How to Remove Diesel Fuel Odor From Carpets

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Diesel fuel in the carpeting of your car or home can be a messy, stinky situation. Even if the stain is gone, the odor can still emit a displeasing aroma. Removing stains from carpets and upholstery either in your car or in your home can be a little tricky. Cleaning up a diesel spill in a driveway is much easier than a spill on a surface that has thick, fibrous material. There are some good home remedies that can make the project a little easier.


Cleaning Diesel Spills in the Car

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Underneath the carpet in your car is a padding that can act as a sponge, absorbing the diesel fuel. Getting the fuel out of both the carpet and the padding can be more difficult, so removing and replacing the padding might be the better solution in this instance. If it is a larger spill, it might be necessary to call a professional to get it thoroughly clean.


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If you have just a small spill that didn't soak through, it can be fairly easy to take care of with some simple household items. This technique works well in the home as well.

  1. Use paper towels to soak up as much of the diesel fuel as possible and properly dispose of them.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the spill.

  3. As the baking soda gets damp from absorbing the diesel fuel, use a shop vacuum to vacuum up the baking soda.

  4. Reapply the baking soda.

  5. Vacuum the baking soda after five to six hours have passed.

  6. Mix together 1 cup of warm water and some Dawn liquid dish detergent.

  7. With a bristle brush, apply the Dawn and water solution to the stains. Start from the edges and work toward the center of the stain.

  8. Soak up the moisture with paper towels.

  9. Rinse the carpet with a clean, water-soaked sponge.

  10. Dry it with paper towels.

  11. Let it dry for 12 to 24 hours and vacuum it with a shop vacuum to restore the pile on the carpet.

  12. Repeat the steps as necessary until the stain has disappeared.


Absorbing Diesel Odor

If an odor is still emanating from the area, leave the windows open and allow the vehicle to air out. You can also use more baking soda. Vacuum up the baking soda after it has absorbed the smell.

There are a few great products on the market that can help if the odor is still a nuisance. These are what professionals who work with fuel oils use daily for small spills. A simple clay-based cat litter or absorbing product works best. A more specific product is Odor Kill, which is a dry powder much like baby powder that has a pleasant smell and absorbs fuels. Another product is OdoBan, which is a liquid that not only disinfects but helps with the smell.


Diesel Fuel Spills in the Driveway

Diesel fuel is lighter than water, so cleaning a spill in the driveway is pretty simple. Just use soap and water.

  1. Pour Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent on the driveway stain.

  2. Scrub the stain with a scrub brush until a good foam has developed.

  3. Allow the soap to set on the stain for roughly 60 minutes.

  4. Scrub the stain again.

  5. Rinse the stained area with hot water (the hotter the better).

  6. Repeat as necessary.


Getting the stain out of a carpet or concrete is pretty easy; it's removing the odor that is the real issue. Sometimes, a call to a professional carpet cleaner may be the best remedy.




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