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How to Make Sweeping Compound out of Sawdust

Nicole Fotheringham

Don't throw away sawdust from your home improvement projects. It can be used to soak up oil spills on the driveway, or it can be the key ingredient in sweeping compound. Sweeping compound can be used to pick up clay or dust and debris. Sawdust can be highly flammable and even combustible at times.

Sawdust is used to make sweeping compound.

Be sure to keep any sawdust mixture in a closed container, and don't use it near an open flame.

  1. Place 6 cups of sawdust, 2 cups of rock salt and 1 1/2 cups of mineral oil in a container.

  2. Close the lid firmly and shake to mix.

  3. Sprinkle over clay or dust. The clay or dust will stick to the oily sawdust. Sweep it up or vacuum.

  4. Discard sweeping compound after use by sealing it in a plastic bag or metal container and placing it in the garbage.

  5. Tip

    Use real rock salt rather than snow-melting products. Plain sawdust, without the added mineral oil or rock salt, can be used to soak up oil stains on garage floors or driveways.


    Never use sweeping compound to soak up flammable solvents.

    Keep the sweeping compound in a sealed container away from open flame.