Asked on Jun 24, 2012

gasoline spill

MarleneMarg CWoodbridge Environmental


ok my husband spilled some gas in the back of my car. The good news is it didnt get in the car but it got on some clothing he had in the storage area of the car. After many washes the gas smell is still in the clothing how do I remove the smell without tearing up my HE washer
11 answers
  • Lori J
    on Jun 24, 2012

    A friend tells me to soak in coke--yup, soda. No diet, no pepsi--coke.

  • From research done on this topic its not the washing that will remove the odor but the heated dryer. The chemicals in the fuel will not wash out as water will not dissolve them. This is why when fuel gets into a water source such as a steam it pollutes it quite quickly. Using a dryer on low heat setting and running the clothes through the machine several times the odor will diminish after a few cycles as the chemical evaporates out. Some folks have had luck with placing the clothing in plastic bag and adding baking soda to absorb the smell, but I could not find any research that this method works or not. Some even suggest vinegar but all the research I have seen on this says this simply does not work. So I would try to use the dryer on a few cycles. Just be sure you do not put any other cloths in there at the same time. Or the odors could transfer. Let us know what you end up doing and what worked for you.

  • 3po3
    on Jun 25, 2012

    You are just a neverending fount of knowledge, Woodbridge. I will have to file this one in my brain somewhere.

  • Steve, its really not me. I have amassed literately hundreds of books on how to do things over my many years and have created a pretty sizable research library not to mention I also have taken a few hundred courses on home building, HVAC, building inspections, Radon mitigation, water testing, mold testing, moisture testing, EIFS and hold several state and local licenses in many trades and spent several years teaching in local voc-tec schools various trades. I do this stuff not only to help people, but to keep me abreast of all the many things that many of the fine people here write about and ask questions about. You as you already know have learned a lot from being on this site, so have I as well. I continue to learn every day. As there are many people here also that know a lot of great stuff and its interesting learning from them.

  • Kathy R
    on Jun 25, 2012

    Doesn't your washer smell like gas now?

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jun 25, 2012

    One possible option would be to have the clothes "dry cleaned". Dry cleaning is not entirely "dry" but uses non-polar solvents like tetrachloroethylene this has replaced the more flammable products like stoddard's solvent.

  • Exactly KMS, also a dry cleaner uses a lot of ventilation to evaporate the chemicals used to clean the clothes. And the chemical in the fuel is one that will evaporate out by just using low heat and lots of air. Dry cleaning I would say would work well, but the dryer alone is what I believe would be my first choice to attempt.

  • Karen C
    on Jun 26, 2012

    the washer did smell like gas but I used borax and cleaned it. we also tried the borax on the clothing but it didnt do any good the dryer method helped but were storing them now to see if time will help

  • Just be sure to store them were they can breath. The odor is caused by out-gassing of the chemicals in the fuel.

  • Marg C
    on Jun 27, 2012

    by experience I've noticed that any gasoline spill on clothing (my winter coat) will dissappear if left to air dry. Only two days later and you would have never known that I spilled gas on it.

  • Marlene
    on May 12, 2015

    Let them lie in the sunshine a day or two, smell them every so often, it will leave. Then wash with super washing soda and laundry detergent.

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