Selecting the right color application

Have you noticed how some absorbents are grey in colour, some are white and others are yellow? This is an industry standard that remains constant to help users identify which type they need at a moment's notice. Below we've explained what color to use for different types of spills and when to use them.

Oil Only

Oil only adsorbents are best used outdoors to absorb just oil-based spills such as petroleum, diesel and solvents (technically referred to as hydrophobic). These products are white or blue in colour and as with the other types of adsorbents they come in a range of shapes and sizes.


Universal absorbents are grey in color. As a general rule of thumb if the spill has happened indoors use a grey product to absorb both oil- and waterbased substances (technically referred to as hydrophilic).


Hazmat or aggressive substance spills require polypropylene meltblown absorbents. These are yellow in color (Similar to Universal, they are technically described as hydrophilic). Please remember that chemical spills can be extremely hazardous and should not be cleaned up without the correct training or protective equipment.

Sorbent Selection Guide