] is nice. We can keep several in one compartment and be able to deploy them faster, and tie them together to make whatever length we need for linear footage.”

“Where we are located, we have a lot of streams that we take care of. You get motor vehicle accidents in a stream or something, we can deploy this [the patent pending SpillBoa™] quickly. Toss it from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed and contain the situation. And we can use this for more than one thing […] It’s not just a floating boom. It’s maybe containing a situation on the ground.”Jack McCloskey, Assistant Chief, Excelsior Volunteer Fire Company

Spillboa Oil Spill Containment

Sin #4



Your pile of wasted booms has an ulterior motive. They are guided by a simple mission statement that says to create as much waste as they can in the shortest amount of time possible.

Their mantra: “Our mission is to fill up the landfills and incinerators, one spill at a time.”

Don’t let them take advantage of your trusting nature. They’ve relied on the lack of sustainable products in the sorbent industry for years. They want you to believe that a better way doesn’t exist.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“My existing spill control materials create too much waste.”

oil spill control absorbant pads

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Clay chips absorb rain water and reduce oil absorption by 95%—forcing you to use 20% more product.
  • You constantly have to replace your old-fashioned pads that blow away in the wind.
  • Rainwater beads up on your outdated spill pads and reduces absorption up to 500%.

Using ineffective sorbent material is just plain harmful to the environment, as well as your wallet. Spills that can’t be quickly contained run the risk of contaminating waterways and soil. Animals, plant and marine life are impacted by sorbents that don’t work. And, landfills are quickly reaching capacity. Isn’t it time to stop your outdated sorbent’s evil plans?

We were first exposed to the evil inefficiencies and waste related to traditional spill control materials while performing a customer audit.  When we dove into the company’s dumpsters to see what they were using, we were shocked to find that the absorbents were only 30% saturated with oil. Does this sound familiar to you?

How clay pellets work in the rain

When your sorbents are only 30% saturated, that means that you are spending 70% on unused spill control products. Yet, you don’t just pay 70% extra for the unused sorbents. You also pay disposal costs on that wasted product. It doesn’t end there. You also pay labor costs for employees to throw down and pick up those unused products. Seems a little crazy, no?

How white spill pads work in the rain

We’ve identified why your sorbents are only functioning at about 30%. Water saturates clay pellets and grey spill pads, leaving no room for oil to be absorbed. And white spill pads aren’t much better. Water beads up on the white pad’s exterior and forms a barrier that prevents oil from penetrating.

Spilltration's Virtue #4: TEMPERANCE


We want to let you in on a little secret, a better way does exist.

Spilltration® fibers grab and hold oil while allowing clean water to wick through. Oil sticks. Water wicks.

how spilltration works to contain oil spill in wet weather

What does that mean for you? You use less material and save 600% to 400% on products, labor and disposal costs—not to mention preventing the oil spill from reaching waterways. That’s a victory for you and the environment.

You didn’t win this time white spill pads!

Check out this case study:

Deep Well Case Study

Deep Well Case Study

Background: Deep Well Energy Services operates 11 service rigs and specializes in completions of oil and gas wells throughout the Appalachian region.

Problem: Regular cleaning and inspection of rig “tongs” is required to make sure all bolts, pins, springs and mechanical parts are in top operating condition. Pressure washing is required to remove oil, grease and pipe dope before inspection. The resulting oily wastewater had to be hauled away, costing hundreds of dollars each time.

Solution: Deep Well wanted to capture the oily residue in its wash station and filter the water at the same time. Spilltration® rugs were designed to line the bottom of the basin to absorb the oily effluent and allow clean water to filter through.

Results: Oily wastewater has been eliminated, saving Deep Well thousands of dollars each year.

“I can’t believe how well Spilltration® Rugs and Pads work on our tong wash station. It’s almost insane.” — George Milich, Deep Well, Purchasing Director

Huskypads spill control

Sin #5

WRATH: Ultraviolet Exposure


The more jealous white spill pads become, the more they try to lash out.

UV disintegrates spill control products

Scattered pieces of UV

You can almost hear those white spill pads saying, “If you set me out in the scalding sun, I’m gonna self-destruct in a few short weeks. Then, I’ll punish you by having to clean up my disintegrated mess”

Those temper tantrums aren’t going to last much longer once you learn about another important feature of Spilltration® products.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“My spill control materials disintegrate when left outdoors in the UV.”

“For years we have been frustrated with the ineffectiveness of white spill pads and socks for transformer oil leaks at our substations.  They degrade to flakes in sunlight, blow all around the site and allow oil to wash out in rainy weather.” — Substation Maintenance and Environmental Coordinator

Spilltration's Virtue #5: PATIENCE


It’s no coincidence that our customers frequently ask, “Will your stuff turn to powder when exposed to UV sunlight?”

Husky Rug Spill Control Product in Action

Hard Husky Rug is still doing its job after 63 days under the sun (Powdery pile of polypropylene on right).

As environmental professionals, you are already aware that UV degradation is a serious factor that impacts the quality of your spill control materials.

Here’s why:

Meltblown polypropylene materials are made from simple chain polymers. UV light causes the bonds holding the polymers to break and weaken. This makes polypropylene less suitable for long-term, outdoor sunlight exposure.

Spilltration® Husky fibers are more complex, using more intricate properties between the two binding groups. Overall, their UV resistance, compared to polypropylene, is much greater.

What This Means for You

If you utilize spill control products in the outdoors, you need a material that is suitable for environmental exposure. Due to their chemical properties, polypropylene-based absorbents will break down under UV rays. That may not be the best option for you. If you’re looking for a long-term outdoor spill control solution, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’d be more than happy to provide you with sample Spilltration® materials to test for your specific application.

Here’s what a real customer has to say:

“Frayed polypropylene mats are labor intensive to clean up once they start disintegrating. It’s a huge pain for us to remove all of the little white pieces of dust from rocks and gravel. We’re happy that this is no longer an issue with Spilltration® Husky Polybacked  material.” — Environmental Professional, Utilities

husky strip spill containment

Sin #6

LUST: Unsustainability


A dirty pile of old white oil spill pads are talking, “Did you see the new Spilltration® products? They can be squeezed out and used over and over again. It makes us look stupid. They act like a sponge and we act like a paper towel. I lay awake at nights, craving to be more useful. I get thrown away after one use. I want to be used over and over again. Does this make me a bad boom?”

Old-fashioned sorbents might act like they are confident in what they are. Don’t let them fool you. They secretly want to be just like their younger and more innovative cousin, Spilltration®. They just don’t know how. They were never given the opportunity.

Dirty pile of old white oil spill pads.

Dirty pile of old white oil spill pads.

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“My spill control materials are designed for one-time use and we’re looking for a more sustainable solution.”

Old-fashioned spill products are wasteful.

We’re all trying to be more mindful and reduce our footprint and single-use sorbents don’t help that cause. If only there was a way to reuse sorbent material.

Spilltration's Virtue #6: CHASTITY


There is a way! We were tired of seeing barely used materials being sent to the landfill. So we developed products that can be wrung out and reused. That not only reduces unnecessary waste, but it saves you money. Cut your spill material and disposal costs by up to 80%!

Spilltration Shammy Towel grabs oil and filters clean water

It doesn’t make sense to throw away anything after one use, especially when it can be so damaging to the world we live in.

Environmental Footprint Reduction and Waste Reduction of Spilltration®:

  • Lasts up to 5x longer in the outdoors
  • Work to 100% efficiency (instead of 30%)
  • Can be wrung out and re-used over and over again


Here’s what real customers had to say:

“Spilltration® products also work in wet conditions, which are a real possibility— so, a huge upgrade. They’re made from recycled materials and can be reused, which makes them environmentally friendly and cost-effective. This product really allows us to do our jobs better.” — Senior Environmental Coordinator – Transmission & Distribution

“We really like Spilltration® Oil Shammy Towels, because you can get them saturated, squeeze them out and re-use them over and over.” — Major Spill Contractor

Oil shammy cleanup

Sin #7

ENVY: Cost

traditional spill control is envious of spilltration cost savings

One Friday afternoon at work, a group of outdated white oil pads and booms were checking out the new kids in town, SmooshKit™ and patent pending SpillBoa™.

“Look at those Spilltration® products, all slim and sleek,” Boom said.

“They take up less space,” Spill Pad ranted. “They save the customer all kinds of time and money. They create 5x less waste. They get all the advantages. I wish we had never been born into this family! How can we take them down?”

It’s understandable that they are feeling envious of Smooshkit™ and patent pending SpillBoa™. They feel as though they are being replaced. And they are. As more and more professionals discover the financial benefits of using Spilltration® products, outdated solutions are sitting on the sidelines— or worse, the closet..

Here’s what customers have been saying for years:

“My existing spill control materials aren’t doing the job and are costing me extra in wasted materials, disposal, storage, environmental fines, legal fees and remediation.”

Are you literally throwing money down the drain?throwing money in the drain

Spilltration's Virtue #7: KINDNESS


Spilltration® is kind to your budget and your wallet. Rather than being forced to constantly buy new spill control products and materials, Spilltration® is designed to be effective in wet conditions and reusable, saving your countless dollars every year. Its compact size also minimizes costs associated with storage and transportation.

Old-fashioned oil spill cleanup gear is worthless in wet weather.

Cleanup costs increase exponentially after the initial purchase. Traditional spill control costs rise because:

  • Shipping is 2x-3x more
  • Space required is 400% greater
  • Deployment can take up to 40x longer
  • Cleanup consumes twice the amount of time
  • Waste disposal costs can be 4x-10x higher
  • Environmental damages, fines, legal fees, remediation costs, and bad publicity are boundless

The consequences of using inefficient sorbents are huge. Harm to the environment and your company reputation are serious drawbacks. Don’t take chances with outdated solutions that don’t work.

Spill Control Product Cost Comparison

Check out these recent reports:

Springfield, Massachusetts, 2015—The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection fined a power utility $10,000 for failing to notify the state properly after an oil spill. A vehicle hit an electric pole with a transformer, spilling 25 gallons of oil from the transformer and contaminating the vehicle, soil and pavement.

Scranton, Pennsylvania, 2016—The Department of Environmental Protection fined a company almost $43,000 for a fuel oil spill. A 508,000 gallon tank leaked hundreds of gallons of fuel oil into the sewers and the Lackawanna River in July 2014.

Kill the Spill and Cut Your Costs with Spilltration® Products

Spilltration protects the environment and your wallet in the following ways:

  • Shipping costs are 2x-3x lower
  • Storage space is reduced by 4x
  • Deployment is 40x faster
  • Cleanup takes 50% less time
  • Waste disposal costs are 4x-10x lower
  • Prevention of environmental damages, fines, legal fees, remediation costs, and bad publicity. Priceless.

Here’s what a real customer had to say:

“Our site is a VPP STAR site and [we] maintain work-class housekeeping standards. Due to Spilltration® we have been able to not only sustain our efforts in safety and housekeeping, but we have been able to impact our bottom line as well. By utilizing Spilltration®, we have been able to reduce costs in the traditional ‘spill kit’ material. Thank you again to HalenHardy™ for introducing [us] to Spilltration®!” — HESQP Coordinator, VPP Star Site – Chemical Refinery

Spilltration® products are specifically designed to withstand the rigors of the outdoors

We believe it’s time to make up for the sins of yesterday’s spill control options. We understand that effective spill control isn’t an option in the work that you do, it’s a necessity. You can’t afford to shut down operations due to pesky oil leaks and spills. That’s why we created solutions to the biggest challenges you face.

If you store, transport or otherwise handle oil or fuel, we have your solution. Having a sustainable response strategy will save you on paperwork, legal fees, fines, material costs, labor hours and production time. Not to mention, it will create a safer workplace and environment.

Spilltration products