Whether you work on vehicles or are a driver who needs to get some gasoline from the gas station, having gasoline spill on your clothes once in a while is almost inevitable. Sadly, gasoline isn’t only odiferous but can also wreak havoc on your clothes.
If you get gasoline on your clothes, don’t fret. We have all been there, so we’ve gathered some helpful tips for cleaning the gasoline off your clothes and removing its strong smell!
Let’s dive right in!
What is gasoline?
Gasoline is a fuel obtained from crude oil and other petroleum liquids and is mainly used in vehicles. It’s made up of much different carbon- and hydrogen-containing chemical compounds responsible for its foul smell.
Benzene is the compound in gasoline residue responsible for the gasoline’s gassy smell. It’s added to gasoline to increase octane levels, enhancing fuel efficiency and engine performance.
Does gasoline stain clothes?
Gasoline is among the worst stains to rid of from your clothes. It leaves an oily residue and a pungent smell on your clothes, even if washed and dried severally.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t remove the gasoline stains off your clothes. You can clean the stains by throwing the cloth in the washing machine and using the right products.
How do I clean gasoline off my clothes?
There are several methods you may use clean gasoline off your clothes. Here is a list of the materials and tools you need to get started:
- Paper towels
- Stain remover
- Scrub brush
- Baking soda
- Enough Vinegar
- Orange cleaner
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dish soap, and more.
These products are available online or from local hardware stores. Once you acquire them, proceed to remove the gasoline stains in different ways as discussed below:
Method #1: Pre-treating your gasoline-stained clothes
The first thing you ought to do if the stain is still wet is to blot it with paper or old towels. Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda on the stain to remove the excess gasoline.
Then, you can pre-treat the gasoline-stained clothes using a liquid dish detergent or commercial stain remover product, as follows:
- Apply the dish detergent or stain remover product to the stained area
- Use a scrub brush to work the detergent or stain remover into the cloth, and leave it for about 15-20 minutes
- Hand-wash the fabric by soaking it in warm or hot water (depending on the fabric type) for about 30 minutes.
- Then, rinse your clothes with clean water to remove the gasoline stain and stain remover. If any odor or stain remains (highly probable), proceed to the next method.
Important: Leave the paper or old towels outside for about 24 hours to dry. This reduces the risk of fire.
Method #2: Removing the gasoline stains with baking soda
Baking soda is among the best products for removing gasoline stains from your clothes and shoes. It works perfectly to rid traces of oil products, including gasoline.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using baking soda for this purpose:
- First, add four tablespoons of baking soda to a bowl with one glass of water. Stir to form a baking soda paste
- Then, gently apply the baking soda paste to the stained area and leave it for about an hour. Baking soda will neutralize the gasoline stains and the pungent smell from your clothes if you wait long enough
- Fabric air-dry for several minutes, then brush off the baking soda from your cloth and rinse it in cold water
- If the gasoline odors and stains are still there, repeat the soda soak process until they’re gone
If the stains remain even after repeating the process, you may need to try other methods.
Method #3: Using white vinegar to clean gasoline off your clothes
The next effective method to remove gasoline from your clothes is using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water solution. White vinegar has acidic properties, making it a perfect gasoline stain and odor remover.
Use less or more vinegar mixed with hot water, depending on how strong the gasoline stain and odor are.
To remove the gasoline stains from your apparel:
- Soak it in a basin with one or two cups of white vinegar and hot or cool water solution for about 30 minutes
- Then, use cold water to remove the remaining stains by hand.
- Rinse the fibers of your clothing in cold water, and don’t scrub the stains vigorously
- You may use scented white vinegar or an aromatic scent to the mixture to remove the white vinegar solution smell.
If the stain and odor persists, repeat the vinegar soak or seek the next method.
Method #4: Using dish soap to clean gasoline off clothes
Yup, dish soap can do the magic, too. It’s made up of powerful enzymes that can break down oil and grease stains.
Apply varying amounts of dish soap – depending on the types of stain – to the stained area, and leave it for 15-30 minutes. Then, soak the fabric in hot or warm water (check the tag for fabric type) for about 30 minutes.
Rinse the soap out, and leave it in the open air to dry. If the stains don’t come out, you may repeat the process with more dish soap.
Method#5: Using Ammonia to remove gasoline off clothes
Suppose the diesel smell is heavy, and you can still smell it even after trying the above methods. You’re dealing with stubborn stains that may only be removed by fabric soaking in Ammonia and water solution.
Here is how you go about it:
- Place your gasoline-stained clothing in the washing machine without detergent. The washing machine is perfect as it has a lid to prevent the Ammonia smell from filling the house.
- Then, add about ¼ cup of Ammonia, and fill the machine with warm water
- Clothes soak in the Ammonia solution overnight
- Drain the washing machine and check whether the stains have disappeared.
- Wash the cloth in a tub of warm water to remove the ammonia solution
Important: Ammonia is a strong chemical that may bleach or wear out your skin, so wear gloves while handling it. Also, please don’t mix it with other chemicals as that could lead to flammable gas fumes.
Method #6: Remove stains with fast orange detergent
You may also hand-wash your gasoline-stained apparel using Fast Orange Laundry Detergent. It’s specifically formulated to remove odors and stains caused by oil, gasoline, and other mechanical fluids.
Remember: Until the gasoline odor is gone, hand-washing your pieces of clothing is the only 100 percent safe method. Use this regular detergent for hand-washing by adding a little of it to cool water, then stir it up, and let your fabric soak for about half an hour.
The gasoline odor and stain should be gone by now. If not, repeat the process or move on to the next method.
Note: Home-made orange and lemon juice will also make the perfect natural laundry detergent for cleaning gasoline-stained clothes.
Method #7: Using Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is yet another effective chemical to remove gasoline off your clothes. This oxidizer, antiseptic, and bleaching agent will clean your apparel, remove the gas stains, and make them new again.
Dilute hydrogen peroxide in water to prepare an efficient cleaner against stubborn gasoline stains and odor. This solution has antibacterial and antiviral properties, perfect for cleaning your garments.
Method # 8: Mix coffee grounds
The strong gasoline odor can be toxic to some textile fabrics – they can even destroy your clothes. Using coffee grounds is one of the best ways to get these stains from your clothes.
Coffee grounds have similar effects as baking soda on the affected items. They’ll remove the gasoline odor and stains effectively, like baking soda.
Mix coffee grounds with water and smear the solution to the stained area to get started. Then, let the material soak for about an hour.
Then, brush the coffee grounds off and wash the stains.
Method #9: Use mineral oils to remove stains
Mineral oil can also work perfectly to remove gasoline stains and odors from affected items. And it’s simple – pour the natural oil on the stained area and rub it gently.
Mineral oil is clear and odorless and is a common ingredient in personal care products, like baby oil. The oils come in different forms, including liquids, gels, and oils, and can also be found in stainless steel cleaners, wood treatment products, furniture polish, etc.
Method 10: Try a professional dry cleaner
If all the methods fail to remove the gasoline stains and odor from your clothes, it may be time to try professional dry cleaners. Most have the right products, machinery, and experience to remove such stains.
How do I remove the smell of gasoline?
Removing the gasoline’s pungent smell is why pre-treatment is vital. Even if you hand-wash clothes and the stains come out, the chances are that the smell will remain if you fail to pre-treat the stain.
Small amounts of baking soda or a cup of vinegar can help you pre-treat the stains to help remove their odor. You may also use a clean rag or damp old towels to blot the stain.
You may also try commercial or natural deodorizers to remove the remaining gas smell. For instance, you may use the ZORBX Unscented Odor Remover Spray – it works perfectly to remove the gasoline odor.
Use a spray bottle to spray the deodorizer to the affected area.
Gasoline stains and odor can be hard to remove, but pre-treating the affected item with baking soda or white vinegar and cleaning it with the right products can save the day. This post provides you with ten simple ways to pre-treat and clean your gasoline-stained cloth.
Good luck as you purpose to use it to clean your gas-stained work shirts or other affected items!