What to use as oil drain pan

What to use as oil drain pan

If you don’t have a oil drain pan, you can use Basic Plastic Pans, Metal Pans or a big laundry detergent container that you’ve cleaned out. Just make sure it’s big enough to hold all the oil from your car and that it won’t melt or leak when the hot oil touches it. If your container doesn’t have a spout, you might think about making one so it’s easier to pour out the oil when you’re done. Just be sure it’s safe and sturdy for the job!

You can use following pans as an oil drain pan
  • Basic Plastic Pans: Plastic pans are lightweight and affordable, making them a good choice for those who do occasional oil changes. However, they might not be the best option for very hot oil, as plastic can warp or melt.
  • High-Capacity Pans: If you tend to change oil for multiple vehicles or one with a large oil capacity, a high-capacity pan can be very practical. These pans allow you to change oil several times before needing to empty them, which is convenient.
  • Metal Pans: These are more durable than plastic and can handle high temperatures better. They are a great choice for frequent users who need a sturdy and long-lasting solution.

Understanding the Basics of Oil Drain Pans

Oil drain pan is a specialized tool designed to make your oil change process cleaner and more efficient. The key features is a wide mouth for easy oil collection, a spout for spill-free disposal, and durable construction that can handle hot oil without deforming.

DIY Options

Creating your own oil drain pan can be a affordable project. You might repurpose old containers like large detergent bottles or even modify a large Tupperware with a spout. However, ensure that any homemade solution can safely handle the heat and chemical composition of used motor oil.

Environmental Considerations

Proper disposal of oil is crucial. Your oil drain pan should facilitate easy transfer to a recycling center. Remember, improperly disposed oil can harm the environment. Always check local regulations regarding oil disposal to ensure you’re in compliance.


Selecting the right oil drain pan might seem not important, but it’s a key component in performing an effective and environmentally responsible oil change. Whether you opt for a store bought option or decide to craft a custom solution, ensure that it meets your specific needs in terms of capacity, durability, and ease of use. Remember, the goal is to make your maintenance work as clean and straightforward as possible.

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