Lab Safety Spill Kits: Types, Why You Need Them, Factors to Consider, Prices

Lab safety spill kits can mean the difference between an easily cleaned accident and one that leads to a health scare or other problems, e.g., a fire.

But what should you look for in lab safety spill kits? And how do you know if you need one at all? Read on to learn what different kits contain, why you might need them, and how much they cost.

What are Lab Safety Spill Kits?

A spill kit is a collection of tools and materials used to clean up hazardous liquid spills. They are often used in industrial and commercial settings but can also be found in homes and businesses.

There are different types of spill kits available, each designed for a specific type of liquid.

Furthermore, spill kits are affordable, convenient, and easy to use. They’re also portable, so you can take them with you when moving locations, making deliveries, etc.

What’s in a spill kit?

Spill kits are usually small containers holding all the items necessary to deal with spills and other emergencies. These can include:

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Masks
  • Absorbent towels and rags
  • Disposal bins/bags
  • Many kits also contain alcohol wipes or cleaning products for disinfecting equipment and hands after an accident.
  • Some kits also contain instructions for properly disposing of hazardous materials such as pesticides or household cleaners.

Remember, the right kit should carry the materials you need for your specific emergencies. Consider drafting a checklist to guide you when shopping for one.

Types of Lab Safety Spill Kits

There are many types of spill kits available on the market. The most common include general purpose, oil-only, chemical, anti-static, and biohazard spill kits.

The type of spill kit you use depends on the kind of spill you’re dealing with. Here are some types of spill kits:

1.    General

General spill kits are designed for everyday emergencies and can be used for various spills. They typically contain a few essential items such as absorbents, rags, and tools.

Image alt text: lab safety spill kits box.

Author Credit: By Contributers2020 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

These kits can help prevent more serious problems by quickly cleaning up small spills that do not contain hazardous material. Some general spill kits also include cleaning disinfectants to help with the thorough cleaning of affected equipment or floors.

1.   Chemical

Chemical spill kits are designed for chemical incidents requiring specialized gear. These kits include respirators, regulators, gauze, and other equipment to keep personnel safe during an emergency.

You can use these with general spill kits since they provide additional protection against toxic fumes during emergencies or accidents involving chemicals or hazardous materials.

2.  Biohazard spill kits

Biohazard spill kits are intended for transporting and storing biohazardous materials such as blood and body fluids, body parts, or human remains following an accident or crime scene investigation. This helps prevent possible bloodborne pathogen exposure.

Use hazardous material(hazmat)/Biohazard spill kits only after thorough decontamination procedures at the scene of the incident. This helps control all potential sources of contamination before transporting any contaminated supplies away from the scene.

3.   Oil-only

These kits are designed to absorb oily spills, such as those from engine oil and gear oil. They are available in different capacities, depending on the number of liters that can be stored in the kit.

4.   Anti-static spill kits

These kits contain absorbent material that helps you soak up highly combustible materials such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. They are available in different capacities, depending on the number of liters you can store in the kit.

6 Reasons You Need Lab Safety Spill Kits

1.   Spills happen

Most spills are small and can be cleaned up quickly. The problem is that some spills are not so easy to clean up. Biological spills may contain pathogens that can cause disease or even death. Some spills also contain chemicals that can irritate the skin or cause respiratory problems.

2.  They’re not always easy to clean up

There are many ways to spill something on your floor, but you’ll have difficulty cleaning them all up if you don’t have a spill kit in your garage or tool shed. It’s too easy for someone to slip and fall, so having a kit handy makes it easier for you to keep your customers safe from harm.

3.   Biological & chemical spills can cause disease or Injury

A biological spill is a spill that contains blood, body fluids, or feces. A chemical spill is any spill that contains chemicals that could be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. Spills can contain both biological and chemical substances.

Biological substances include blood and body fluids such as saliva and vomit. Chemical substances include toxic liquids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and solvents.

Biological or chemical spills can cause disease or injury to anyone in your building, including your employees and customers. To prevent these types of accidents, you’ll want to ensure you have the right spill kit on hand at all times.

4.  You don’t want your employees or customers to slip and fall

In most industries, slips and falls are the number one cause of workplace injuries among employees and customers.

A spill kit speeds up the cleaning process helping you avoid slips or concerns of contracting any illnesses from the spill itself or from being exposed to it for too long.

5.   Flammable spills can trigger a fire and cause further damage

A fire is one of the most devastating problems in any manufacturing facility. A fire can destroy everything from inventory to office furniture and computers, causing thousands of dollars in damages. In addition to physical damage, fires pose a serious risk to workers’ health and safety as they escape the building.

An effective spill kit will ensure you have everything you need in an emergency so you can quickly contain the spill and call for help if necessary.

What Does OSHA Say About Spill Kits?

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires that chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards.

The SDS includes information on:

  • the chemical’s identity
  • physical and chemical characteristics
  • potential health effects
  • first-aid
  • fire-fighting measures
  • accidental release measures
  • handling and storage procedures
  • Regulatory information.

Employers must ensure that employees are trained to read and understand the information in an SDS before they can handle a hazardous chemical.

Furthermore, they should maintain copies of SDSs in readily accessible files at the workplace so that employees may access them as needed during their work shifts.

5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Spill Kit

When choosing a spill kit, there are several factors you need to consider to find the best one for your needs. Here are seven of the most important things to remember when buying a spill kit.

1.   How much spill do you plan to clean?

The size of the spill kit is also something to consider because larger kits will often have more absorbent materials and other items that may be helpful in certain situations but might not be needed in others.

2.  Is it legit?

When deciding what kind of spill kit you should use, always check whether the product is approved by the FDA. This is especially important if you want to use these products for potentially dangerous or infectious substances.

3.  Where/how do you plan to use it?

Another factor worth considering when buying spill kits is whether it will suit your unique needs. For example, some spills can happen indoors while others happen outdoors. If you need one for indoor spills, make sure the purchase aligns with those needs.

4.   How much does it cost?

The price range of the different types of spill kits available on the market can vary widely depending on what kind of material they’re made from, how many pieces they include, and which features they offer.

However, as a general rule, there tend to be cheaper options than higher-priced ones – so it pays to do some research before making any purchases!

5.   Material

Another thing to remember when buying spill kits is whether or not you want ones made from specific materials. For example, some kits are made of a paper towel-like material called cellulose sponges.

These tend to be very absorbent and are considered much more eco-friendly than others because they can be easily composted or repurposed for other uses after being used for spills.

The downside is that these kits may take longer to dry out due to their composition, especially if you leave some oil after cleaning up a spill.

How to Clean a Spill With Lab Safety Spill Kits?

<h3>Step 1: Plan Your Cleanup<h3>

The first step in using a spill kit is planning your cleanup. Once you know the location of the spill, determine if it’s safe to walk through the area. If not, consider blocking off a section with tape or other material.

Also, consider any hazards present at the scene, such as chemicals or electrical equipment that could cause injury if touched.

Step 2: Gather the Supplies

When you plan your cleanup, gather all supplies needed for it.

This list includes:

  • A bucket or other container for collecting and disposing of waste,
  • A stiff brush to scrub away debris from carpet or upholstery, liquid detergent or bleach (if spills are on fabric)
  • Rags and paper towels to wipe up spills immediately after they happen
  • Duct tape to seal around rugs and carpets to prevent further spills from occurring.

Other supplies include a broom, sponge mop or wet/dry vacuum cleaner, cloths and sponges, absorbent pads, rags, or paper towels. If needed, get other supplies like gloves or safety goggles.

Step 3: Assemble the Kit

Assemble all of the supplies into a spill kit container so that they are easy to find when you need them during cleanups.

Step 4: Read guidelines.

The first step in using a spill kit is to read the instructions and make sure you know exactly what you should do. Spills may require different cleaning methods depending on what type of surface they have occurred on, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Step 5: Put on PPE

The first step is to put on protective equipment such as gloves, a face shield, or goggles. This will prevent your eyes from being damaged if there is a splash of liquid near them.

You may also need to wear nitrile gloves, which protect against chemicals and irritants. Make sure you wear long sleeves and trousers to protect yourself from splashes of liquid that could otherwise soak through your clothes.

Step 6: Use the absorbent to clean the spill

The absorbent material has been explicitly designed for spill kits so it can be washed and reused repeatedly without losing effectiveness or getting dirty.

Step 7: Dispose of the material used

You should dispose of used absorbent by placing it in a sealed plastic bag and throwing it into your green waste bin once you’ve finished with it.

This will limit exposure to unhygienic materials used in other areas of your home, such as toilet bowls, dustbins, etc., making them less likely to become contaminated with harmful bacteria and viruses causing illness such as Legionnaires.

Step 8: Finish up and clean your hands

Use the water squirters and detergent to clean up any remaining material from your floor. Wash your hands with soap and water and ensure they are dry before leaving the area.

How to Dispose of Chemical and Biological Spills

Disposing Biological Spills

When cleaning up your pet’s or human’s biological spills, it’s a good idea to dispose of the absorbent into a biohazard bag and seal it. This way, you’ll be able to dispose of the bag properly if you need to pass it on to someone else.


Biological spills include animal blood, urine, feces, vomit, and other body fluids. Consider cleaning these immediately by thoroughly wiping them up with a dry cloth or paper towels.

Image alt text: lab safety spill kits. A picture of a biohazard bag used to dispose biological lab spills.

Author credit: By Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) –, Public Domain,

Then place the waste in a leak-proof container (such as a plastic grocery bag) and discard it in a non-hazardous trash receptacle. Contact your local health department or veterinarian if you have questions about what to do after a biological spill.

Disposing Chemical Spills

Chemical spills include bleach, turpentine, paint thinner, gasoline, and other petroleum products. All chemical spills should be contained by covering them with paper towels or cloths soaked in water or detergent.

Once all the chemical is absorbed, and splatters are removed from the spill area, clean up any remaining residue. You can use an absorbent cloth such as soil/sand or kitty litter mixed with water.

Then place all of this material back into its original container for disposal later on at an off-site location that meets state requirements for hazardous waste disposal (such as a local landfill).

It is also crucial that you do not leave any chemical-soaked absorbents around where children could touch them and put their hands in their mouths.

How Much Does a Spill Kit Cost?

The price of a Spill Kit depends on the type and size. They cost anywhere from $2 for small pocket packets to over $400 for 240L spill kits.

Chemical, anti-static, and biohazard spill kits are more expensive than general purpose kits because the liquids they absorb need certain precautions when handling them.

Some spill kits have extra tools like paper towels, rags, tape, and waste bags included in the costs, while others do not.

If you want to buy a specific type of spill kit or use one tested in the lab, it will be more expensive than buying one that has not been put through such tests yet.

Pocket-friendly spill wipes

Whether a small spill or a large one, a spill kit is an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan. That’s why companies are venturing into spill kits of different sizes to fit the needs of each customer.

Pocket-friendly spill wipes are the most basic, easy-to-carry, and use kit. You can take them anywhere, they don’t take up much space in your bag, and they are perfect for cleaning up any spills, e.g., biofluids.

These spill wipes are great for cleaning up and are relatively cheaper than standard spill kits. This is probably the best option for you if you want something small and lightweight. They also come in handy if you are in a worksite prone to emergencies.

Best Place to Keep Lab Safety Spill Kits         

Spill kits are a great way to keep your home or office safe. The best place to keep a spill kit is in an open area, away from moisture. This will guarantee easy access during emergencies, and your kit won’t get contaminated by moisture or out-of-date materials.

What is Spill Response Training? Why Do You Need It?

Spill response training is a process that teaches the basics of spill response, including the collection and cleanup of hazardous materials.

This type of training is often required for those in the emergency management sector responsible for responding to chemical spills and other emergencies.

Spill response training classes: what to expect

You can use your spill response training for different spills, including oil, chemicals, and biofluids.

It may also be part of a more extensive program that includes training in other areas such as fire safety, emergency medical services (EMS), and HAZMAT operations.

Spill response training covers the following topics:

  • how to prevent spills from happening in the first place,
  • how to respond once a spill has occurred.
  • Different types of spills
  • The dangers/risks of different types of spills
  • How to clean up spills
  • How to use spill kits

It also teaches them how to properly contain hazardous materials, such as oil and other petroleum products, so they do not pollute their environment or risk human health or safety.

Why Do You Need Spill Response Training?

Spill response training is designed to help you prepare for the response to a spill. The most important part of a spill response plan is having a trained, experienced staff member in charge of the response.

These courses can help you develop this person and ensure they are ready to handle any situation.

Spill response training aims to reduce the possibility of a severe accident by ensuring that everyone in your facility knows how to respond when there is an accident. By having your employees trained on spill response, you can avoid costly lawsuits and prevent accidents from occurring.

Wrapping Up on Lab Safety Spill Kits

There are four main types of spill kits: general purpose, oil-only, chemical, and biohazard. General-purpose spill kits can be used for most liquids, while oil-only spill kits are for, you guessed it, oil spills. Chemical spill kits are for more corrosive chemicals, and hazmat spill kits are for hazardous materials.

These days, most industrial and commercial facilities are required to have lab safety spill kits on hand, more so if they work with blood or body fluids like urine, feces, or vomit.

These spills can be extremely hazardous, so cleaning them up as quickly as possible can help you avoid further contamination from germs like Hepatitis and E-Coli.

The key to safely cleaning up these kinds of spills lies in your choice of spill kit and the supplies you put inside it.