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How to remove the smell of gasoline from clothes

Filling up at the gas station can mean accidentally dribbling a few drops of gasoline on your sleeves, pant legs or shoes, but it doesn’t have to stick around. Use the guide below for tips on how to get petroleum-based fuel and its lingering odors out of your clothes in 5 steps.

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Can you get the gasoline smell out of clothes?

It’s possible to remove gas stains—and the strong odors that accompany them—from clothes, but you’ll need to act quickly before the stain and its accompanying odor set in for good. If sprinkling with baking soda, pretreating with stain remover and hand washing with dish soap doesn’t work to neutralize odors, you can try solutions like using a small amount of vinegar or ammonia to help remove the smell. Always consult your clothing’s care tag before treating.

Does vinegar get gasoline out of clothes?

It’s best to start removing gas stains by hand washing with stain remover and dish soap, but using vinegar may help neutralize the smell of gasoline if other methods leave odors behind. Care for unique types of fabric varies, so be sure to test vinegar on an inconspicuous spot on your clothes to observe how your clothing reacts before applying it to the stain.

How to get gasoline out of clothes

You may be able to eliminate a gasoline stain using tools and supplies you likely already have at home. Keep in mind that clothing soiled with gas should never be put in the washer or dryer. Gather the cleaners listed below, then follow the 5-step process to learn tips on how to remove gasoline smells from clothes.

  • Paper towels

  • Baking soda

  • Solvent-based stain remover

  • Dish soap

  • Ammonia (optional)

  • Large bucket

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Step 1: Absorb excess gasoline

Press a paper towel down gently on the gas stain, being careful not to rub the stain. Lift the paper towel and repeat the motion several times until any excess gasoline is absorbed from the stain.

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Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda

Baking soda can help absorb residual gasoline and begin deodorizing the stain. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and allow it to sit for about 24 hours, then use water to rinse it away.

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Step 3: Use stain remover to pretreat

Saturate the stain with a solvent-based stain remover and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. If you notice a lingering stain, try applying a thin layer of dish soap and wait another 10 minutes.

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Step 4: Pre-soak

Soak your clothes in a large bucket filled with warm water for at least 30 minutes, then thoroughly rinse your clothes before hand washing. For additional cleaning, try adding 1 cup of household ammonia to a large bucket filled with water, then soak your clothes for 2-3 hours before rinsing your clothes and hand washing. 

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Step 5: Only hand wash your clothes

Clothes with residual gasoline stains can’t go in the washer or dryer, so be sure to hand wash lingering gasoline stains and only hand wash the garment moving forward. Fill a sink or basin with warm water, add a mild gentle detergent and gently swirl your clothes to hand wash.

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Is it okay to wash clothes with gasoline on them?

Putting gasoline-soiled clothes in the washing machine or dryer can pose a fire hazard no matter what cycle you choose, so it’s best to avoid the washer and wash by hand to completely remove all gasoline stains and odors. It can be hard to tell if the flammable substance is completely removed from your clothes, so consider any garments exposed to gasoline stains hand-wash only items moving forward.

Explore Whirlpool® washing machines

Whirlpool® washers come with cycles, settings and extras you need to rid your family’s clothes of stubborn stains and odors. Select models include a Pretreat Station that lets you soak, scrub and wash using a built-in faucet and pretreat brush all in one spot. You can also use the Deep Water Wash Option available on some models which adds extra water to target heavily soiled loads for an optimal clean.

Discover more clothes washing tips and advice from Whirlpool brand

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