Best spill control · Best value · Less waste

Oil Retention Pillows

The smarter, cleaner way to soak up spills. 100% retention of contaminants – even when wrung out.

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  • Fast, effective response to spills
  • Remove a sheen or reduce a slick before dewatering
  • Use proactively in bunds and tanks
  • Avoid the cost and delay of using third party contractors
  • Our proprietary smart polymer turns oil and fuel into solid rubber – trapping it inside
  • Available in 3 sizes: 1L, 4L & 8L oil retention
  • Standard COSHH disposal

Green Rhino Oil Retention Pillows are the most effective way to soak up spills of hydrocarbons on contained areas of standing water. Our smart polymer pillows are unique in retaining oils and fuels permanently. Contaminants will not drain out when the pillow is saturated.

Use our Oil Retention Pillows to clean up a sheen or minor spill before discharging water to the environment or surface water drains. This fast and effective approach encourages compliant behaviour by operatives and can save you thousands on vacuum tankering or other third-party waste disposal services.

Our oil-absorbent pillows will remove all hydrocarbons dispersed in water, whether in the emulsified or dissolved phase, and the heavier collection of settled oil on the bed of an excavation.Pillows are available in three sizes – 1, 4 and 8L oil capacity.

Where to use Oil Retention Pillows

Our oil-only absorbent pillows are commonly used to clean contaminated water in:

  • Excavations containing oil-filled cables
  • Excavations on construction sites
  • Bunds for oil or fuel storage
  • Transformer bunds

For spills on flowing water or land, see our Oil Retention Booms.

Unique smart polymer pillows

Our Oil Retention Pillows contain a specially-blended smart polymer which reacts with hydrocarbons to create a solid rubber-like substance. The solidified contaminants are trapped inside the pillow permanently.

Place the pillow in the contaminated water. Hydrocarbons will be absorbed by the polymer and solidified – you’ll see the polymer inside the pillow harden and discolour. Move the pillow around the surface of the water to make sure all hydrocarbons are absorbed. Use more pillows if required. Once the water is clean, wring out the excess water from the pillow – this is clean water – and dispose of the used pillow in a designated COSHH bin.

If you will be discharging the cleaned water into the environment (e.g. pumping out an excavation), you should consider using Green Rhino Oil Detection Strips and Dewatering Filters. You can learn more about these in our Best Practice Guide to Dewatering Excavations.

Why are they better than other spill control pillows?

Traditional absorbent-based oil pillows do not retain hydrocarbons permanently. Contaminated water will drain out of these pillows when saturated, back into the water you’ve just ‘cleaned’. This also creates a spill risk when disposing of the pillows or requires the pillows to be placed in a plastic bag before removal from the water.

Green Rhino’s Oil Retention Pillows offer a cleaner, more effective method of spill clean-up.

Why Oil Retention Pillows will save you time and money

Our Oil Retention Pillows are an essential stock item on construction sites and in utility maintenance vans. They minimise downtime by enabling a fast and effective response.

How are Green Rhino Oil Retention Pillows better than traditional oil absorbent pillows?

Traditional spill control pillows are made from an absorbent material. Like any sponge, this material will absorb hydrocarbons but will not retain them permanently. When saturated, the absorbed hydrocarbons will drain out again. This means that when moving used pillows to your hazardous waste bin, leakage can occur. Green Rhino’s Oil Retention Pillows contain our proprietary blend of smart polymers which react with hydrocarbons to form a solid rubber substance. This locks the hydrocarbons inside the pillow permanently.

Yes, you can reuse the oil retention pillows from Green Rhino. The smart polymer in each pillow only reacts with hydrocarbons; it is unaffected by water. Until the hydrocarbon capacity of each pillow has been reached, you can store and reuse them. If used to absorb spills on water, you can squeeze the water out of a pillow before storage; no hydrocarbons will leak out. In comparison, traditional spill control pillows must be disposed of after a single use. Additionally, traditional absorbent pillows can be spoilt if left out in the rain.

Green Rhino smart polymer products have no special COSHH requirements and can be disposed of in your normal hazardous waste bins. In the US, smart polymer spill containment products might be considered as non-hazardous waste. Check with your local regulator.

With absorbent-based spill containment products you are capturing, storing and disposing of liquid hydrocarbons which are highly flammable. Our smart polymers convert hydrocarbons into a solid rubber substance which has significantly lower flammability and off-gassing properties.


GRR 02 50 01 PILLOil Retention Pillow 1L0.25kg300 x 300mmUp to 1L Oil
GRR 02 50 04 PILLOil Retention Pillow 4L1kg600 x 600mmUp to 4L Oil
GRR 02 50 08 PILLOil Retention Pillow 8L2kg1000 x720mm
Up to 8L Oil