How to Remove Gas Stains From Clothing

How to Remove Gas and Diesel Stains

The Spruce / Alison Czinkota

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 15 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs - 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0 to 20

Gasoline may wind up on your clothing from pumping gas or a spilled can. Our first tip is to never wash gas-or diesel-stained clothes or rags with other clothing, and practice the utmost safety when cleaning a flammable liquid like gasoline.

While it may take more than one attempt to remove the stains completely, you should be able to do it with common stain removers or household cleaners. Here is our guide to removing gasoline stains from clothing.


Click Play to Learn How to Remove Diesel Stains Safely

Stain Type Oil-based
Detergent Type Solvent-based stain remover and heavy-duty laundry detergent
Water Temperature Varies depending on the type of fabric
Cycle Type Varies depending on the type of fabric

Before You Begin

If you have a stained garment that is labeled dry clean only, take it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible and point out and identify the stain. It is not safe to use a home dry cleaning kit for items stained with gasoline or diesel fuel.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer or clothesline


  • 1 solvent-based stain remover
  • 1 enzyme-based heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 box baking soda (optional)
  • 1 bottle ammonia (optional)


tools for removing gas from clothings

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Remove Gas and Diesel Stains From Washable Clothes

  1. Pre-Treat the Stain

    • Pre-treat the stain with a solvent-based stain remover or an enzyme-based heavy-duty liquid detergent.
    • Work in the treatment by gently rubbing the stain with a soft-bristle brush.
    • Allow the stain remover to work for at least 15 minutes.
    pretreating the gasoline stain

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Wash the Garment

    Wash the garment as usual in the hottest water appropriate for the fabric, according to the care label. Inspect the garment for stains and odors, and repeat the same treatment if necessary.

    laundering the garment as usual

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Soak Overnight (Optional)

    If there are still lingering fuel odors, soak the stained item overnight in enough water to completely submerge the fabric along with one cup of baking soda. Then, wash the garment as usual.


    For clothes with exceptionally heavy odors, fill the washer or a deep sink or plastic tub with warm water and add one cup of non-sudsing household ammonia. Shut the lid or cover the solution, if possible. Allow the smelly fabric to soak for several hours or overnight. Drain the washer, and wash the garment as usual. Do not use any chlorine bleach during the soaking or washing; mixing bleach with ammonia creates toxic fumes.

    soaking the garment overnight

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Dry the Garment

    Dry the garment in a dryer if there is no lingering odor or on a clothesline. Allowing clothes to air-dry outside will help remove odors as well. Again, if any trace of odor remains, air-dry on an indoor drying rack or clothesline; do not put the item in an electric or gas dryer.


    Do not dry any piece of clothing that has a fuel smell to it in the dryer, as the fabric can catch fire due to the heat from the dryer.

    line-drying the garment

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Additional Tips for Handling a Gas Stain

  • If you can still smell the fuel odor after washing, do not place the garments in a clothes dryer. The dryer's heat can cause the fabric to burst into flames.
  • Gas and diesel stains on clothing are noxious and need to be handled carefully and as soon as possible. A professional cleaner is best to handle it if it is a large spill, especially on carpet or furniture.
Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Clothes Dryer Fire Safety Outreach Materials. United States Fire Administration.

  2. Tanen, David, A., Graeme, Kimberlie, A., Raschke, R. Severe Lung Injury After Exposure to Chloramine Gas from Household Cleaners. New England Journal of Medicine, 341,848-849, 1999, doi:10.1056/NEJM199909093411115