Getting gasoline on your clothes and then transferring it to your car can make the vehicle reek of the fuel. If you work in an industry where you come in contact with gasoline regularly, that putrid odor can hang in rooms in your home as well. To get rid of a gasoline smell on your clothes or in your home, there are a few remedies. It takes time and elbow grease to get rid of a gas smell.
The House Smells Like Gasoline
A whiff of gas in your home may not be an issue. Look for any gas burners that may have inadvertently been left on after cooking or if the fireplace gas line is open with no pilot light. Minor gas leaks are common, and the source is typically easy to locate.
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However, if your house smells like gasoline and the scent is heavy throughout every room, then you may have a serious issue. If this is the case, call the natural gas supplier or utility and evacuate the home. Gasoline fumes in a house can gather and create a dangerous situation. You may be overcome by the fumes, or they can ignite if there is enough of the gas fumes in one area.
Why Gas Smells and Stains
Gasoline is a petroleum product, so the scents and slight yellowish stains it leaves behind contain oily residue. The odor comes from the sulfur and nitrogen compounds in the fuel. The gasoline creeps deep into the fibers of clothes and can be hard to wash out with a quick spin in the washing machine.
Gasoline on Clothes
When gas accidentally gets splashed on your clothes, the aroma can stay even after the item has had a few turns through the laundry cycle.
To thoroughly remove the pungent smell of gasoline on clothes, air them outside overnight before you throw them in the wash. Gasoline evaporates quickly but can stick to the tiny fibers of clothing material.
Then, you need to break down the sulfur and nitrogen compounds that are creating the offensive odor. A homemade odor remover should be applied to the area where the gas landed on the clothes. Put a homemade detergent on the clothes before putting them through another laundry cycle.
Homemade Gas Odor Removers
There are a few ways to make an effective gas odor remover from cleaners you have around the house. You may need to go over the area a few times until the odor and stain are completely erased. Always test an area before using a homemade gas odor remover to ensure it doesn't damage the fabric. These may be natural, but you should still use precautions in the form of gloves and protective eyewear so you don't irritate your skin or have it splash into your eyes.
Homemade odor removers include:
- Rubbing Alcohol and Baking Soda - It evaporates quickly, which makes it ideal for pulling out oily gas residue on clothes. Sprinkle baking soda on the area, douse it with rubbing alcohol and rub the paste into the clothing. This works well if the gas gets into car upholstery because the rubbing alcohol won't soak the material and leave it susceptible to mold issues.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar – Combine a layer of baking soda with vinegar for an effective gas odor remover. These are both natural deodorizers as well as cleaners. The vinegar will react to the baking soda and get deep into the fibers of the clothing. Let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing away.
- Mouthwash – It may sound funny, but mouthwash is a surprisingly effective deodorizer. It has traditionally been used to remove the smell of smoke and soot from professional firefighters' uniforms. Douse the area with an alcohol-based mouthwash and let it sit on the area for 15 minutes. It will eat away any odors that are stuck in the material.