Things You'll Need
If you spill kerosene on your driveway or basement floor, act quickly -- the longer a kerosene spill is allowed to set, the more difficult it will be to remove the stain and odor. Although kerosene is not volatile like gasoline, it is combustible; proper cleaning will eliminate any hazards caused by the spill. Any household that uses kerosene-fueled items should prepare a "spill kit" for a rapid response to accidents when they happen.
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Spread cat litter on the kerosene spill immediately. As the kerosene absorbs into the litter, sweep it into a dustpan and dump it into a trash bag. Apply more litter to the spill, if necessary. Allow the litter to sit until the spot is dry.
Sprinkle the spot generously with heavy duty laundry detergent powder. Allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes, then scrub the area with a nylon scrub brush dipped in hot water.
Lay an absorbent cloth over the spot. Once it becomes saturated, replace it with a dry one, repeating until the detergent and kerosene residue is gone. Allow the spot to dry.
Sprinkle the spot with baking soda to absorb the kerosene odor. Leave the baking soda in place for 24 hours, then sweep it up. If the odor remains, place a 1-pound open container of activated charcoal near the spill site until the odor is gone.
You can purchase activated charcoal at home and garden centers, hardware stores and pet stores.
Do not rinse a fresh kerosene spill with water, especially if the runoff leads into a drain of any kind.
Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.