Removing Gasoline Smells

Q.    I accidentally spilled gasoline on a foot pad for the back seat of my car.  I have tried detergent, Clorox mixture, and sunshine.  So far, I still cannot get the smell out.  Does anyone know how to do this? Thanks Joanne

I have used sliced potatoes. For some reason they soak up the smell. It works every time I get gas for the lawnmower and it spills on the carpet in my car. I have also heard that kitty litter will do the same thing. Hope this helps.  Vickie

I’m willing to bet that the reason you can’t get the smell out is that the petroleum product has soaked farther into the padding and upholstery than you have successfully cleaned.  Water won’t do it, because you’re working with an oil and need to use something that is a grease dissolver.   My grandfather (the mechanic) used this:  Soak the area thoroughly with a mixture of 1-2 cups plain white vinegar mixed in 1 gallon warm as you can stand water, then use lots of clean white towels and a brick, clamp or something else to add weight (your own tired arms will do, too) to wick out all of the petroleum and water solution.  Follow with a rinse of warm water mixed with baking soda (1 1/2 cups per gallon), then again wick out until as dry as you can get it.  You will probably be best served to use something warm to dry the rest of the upholstery, so it doesn’t mildew. Kamia

3 thoughts on “Removing Gasoline Smells

  1. Patricia says:

    My basement craw space is flooded. And my gas can turned over in it now my house is smelling like gas how can i get the smell out

  2. Ed says:

    First it’s a crawl space. Buy some oil dry. It looks a little like cat litter. Pour it on the spill area to soak up any of the gas that’s left. Remove the oil dry and pour lots of baking soda over the same area. If that doesn’t get rid of the smell, pour scented powdered carpet cleaner on the area.

  3. duh engineer says:

    Gees Kamia. For as second I thought you had an intelligent answer because you mentioned that gas is not water soluble, then you mentioned baking soda and vinegar. THAT DOES NOT WORK. You will likely have to replace your seat and any other ‘soft’ material that can absorb odors. Gasoline contains numerous volatile products, some of them less volatile than others. The ones that have low volatility are the ones that linger around, because they take a long time to evaporate. They also then to bind to other chemicals, and of course if you spill it on a seat, it will be absorbed by the fabric or foam and potentially take FOREVER (not literally) to evaporate. If you have a thin surface, you can try to dissolve the gas with something like isopropyl alcohol. You’ll need something that’s at leat 95%. IPA will blend with the gas and form a less viscous solution (and more of it) which can be absorbed with towels, or potentially vacuumed (with a proper system). Still, you’ll probably be left with some odor.

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