How to Get Gasoline Out of Clothes (7 Methods)

It's important to work the stain before washing and drying.

How to Remove Gasoline Stains and Odors illustration

The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 15 mins
  • Estimated Cost: $2 to $10

Removing gasoline stains on clothes and other fabrics must be done with care due to the flammable nature of the fuel. And even when you think the stain is visibly gone, the smell can linger. This lets you know the fabric is not truly clean and still must be handled with care until the stain is totally removed.

Here are some tips for how to get gasoline out of clothes.

Before You Begin

Fabric stained with gas or diesel fuel must not be washed with other clothing due to the risk of cross-contamination.

Test any cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area first to ensure that they won't discolor the fabric. Also, cleaning chemicals and the high heat of the dryer can interact with the gasoline, so it is not safe to use a home dry cleaning kit for these stains. If the item is dry clean only, take it to a professional dry cleaner immediately. Discuss the stain with them, so they can use safe procedures to clean it.

Do not dry the fabric in a dryer until the stain and smell are entirely gone. If gasoline is still present on the garment, it can ignite in your dryer and cause a fire. If possible, dry the clothes outside. Otherwise, use an indoor drying rack.

Tip

For the safest removal, use PPE (personal protective equipment) when handling clothes, preferably nitrile disposable gloves. Latex and vinyl disposable gloves do not hold up well to petroleum products such as gasoline.

Stain Type Oil-based 
Detergent Type Stain remover
Water Temperature Hot
Cycle Type Varies with fabric type
1:03

Click Play to Learn How to Remove Gasoline Stains and Odors Quickly

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Paper towels
  • Soaking basin (optional)
  • Washing machine
  • Soft-bristle brush (optional)

Materials

  • Water
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Stain remover stick, gel, or spray
  • Liquid laundry detergent or dishwashing detergent
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Ammonia (optional)
  • Orange cleaner (optional)

Instructions

materials to remove gas stains
The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  1. Blot Away Excess Gasoline

    Blot the fabric with paper towels to remove any excess gasoline, and dispose of the paper towels safely. You can also use baking soda to absorb gasoline from a wet spot on your clothing.

    Warning

    Make sure you prevent the flammable towels or cloths used for blotting from starting a fire. To do this, set out the cloth or towel to air dry. Flammable gas fumes will dissipate in the open air. Once the item is dry, find a sealable metal tin, put the towel or cloth in it, and wet the material until it's damp. Seal the container. Discard it with your trash.

    blotting a gasoline stain
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Pretreat With Stain Remover

    Pretreat with a solvent-based stain removal product, such as Shout, Zout, or Spray 'n Wash, to break up the petroleum products. Allow the stain remover to work for at least 15 minutes before washing.

    Then, wash the clothing at the hottest setting appropriate for the fabric. Hot water is necessary to remove the gas fully from the clothing.

    pretreating the stain
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  3. Pretreat With Dish Soap or Heavy-Duty Detergent

    An alternate pretreatment option is dish soap or detergent. Liquid dish soap is designed to remove greasy and oily stains, especially the Dawn brand. If you do not have it handy, you can pretreat with an enzyme-based heavy-duty liquid detergent.

    Work in 2 tablespoons of dish soap or liquid detergent with a soft-bristle brush. Allow the clothing to sit for up to five minutes before washing it in the hottest water the fabric allows.

    scrubbing the stain with a soft bristled brush
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  4. Presoak Heavily Soiled Items in Ammonia Solution

    Another option for exceptionally heavy odors is to soak the clothing in the washer full of warm water and 1 cup of non-sudsing household ammonia. This will smell, so shut the lid.

    Soak for several hours or overnight. Then, drain and wash as usual using the hottest water possible for the fabric.

    Warning

    Never use any chlorine bleach or detergents containing chlorine with ammonia. This mixture makes a dangerous form of chlorine gas that produces toxic fumes.

    bottle of ammonia
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  5. Use Baking Soda on Lingering Odors

    Check the clothing for odor and stains after washing. If any remain, try baking soda. You can make a baking soda paste of 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water and rub it directly onto the stain. Allow it to air dry, and then brush the baking soda off of the fabric. This step can be repeated until the gasoline is fully removed. Then, wash as normal.

    Alternatively, you can soak the stain overnight in water with 1 cup of baking soda added. Wash, rinse, and check for odor. Repeat if necessary until the stain is fully gone, and then wash as normal.

    creating a baking soda paste
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  6. Soak Lingering Odors in Vinegar Solution

    If you still have any gasoline smell left, you can also try a vinegar and water soak for 30 minutes. This is a good natural option to remove stains. Repeat the vinegar soak again as needed, and then wash as normal.

    vinegar solution soak
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena
  7. Try Orange Cleaner as Final Resort

    As a last resort, you can add a little orange cleaner to the wash load to help break down the traces of gasoline and get rid of the smell. Look for an all-purpose cleaner derived from oranges, such as Orange Glo's Orange Clean Pro Multipurpose Cleaner or Fantastik Orange Action All-Purpose Cleaner.

    using orange cleaner
    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

When to Call a Professional

These methods should remove the stain and odor. If the stain is big or continues to linger after trying these methods, seek help from professional cleaners.

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.