How do you get a spilled furnace oil smell out of your basement?

Sharon Blazer
by Sharon Blazer

We had a fuel oil furnace replaced. The oil line was cut and capped but when we recently had our heat pump checked the worker bumped the old fuel line and we ended up having it spilled all over our basement floor before we found it out. We cleaned it up with bags of cat litter and tide powder but it still smells in the basement. We have put some bowls of white vinegar out and baking soda boxes.

  6 answers
  • Kathy Kathy on Nov 20, 2018

    I would buy a big bag of baking soda, spread it over the spot where the oil was spilled. Wait a week and sweep that up. Repeat if necessary.

  • Kate Kate on Nov 20, 2018

    activated charcoal scrub the floor with baking soda and vinegar. if it is a cement floor, you may have to seal it

  • Everything Pretty Everything Pretty on Nov 20, 2018

    You might have to call a professional disaster cleaning serving to get it removed.

    Use soap and hot water to scrub the area (I'd replace the mop after this or use a scrub brush and toss it after.)

    Cover the area with a powdered laundry detergent. You can add real vanilla extract to the powder to fight the smell and the alcohol will help break down the fuel.

    Put coffee grounds on plates and place around the spill.

    Charcoal also absorbs odors.

    If that doesn't work, try calling the oil company to see if they have suggestions.

  • Gk Gk on Nov 20, 2018

    You may have to have a cleaning company like Service Master come in with ozone machines to get the smell out. It is very hard to get that smell out. A neighbor had a fuel oil leak. The cleaning company did put down cat litter to draw the oil out of the cement floor and ran an ozone machine for 2 days. The smell was gone completely.

  • Kathy R Kathy R on Nov 20, 2018

    This can be very difficult. You've done the recommended things so far. You can put powder laundry detergent with baking soda on the spill area. You can put plates of ground coffee in the area - or you can contact the company that provides the oil to see if they have a product that they use for oil spills. Or you may need a professional cleaning service.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 01, 2022

    Inform the Company that caused the problem, that you hold them responsible for the spill and require them to see it is put right! or Do you have Insurance? Speak to the Fire /service, as they may be able to offer advice.