If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool trucker, you probably think hydraulic fluid and diesel smell is great cologne! But if you’re like the rest of us, inhaling lingering diesel smell drives you nuts. That’s why you’re here. You want to learn how to get that mind-numbing diesel smell out of your workshop clothes or company uniform. You also want your apartment to stop smelling like a diesel mechanic’s garage.
How Do You Get the Smell of Fuel Out of Clothes?
You can do what truckers and vehicle technicians do: embrace the diesel smell. Or you can use an environmentally friendly odor removers such as baking soda, vinegar, or eucalyptus oil. Rubbing alcohol, Coca cola, and Listerine might also work for you. Alternatively, you can use Fast Orange, ammonia, or Pine-Sol to get your diesel-soaked clothes to smell like, well, nothing.
Just don’t toss the clothes in your washing machine or dryer. And definitely don’t wash the gas-smelly clothes alongside other clothes unless you like transferring stubborn gas odors.
…but they do, some of the time
Getting diesel odor out of a uniform or other clothing items isn’t always easy. But it’s doable. This post pinpoints at least 9 suggestions that many people in your situation have had luck with.
The fuel-smell-on-clothes strategies discussed here may not work each and every time. But if you don’t wish to throw the affected items out just yet, try the methods out to see if any might work for you.
If you came here for a nice little list, here it is:
- Use an effective commercial cleaner such as Fast Orange or Simple Green.
- Use Pine-Sol.
- Use a good mouthwash such as Listerine.
- Use eucalyptus oil, a natural degreaser.
- Fight off diesel smell with a really strong smell: ammonia.
- Rubbing alcohol and baking soda help a lot.
- Baking soda & Coca-cola get positive results, too.
- Use Baking Soda + vinegar.
- Soak the clothes in a vodka+water solution.
Here’s what not to do when attempting to get fuel smell out of clothes:
1.Don’t wash fuel-soaked clothes in the washer unless you want other clothes and the washing machine to smell like a garage for weeks. But if you have a washing machine you’ve dedicated to cleaning oily clothes, go ahead.
Well, you can still wash gas-soaked clothes in the washing machine if you want. But make sure to remove the ensuing washer smell.
2.Don’t wash diesel-soaked clothes alongside your other clothes. If you do this, the smell will transfer to the other clothes, multiplying your problem!
3.Don’t put clothes reeking of diesel smell into the dryer, either. If you do this, the smell doesn’t go away. Instead, it seeps into the fibers, and your clothes will smell like a dirty garage… forever.
Dirty garage? Put that garage shop vac to some use already.
What do all the methods suggested above have in common? All of them have the ability to break down the many carbon bonds that hold gasoline residues together.
Tip: Take care of fuel smells and stains as soon as you can because fresh stains tend to be easier to resolve.
Let’s get started!
Before using any heavy-duty cleaner such as Fast Orange on any item, make sure it won’t damage it. Spot-test the product on an inconspicuous area of the garment you’re deodorizing.
Mechanics and technicians of all stripes really love Fast Orange. Because it’s the quintessential degreaser for oily skin and even clothes. Use this mighty powerful cleaner as described below.
- Dip some clean cloth into the cleaner and start dabbing at the diesel stain.
- Next, add 1 teaspoon of Fast Orange or Simple Green (or whatever you prefer) and run the normal wash cycle.
- (Optional) Add a half cup of baking soda to the wash.
- If you need to repeat this step for better results, do it.
- Air-dry the clothes.
This method works a lot of the time. Just be careful, or you’ll ruin your clothes.
Pine-Sol cleans and deodorizes toilet bowls and messy bathroom floors like a pro on steroids. And there’s no reason you can’t use this product to get rid of gas stains (and other oil-based stains) and smell from your clothes. You can even use Pine-sol to degrease your washer.
- Add a recommended laundry detergent to the wash.
- Add in a half cup of Pinesol.
- Run a normal wash cycle.
- You may have to run the clothes through the washer again to tackle the Pine-sol smell if it’s too strong.
- Air-dry the garments.
Listerine deodorizes odorous mouths like there’s no tomorrow. And you can use this near-ubiquitous mouthwash to deodorize diesel-drenched clothes.
- Kick off the washing cycle as you normally would. Add in some laundry detergent.
- Then, pour 1 cup of Listerine into the wash. You may also run the Listerine through the bleach compartment.
- Wait for the wash cycle to complete.
- Sniff at the clothes for any lingering whiffs of diesel. If the smell isn’t quite gone, do a second run of the process, but add in a half cup of baking soda.
- Air-dry the clothes.
Scented eucalyptus oil smells really nice, but that’s not all it does. You can use it to degrease and deodorize clothes that were unlucky enough to get a splash of diesel.
To remove lingering diesel smell out of clothes using eucalyptus essential oil, do the following.
- Toss the affected clothes into the washer and wash them separately.
- Run a normal wash cycle using warm water.
- Add in several drops of eucalyptus oil to the wash.
- Wait until the wash cycle completes.
- Air-dry the clothes.
There’s a downside to the eucalyptus oil method: it doesn’t work equally well for synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. But it rids cotton, linen, and other natural fibers of gas smell quite well.
Does this strategy work on rayon? Rayon is a semi-natural fiber, which means it’s also partly synthetic. Eucalyptus oil won’t get you great results if you’re deodorizing rayon clothes.
One way to neutralize gasoline smell in clothes is to use ammonia. Ammonia dives deep into the fibers and breaks down the diesel stain’s carbon bonds. Whether the stain is oily and greasy or just plain smelly, ammonia fixes it.
- Put the clothes into the washer and add detergent normally.
- Drop in a half cup of ammonia as the water in the washer fills up.
- Wait for the wash cycle to complete.
- Air-dry the clothes.
Some people might find ammonia too strong for their nostrils. If that’s you, consider running the clothes through another cycle.
When you prepare a mixture of rubbing alcohol and baking soda, you get a decent grease/oil stain remover that also diminishes diesel smell.
To remove lingering diesel fuel smell from a uniform or other clothing item, do the following:
- Identify the problem area on the garment and sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda onto it.
- Pour a reasonable amount of rubbing alcohol onto the same spot, soaking it. Leave both substances to sit overnight. This should clear fresh fuel stains and much of the smell.
- To clear up the smell completely, run warm water into a tub. Then, add in 14 ounces of baking soda/a box of baking soda. Then, pour in 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and stir to make a solution.
- Submerge the clothes in the soak for about 2 hours.
- Wash the clothes as you normally would.
If you cut a finger when chopping vegetables or have an “oily” accident or a gasoline splash in the garage, what do you do? Use the lethal coke + baking soda combo to solve the problem.
These substances have chemicals (for example citric acid in coke) that break down greasy stains on clothes and other surfaces.
- Run a soak cycle on your washer.
- Put the clothes in and leave them there for a couple of hours.
- Drain the soak.
- Run another soak cycle; then, pour in 2 liters of Coca-cola.
- Add in 14 ounces of baking soda.
- Leave the garments soaked over the next 24 hours.
- Wash as you usually do.
- Do a sniff test for any lingering diesel smell on your clothes and repeat the treatment if necessary.
Coke works. No, not that coke that causes short-lived brilliance. It’s coke from Coca-cola. It quenches thirst, and it’s also a decent oil and even blood stain buster.
Using baking soda and vinegar or baking soda and other near-natural substances such as coke to tackle extremely strong smells isn’t always effective. These home remedies give you the best results when dealing with a moderately strong diesel odor.
- Load the clothes you’re treating (separately) into the washer and put in some detergent.
- Then, pour in half a cup of vinegar and a 14-ounce box of baking soda. Add these natural degreasers for mild oily stains and odors directly onto the clothes and not in the dispenser to prevent clogging.
- Run a full wash cycle until it finishes and air-dry the clothes.
- Perform a sniff-test to see if there’s any remaining diesel smell.
Vodka, like rubbing alcohol, helps weaken and finally break down the carbon bonds in diesel residues. But there’s one little issue: using vodka will have you spend more than you would have spent if you’d used rubbing alcohol.
Why? Because there’s less alcohol in vodka than in rubbing alcohol, which means you need more of it for the same results.
Here’s what to do:
- Create a vodka/water diesel smell remover by dissolving 1 part of vodka into 5 parts of cold water.
- Soak the problematic items into this diluted vodka deodorizer overnight.
- Run the normal wash cycle.
- Repeat if the smell still lingers.
- Air-dry the garments.
There you are! That’s 9 clever ways of getting your clothes to stop smelling like a messy garage.
To get gasoline stains out of clothes:
- Get a liberal amount of baking soda or cornstarch onto the gas-stained spot. Let the homemade stain remover sit for 30-60 minutes before using a small brush to brush it off.
- Next, pretreat the area using a fabric-friendly prewash stain remover. Then, hand-wash the item or machine-wash it in the hottest water temperature the fabric can safely withstand.
- Finally, air-dry the clothes.
Getting fuel odor out of shoes isn’t too hard if you know how to get the job done. With a few basic cleaning supplies and some elbow grease, you can stop those shoes from smelling like a leaky car engine.
Here’s what to do to get rid of gasoline odor from shoes:
- Put 3 tablespoonfuls of baking soda into a small bowl or other container. Then, add in 1 tablespoonful of table salt. Finally, add in some water, a half cup of clean water should be enough.
- Using a toothbrush, get a decent amount of the deodorizer onto or into the shoe. Leave the mixture there for about 60 minutes to absorb the odor.
- Use a microfiber cloth (or other soft cloth) to wipe away the residue.
- Get some saddle soap onto a fresh toothbrush (or rinse the mixture off the current brush). To do this, give the saddle a few swipes with the brush.
- Use the saddle soap-laden toothbrush to scrub the affected area. Use circular motions when rubbing in the soap.
- Finally, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess saddle soap.
- Air-dry the shoes.
Here’s another simple but effective way of deodorizing (leather) shoes after an encounter with spilled gasoline.
- Peel two sizable potatoes.
- Stick the potatoes into the toes of the shoes.
- Put the shoes (with the potatoes in) into a Ziplock bag.
- Zip up the shoes overnight.
You bet the shoes won’t be smelling like that tomorrow morning.
There’s diesel in vehicles, ingas-powered vacuum cleaners, and pretty much everywhere else. Sometimes, life happens, and a jet of warm gasoline busts your beautiful hair.
When this sort of accident happens and all kinds of chemicals get onto your hair and skin, don’t freak out.
Instead, act immediately. But how the heck do I get gasoline smell out of my hair? With some tea tree oil, vanilla oil, baking soda, a sink/tub, and a little patience, you can do it.
- Get your hair damp. You can do this easily in the bathroom with a showerhead.
- Walk to a bathtub or sink and bend over a little so that your head stays over the sink or bathtub.
- Pour some baking soda into a cupped hand and start working it into your gasoline-reeking hair. Make sure to get the soda into the base of every strand and onto the hair itself until every inch of your head is covered.
- If your hair is long and you can make a bun of it, do so. And if your hair is rather short, wear a shower cap or something.
- Leave your baking-soda covered hair in this position for about 30 minutes. Don’t ask me what you’ll be doing while the soda absorbs the gassy smell.
- Cup your hand and pour in a little tea tree oil and add 3-5 drops of vanilla oil for even better results.
- Rub the oils into your hair and start washing the baking powder out.
- Repeat the steps above about 3 times or even more if the smell is extremely strong.
Well, the smell in your luxurious hair may not go away immediately. For this reason, you may have to treat your hair with baking powder and shampoo for 2-3 days before the smell finally disappears.
Tongue-in-cheek tip: Don’t get too close to gasoline-filled engines if you’re not a technician and love the smell.
Yes, diesel smell comes out of clothes if you use one or several effective gas smell elimination methods. The smell may not come out the first time you try a method, but several treatments may do the job. If nothing happens no matter what you do, wait out the smell.
There are many ways of neutralizing diesel smell. You can use ammonia, vinegar, baking powder, essential oils such eucalyptus, coca-cola, and commercial cleaners and stain removers. Avoid running the clothes you’re treating through the dryer.
Pour some baking soda onto the affected area of the garment. Then, use a brush to scrub the spot thoroughly. Once the powder becomes saturated, shake it out and repeat the process. Keep doing this until there’s no more diesel on your item. Then, spritz a solution of degreaser + water (mixed in equal parts) onto the area and let it sit overnight.
In the morning, if the smell is gone, toss the garment in the washer and select the hottest setting possible for the fabric.
If the smell still lingers, get some vinegar and baking soda onto the spot and wait for a while before machine-washing the garment.
- Mix 4 cups of hot water, 2 tablespoonfuls of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 10 drops of essential oil (lemon).
- Mix everything up thoroughly and use the mixture to give the gasoline-y dryer a nice wipe-down.
- To get the gas lurking in the crevices of the dryer, use a toothbrush with a liberal amount of the mixture you prepped above.
- Wet a clean towel and ring out any excess water before sprinkling it with a generous amount of lemon essential oil.
- Put the damp towel into the dryer and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.
If you need to repeat this process perhaps because the gas smell is too strong, that’s fine.
Here’s another method that gets gas smell out of a dryer: Put some dryer sheets (5-6) in (no clothes). Run a full cycle and see if the smell vanishes. If it doesn’t, try running a full cycle (no clothes in) with laundry detergent only.
Your hubby spent an entire weekend loving his classic car. And that’s great. BIG problem: hubby ended up sticking the oily workshop clothes in the washer, and it’s the only washer you have.
At this point, the washing machine is smelling like a really busy gas station. So, how the heck do you get diesel smell out of a washer?
- To get rid of the fuel smell in the washer, you need the following: 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of white vinegar, an extra cup of vinegar for the rinse cycle, and 1 cup of laundry detergent.
- Mix all these ingredients thoroughly in a container and run the solution through the washing machine. If the odor is too strong, run a couple more solutions. This should do the job.
And oh, request hubby to get a new washer for his garage work clothes.
If you’re looking for gas odor removal methods that work the first time you try them, understand there’s no ironclad guarantees here. These are suggestions that many laundry enthusiasts have found to work most of the time.
Here’s the trick: Take care of the fuel stain and smell as soon as the accident occurs. You can use commercial cleaners and inexpensive items such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oil, and coca-cola to take care of the odor.
Remember, there’s no guarantees. In some cases, you may have to wait a couple of days for the smell to vanish on its own.