How to Get Gasoline Out of Clothing

Gasoline—something that most of us use every day. A petroleum-derived liquid, it’s used as fuel for internal-combustion engines, such as those used in cars. How much of it does an average vehicle use? Approximately 500 gallons per year. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that some people are starting to get worried. After all, fossil fuels are finite; use them enough and they will eventually run out. With that said, it probably won’t happen for a while. That’s not to say that it won’t become a problem in the future, however. 

Dealing With Gasoline Spills

Gasoline is not something that you want to accidentally spill on yourself. For one thing, there’s the smell. Assuming that you breathe in large amounts of the vapor, it can lead to headaches, nausea, throat irritation, and vomiting. There’s a chance that it can cause breathing difficulties as well. But wait, that’s not all—it’ll also make you and whatever you’re wearing more flammable.

That’s not to say that you can’t wash it off, though. You can—you just have to be diligent about it. For example, you don’t want to put it in the clothes dryer. The gasoline can easily ignite and cause a fire if exposed to high heat! Another thing is that you don’t want to wash it together with other items—the gasoline can easily transfer from fabric to fabric, which will make your situation worse.

How to Get Gasoline Out of Clothes

Accidentally got some gasoline on your clothes? Here’s how you can get it out.

Using ACTIVE Detergent

The first thing that you want to do is to blot the item with a clean towel. You want to remove as much of the gasoline as possible from your clothes. When you’re finished, make sure to dispose of the towel properly. That is, once you’ve let it air dry, place it in a metal tin. From there, saturate with water until it’s wet and seal the container. You can then throw it out in the trash.

The next thing that you want to do is to pretreat your clothes. Fill a sink or container with water and add in a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Allow the powder to dissolve fully before putting the item. Afterward, let it soak for 15-20 minutes. It’s important that you use hot water for this step as cold water won’t be enough to remove the gasoline fully.

Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is another option. Ultimately, what you want to do is make a paste. To do this, mix two parts baking soda to one part water in a small bowl. Using a brush, apply it onto the gasoline stain. Rub it into the fabric lightly and allow it to air dry with the paste on. Once it’s dried, you can brush the powder off of the clothing. Repeat until the gasoline is fully removed from the item.

Alternatively, you can soak the stained item in a baking soda solution. Start by filling a sink with hot water. Add in a cup of baking soda and swirl the mixture with your hand until the powder is dissolved. Place your clothes in and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Rinse afterward and check to see if the odor is still present. If it is, repeat the above steps.

Using White Vinegar

White vinegar is a great deodorizer. Given that, it’s not surprising that you can use it to remove the gasoline smell from your clothes. Keep in mind, however, that it won’t be enough to clean the stain. In other words, you’ll want to treat/wash the item first before using vinegar. For example, if the odor is still present after using detergent, you can soak the garment in vinegar. Make sure to dilute it first, though, with water. Continuing soaking until the gasoline smell is gone.

Using Ammonia

Another solution is to use ammonia. Place your gasoline-stained clothes in the washing machine and fill it with warm water. Next, add one cup of household ammonia. Close the lid (there will be a pungent smell) and let it soak for several hours (overnight, if necessary). From there, drain the dirty water and wash as usual with laundry detergent. Remember never to mix ammonia with bleach as it’ll lead to the release of toxic gas.

Using Coffee Grounds

Believe it or not but you can also neutralize the smell with coffee grounds. All you have to do is sprinkle it onto your clothes. From there, let it sit for several hours—the coffee grounds will neutralize the odor over time. Once the time is up, brush the grounds off. Next, check to see if the gasoline smell is still present. If it is, repeat the above steps. If not, you can wash the garment as usual with detergent using the washing machine.

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