Whether an accident at the gas station or home caused you to get gasoline on your clothes, it can be tricky to remove. You are dealing with a hazardous stain from the liquid itself and the strong smell that comes with gasoline. That’s why in this article I’ll teach you how to get gasoline out of clothes, both the stain and the odor.
Getting the stain out means acting fast and pre-treating the stain with the right products. First, you’ll need to pre-treat the stain with dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda to help break down both the stain and the odor. If those don’t work, there are other products you can try as well before washing the clothing in the washing machine.
Remember that gasoline is flammable, so you need to be extremely careful when removing the stain. By following the process laid out in this guide, you should have no trouble getting gasoline out of your clothing safely and successfully.
Does Gasoline Stain Clothes?
Gasoline is one of the toughest stains to get out of clothing due to both the stain and odor that it leaves behind. Even if the odor wasn’t a problem, gasoline is an oil-based product. That means that the stain it leaves behind is oily, and oil stains, in general, can’t be removed by simply washing and drying the clothing.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a gasoline stain out of your clothes at all. But what it does mean is that you’ll have to put forth a little extra work besides just throwing it in the washing machine. You may have to use a variety of products to get the stain out effectively.
Can You Wash Gasoline Out of Clothes?
Even though gasoline is a tougher stain to remove, it will wash out of clothes as long as you act quickly. But, you can’t expect the stain to come out without pre-treating it first. The pre-treatment process can be time-consuming, but it is key if you want the stain to be removed.
Even if the stain itself is removed, the gasoline odor may still be left behind. The fumes from gasoline are a big part of what makes gasoline so flammable, so it’s important that you use the right products to get the odor out as well. It is also worth noting that even with pre-treatment, you still may have to wash the clothes 3 or 4 times before the stain and odor are completely removed.
Is It Safe to Wash Clothes With Gasoline on Them?
Hand-washing clothes with gasoline on them is a lot safer than washing them in the washing machine. Pre-treatment of a gasoline stain is not only necessary to help break down the stain, but also to make sure that the odor is completely removed before you put it in the washing machine.
Again, it’s the odor that plays a huge part in the flammability of gasoline. Since washing machines are electrical, there is always the risk of the gasoline fumes causing a fire, especially if you’re washing the clothing in hot water or running the dryer at the same time.
Not only that but washing gasoline-stained clothing along with other clothes can cause the odor to spread to your other clothing as well. This increases the risk of fire.
Even if the stain itself remains behind after pre-treatment and hand-washing, the most important thing is making sure that the odor is gone. If you can get rid of the odor using the pre-treatment products, the actual stain itself should come out in the washing machine.
How To Get Gasoline Out of Clothes
There are a variety of pre-treatment methods that can be used to get gasoline out of clothes. Here is a list of materials you’ll need and products that you can use. That way, if you don’t have something at home, you can try something else.
- Paper towels
- Scrub brush
- Stain remover
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Orange cleaner
Before You Start
The very first thing you’ll want to do if the stain is still wet is to blot the excess gas with a paper towel. Or, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the stain to help soak up the excess gasoline. But, if you’re using a paper towel, don’t throw it away after you’re finished due to the gasoline fumes that will be on it. Instead, you’ll want to leave it outside in the open air for 24 hours so that the fumes can dissipate.
Next, you’ll want to pretreat the stain with a commercial stain remover product or liquid dish detergent. Use a scrub brush to work the stain remover or detergent into the fabric, then let it sit for 15-20 minutes. After that time, hand-wash the clothing by letting it soak in warm or hot water (depending on the fabric type, check the care tag) for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, rinse the clothing to remove the stain remover and gasoline stain. If any stain or odor remains, proceed to the next method.
Baking Soda PasteIf the stain or odor didn’t come out, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a baking soda paste. To do this, mix two parts baking soda to one part water in a bowl. Apply it to the stain, then use a scrub brush to rub it into the fabric.
Leave the clothing out to air dry so that the paste can be absorbed, then brush off the excess baking soda. If the odor and stain remain, you can repeat this step or move on to the next method.
VinegarThe next method is to soak the clothing in a solution of white vinegar and water. Usually, one cup of vinegar is enough. Vinegar is a very effective stain remover because its acidic properties help to break down stains and odors.
You’ll just want to let the clothing soak in the vinegar solution for about 30 minutes. If the stain and odor still remain, you can repeat the vinegar soak or move on to the next method.
Dish SoapDish soap has powerful enzymes in it that can help to break down oil and grease left behind by food, and it can work very well for other stains such as gasoline too. Apply a little bit of dish soap to the stain and rub it in, then let it sit for 15-30 minutes to allow the stain and odor time to break down.
Then, you’ll want to soak the clothing in warm or hot water (again, check the care tag) for about 30 minutes. Rinse the soap out, and hopefully, all of the gasoline should be removed from the clothing.
AmmoniaIf the gasoline smell is super heavy to begin with, or you can still smell gasoline after trying all of the methods above, your step should be to soak the clothing in a solution of household ammonia and water.
The best way to do this is to toss your gasoline-stained clothing in the washing machine without detergent, add ¼ cup of ammonia, and let the machine fill with warm water, and stop the cycle so that the clothing can soak overnight.
The reason you’ll want to use the washing machine is so you can shut the lid since ammonia produces a strong smell. After the clothing has soaked, drain the washing machine and check the clothing to see if the odor has been removed. If it has been removed, you can wash the clothing as normal. If it hasn’t, repeat the process or try another method.
Note that when using ammonia, it’s a good idea to wear gloves while handling it as it is a strong chemical. You should also never use it around or with bleach, as mixing the two creates highly toxic fumes.
Another product you can use to remove a gasoline stain is Coca-Cola. It may seem unassuming, but Coke’s highly acidic properties made it excellent at breaking down stains.
To use this method, you’ll want to add two cans of Coke and one box of baking soda to a sink filled with cold water. The Coke will break down the stain while the baking soda absorbs the odor. Leave the clothing to soak overnight, then drain the water and rinse out the clothing.
Fast Orange Laundry DetergentOne final method you can try is to hand-wash the clothing using Fast Orange Laundry Detergent. This detergent is specially formulated to remove stains and odors on clothes caused by gasoline, oil, and other mechanical fluids.
Remember that until the gasoline odor has been removed, hand-washing the clothing is the safest. You can still use this detergent for hand-washing by pouring a little of it into the water, stirring it up, and letting the fabric soak for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse the clothing and the gasoline stain and odor should be removed.
After pre-treating the clothing with one or more of the methods above, it is safe to wash it in the washing machine as long as the odor has been removed. But, it’s still a good idea to wash the clothing by itself, just in case.
You can use the Fast Orange Laundry Detergent or a mild detergent to wash the clothing. If the stain itself remains even after washing, you can repeat any of the steps above if necessary. But don’t put the clothing in the dryer unless both the stain and odor have been removed. Otherwise, the stain could set and be almost impossible to remove.
What Removes the Smell of Gasoline From Clothes?Removing the smell from gasoline is one reason why pre-treatment is so important. Even if you wash your clothes and the stain comes out, the gasoline smell may remain behind if you don’t pre-treat the stain. Both vinegar and baking soda used in the pre-treatment process can help remove and absorb some of the gasoline smell.
But, if all else fails even after washing, and the gasoline odor remains even after neutralizing the fumes, you can try a fabric deodorizer spray. The ZORBX Unscented Odor Remover Spray is just one example. It is designed to remove strong odors from fabric almost immediately without leaving behind a smell of its own.
Should You Put Gasoline Stained Clothes in the Dryer?
It is never a good idea to put gasoline-stained clothes in the dryer, even after washing. Not only will this set the stain if it wasn’t removed completely, but it can also start a fire if any fumes are still lingering due to the heat and electricity produced by the dryer.
The best way to dry clothing that has been stained with gasoline is to line-dry or air-dry the clothing outside. This will help to dissolve the fumes and decrease the risk of fire. Once the stain has been removed and the clothing has been left outside for at least 24 hours, you should be able to dry the clothing in the dryer after the next wash.
Gasoline can be a tough stain to remove. But by pre-treating the clothing with the right products to break down the stain and odor before washing, you’ll have much better success. Just remember that as a precaution, you shouldn’t dry the clothing until the odor has been removed. If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!