Collection: Universal Absorbents

Universal Absorbents

When spills occur, it’s important to make sure that they’re contained and cleaned up as efficiently and safely as possible. TRADESAFE’s universal absorbents are made to help you handle various kinds of spills without any issues.

These universal absorbents are essential to any business that has to be prepared for the occasional spill. Universal absorbents can be used for all kinds of liquids, including oil, solvents, and various water-based liquids. Thus, it’s best to have these absorbents on hand to make sure that you’ll be prepared whenever an emergency occurs.


What are absorbents used for?

Various kinds of facilities that store various kinds of liquids are prone to accidental spills. Containment for these liquids can fail for a variety of reasons, leading to spills that can be hazardous to employees. Absorbents are made to contain these spills, keep them from spreading and getting into drainage systems, and make them easier to clean up.

What are universal absorbents?

Universal absorbents are absorbent pads, socks, and pillows that can absorb a variety of liquids. They can work with oil-based liquids, water-based liquids, coolants, solvents, and the like.

Conversely, oil-only absorbents are made to absorb only oil-based liquids. They are also often made of hydrophobic materials, which means that they’re not compatible with water-based liquids.

How much liquid can absorbents soak up?

This can depend on the type of absorbent. Absorbent pillows, for example, are made to absorb large amounts of liquid. Absorbent pads, meanwhile, are made for managing smaller spills. Synthetic absorbents, such as those made of polypropylene, can absorb liquid up to 70 times their weight. Natural organic and inorganic absorbents, meanwhile, are able to absorb less liquid vis-a-vis their weight.

What are the components of TRADESAFE Universal Absorbent Kits?

TRADESAFE Universal Kits come in bag and bin variants. The bin has more components and includes a storage drum, but the bag has equally useful components as the bin, so it might depend on the number of spills you anticipate to happen in your workplace. These kits contain the following components and the materials they are made with:

  • Pads, Socks, and Pillows: Spunbond fabric and melt-blown polypropylene
  • Gloves: Nitrile butadiene rubber
  • Glasses: Polycarbonate lens + PVC frame
  • Haz-Mat Bag: Polyethylene disposable bags
  • Storage Bag: Nylon duffle bag
  • Storage Drum (Only in Universal Absorbent Kit #2): HDPE-injection bin

What are the differences between absorbent pads, pillows, and socks?

Use absorbent pads to clean up low-volume spills. TRADESAFE Universal Pad (15” x 19”) can absorb up to 20 ounces per pad. They are made to be easily tearable so that you can quickly respond to a spill incident.

If you want to contain large spills that are dangerously spreading fast, use absorbent socks. With them, you can create a dike where liquid cannot penetrate so that you will have less area to clean up. Some homeowners use them on window sills and gaps under the door to keep rainwater or melted snow out of their houses.

Absorbent pillows are best for quickly soaking up a lot of liquid spills in a single area. Made with industry-grade and high-quality synthetic materials, TRADESAFE Absorbent Pillows (18” x 18”) can absorb up to 70 times their weight in liquids.

I own an auto repair shop. What absorbents should I use?

TRADESAFE recommends you stash universal absorbents in your car repair shop. They can absorb water and most oils, solvents, lubricants, and other liquid chemicals present in auto repair shops. TRADESAFE absorbents are meant to remedy a spill incident, but they will not replace the utmost safety that proper storage, following safety protocols, and other safety practices bring.

Can I reuse universal absorbents?

We recommend disposing of used absorbents properly after using them. If you used an absorbent for clean water spill only, it can be safe for reuse. But if you have used it to clean up hazardous liquid or water you are unsure whether it contains harmful chemicals, it is best to dispose it immediately.

Can I use universal absorbents for medical spills?

In hospitals and other medical establishments, hazardous substances such as body fluids, cleaning liquids, and other chemicals are constantly present and in close proximity to hundreds of people. As such, it is very important to clean medical spills up as soon as they happen. Yes, you can use TRADESAFE Universal Absorbents for medical spills but we recommend you get our spill kits as they contain PPE (gloves and eye protection goggles) and haz-mat disposal bags. 

Depending on the type of medical hazardous liquid you are going to clean up, please use additional PPE such as face shields and respirators to keep yourself safe.

How do we dispose of medical waste?

Medical waste is classified as hazardous, so it must be disposed of in accordance with the US government rules and regulations. There are specifications on the facility and transportation requirements that must be used for disposing of medical waste, and a violator can be penalized for up to $250,000 (individual) or $500,000 (company) if these specifications are violated.

For regulated medical waste, also known as biomedical waste or clinical waste, the US DOT listed a set of guidelines under its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.