How to Remove Kerosene From Clothing

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Things You'll Need

  • Oil-reducing soap

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Laundry detergent


Never attempt to dry clothing with kerosene on it in a dryer. Kerosene is extremely flammable.

Kerosene is an oil commonly used in lamps and heaters.

If you spill kerosene on your clothing while replacing or filling a kerosene lamp or heater, immediately take the clothing off and attempt to remove the oil. The longer it works into the clothing, the more difficult it will be to remove. Once you remove the kerosene, you will also need to remove the distinctive smell left behind on your clothing. Both the kerosene and smell removal process may take several attempts, depending on how much kerosene you spilled, the type of fabric and how long the kerosene remained on the fabric.

Step 1

Dampen the clothing under cool running water.

Step 2

Use your hands to massage an oil-reducing soap into the fabric. This can be oil-reducing dish soap, oil-reducing shampoo or an oil-reducing facial cleanser.

Step 3

Allow the soap to work into the stain for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse the clothing under cool water to remove all of the soap. Repeat the steps until you have removed all the kerosene oil from the clothing.

Step 5

Sprinkle the kerosene area with baking soda. Proceed to Step 6 if you have a top-loading washing machine. Proceed to Step 7 if you have a front-loading washing machine.

Step 6

Place the clothing item in the washing machine, selecting the hottest water setting that the fabric can withstand. Do not add detergent. Begin the wash cycle. Lift the lid of the washing machine when the rinse cycle begins. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the washing machine. Close the lid for one minute to allow the vinegar to agitate in the machine. Lift the lid again and allow the fabric to soak for two hours. Close the washing machine lid and allow the cycle to finish. Begin a new washing cycle, this time using regular laundry detergent. Once the cycle is complete, dry the clothing following the manufacturer's care instructions.

Step 7

Fill a laundry tub with warm water and 2 cups of white vinegar. Allow the kerosene clothing to soak in the water for two hours. Place the clothing in the front-loading washing machine. Open the dispenser drawer and fill the detergent compartment with your preferred HE (high-efficiency) detergent. Select the hottest water setting that the fabric can withstand. Allow the cycle to run from beginning to end. Once the cycle is complete, dry the clothing following the manufacturer's care instructions.


Kallie Johnson

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.