How to Choose Pads and Socks

Any business operation should keep a stocked supply of spill response and clean-up equipment. That includes absorbent pads, socks, rolls and cushions, and neutralisers which neutralise spilt liquids where chemicals are used

Pads, socks, rolls and cushions are available in three types: general purpose, oil & fuel and chemical. By knowing what liquids you need to absorb, you can decide which type of product you should choose. The table below gives a brief synopsis of each type of spill-absorbent product.

Type Chemicals Solvents Oils & Fuels Common Fluids Used On Water
General Purpose No Yes Yes Yes No
Oil & Fuel No Yes Yes Some No
Chemical Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Always refer to our Selection Guide for a more comprehensive listing.

Pads & Rolls

Absorbent spill pads differ in capacity, construction, weight, and capability and can fit a range of industries. These products can be used to soak up spillages as they happen or can be used to take apart lubricated equipment, catching spillages before they come into contact with any surfaces. It’s important to note that some spill pads are poorly equipped for certain types of spill response, so if you’re looking for absorbent pads for chemical spills, for example, be sure to check our detailed product descriptions.

Premium Weight

These products are the highest absorbency pads we offer. Typically a 39 x 48cm pad will absorb 1 Litre of liquid. Premium weight spill pads can easily cover large areas and are ideal for use under machinery or to catch over-spray.

Double Weight

These products offer a mid-range absorbency. Typically a 39 x 48cm pad will absorb 0.85L of liquid. Suitable for use under leaking machinery, plant and vehicles, as an engineer’s work mat, both outdoors and indoors and in the wet or dry.

Single Weight

These products offer the lowest absorbency and can be used simply as wipes. Typically a 39 x 48cm pad will absorb 0.5L of liquid. Ideal for bench-top use, single-weight absorbent pads can safely absorb liquids for easy clean-up of spills and leaks.

Bonded, Plain & Xtra Strength

Bonded products increase the strength and lower the linting effect of the product, whilst plain products are faster acting but not as strong in use and will lint easier. These are best used where durability is not such an issue. Some products have an extra strength option which provides incredible durability. All spill pads/rolls can be used with drip trays where necessary.


Spill socks can be used to go around the bottom of machinery to prevent leaky machines from spreading leakages such as oil or coolant walkways. They can also be used to provide a perimeter containment band to prevent large spills from spreading.

Quick Socks

These premium products work very quickly and are also able to absorb large quantities of liquids. They can subsequently be left down longer than their standard counterparts.

Standard Socks

These are less absorbent than the premium variety but are more than suitable for everyday/weekly maintenance replacement.


These products are best used where there is a persistent leak problem. They are also best used in conjunction with drip pans and trays where possible.

Spill Shop proudly supports Made in Britain®

Spill Shop is dedicated to sourcing the best products for the spillage, and the environment, this means looking at all aspects of responsible sourcing.
When sourcing products we look at ‘Sustainability’ as the Earth’s resources are a finite resource and any product that can use a recycled or reprocessed material will be considered over one that is manufactured from raw materials.
The ‘Carbon Footprint’ of the product is also important, sourcing products from within the UK or the EU is desirable over products shipped in from across the world either by sea or air into our distribution hub.

For some products, particularly those that are kits made from many components, these principles may not be possible for the whole kit, but rest assured we will source as many components according to these principles within the kit as we possibly can.

Look out across the site for this symbol:-
Made in Britain

® – The Made in Britain marque is accredited to businesses that sell goods that have been manufactured or have undergone a final substantial change in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland before sale.