There was a heating oil leak in my basement, which I soaked up with spill absorber. It worked like a charm, but then I made the mistake of trying to clean up the mess with the shop vac. The oil-soaked spill absorber was too heavy and too slimy for the shop vac, so it just lined the inside of the hose and clogged everything up. Now I have to clean out all the hose and tube segments. My question: What is the best way to do so? I thought about just filling a big tub with water and dish detergent and soaking everything, but do I need something stronger?

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    You didn't use nearly enough spill absorber. You're supposed to be able to sweep/shovel the stuff when it's done. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 3 at 18:45
  • I could have. I chose not to, wrongly. – crmdgn Apr 3 at 20:59

Start out by soaking the hoses in hot water and blue Dawn dish soap. It's the best for dissolving grease and I'm not affiliated with them in any way. Then you'll want to thread a heavy string or rope through the hose and wrap one end around a big rag and pull the other end so the rag gets pulled through the hose. You'll have to do this a few times to get rid of all the residue. If your rope is long enough, tie the rag in the middle of the rope and you can just pull it back and forth without re threading it through the hole each time. Replace the rag if it gets too oily.

  • Suggestion: Getting the air out of the hose to soak it will be hard. Instead fill the shop vac tub with hot water and dish soap, pour that into another container and vacuum it back into the shop vac. Repeat several times, change to fresh mixture and do it a couple more times. At that point decide if the string and rag trick is even necessary. – jay613 Apr 3 at 18:33

Jack's answer makes sense. I have done something similar to clean vacuum hoses, and it works. One additional suggestion would be to use a grease cutter product as a second stage after the dish soap. They sell stuff like this at automotive and hardware stores.

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