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How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes

This post was updated on April 1st, 2021

We’ve all been there; you’re filling up the rig, and you accidentally splash fuel all over your clothing and shoes. That smell never seems to go away, no matter how many times you try to wash it out. You may have struggled with this dilemma with no success, and we’re left wondering, so how do you get that gas or diesel smell out of your clothes?

Diesel and gasoline stains are oil-based, and that means regular detergent won’t do the trick. You need a heavy-duty solvent-based detergent or degreaser such as Tide or Persil to first remove the grease.

Products that work well to remove the grease:

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  • Tide
  • Persil
  • Oxi-Clean
  • Shout
  • BIZ

Things not to do with grease stains:

  • Don’t use chlorine bleach
  • Do not wash fuel stained clothes with unstained clothes
  • Don’t put smelly diesel stained clothes in the dryer

Tried and True Methods to Get Out Diesel and Gas Smell

There are several home remedies for removing the diesel or gasoline smell out of your clothing; these include:

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Coke and baking soda
  • Listerine
  • Fast orange

While any of these will get the smell out, fuel-spills not only make your clothes smell bad, it can stain your clothes and makes your washer smell too. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to take care of all of these fuel spill issues.

Getting That Diesel or Gas Smell Out of Your Clothes

There are four easy, do-it-yourself ways to get out that fuel smell out. These are simple, commonly used methods that won’t take much of your money or time. If these methods don’t work, at least you tried. However, most people have had success with these methods, so you probably will too.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you like the all-natural approach, this method will work as long as the diesel or gas smell isn’t too strong. Also, it may take more than one try to get the smell out.

All you need to do is add an equal amount of baking soda and vinegar to the amount of laundry detergent. That means, if you use one cup of detergent, also add one cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar along with the detergent. Both baking soda and vinegar are not only natural deodorizers they also can break down oils.

As an added bonus, you can add both baking soda and vinegar to your regular, all-natural cleaning supplies. These two items are very versatile when it comes to cleaning.

Coke and Baking Soda

This one sounds pretty improbable, however, it works. You would think that Coke stains, but if you follow the procedure, your clothes will be both clean and odorless. The theory is once the clothes are de-greased, the Coke and the baking soda work in harmony to get rid of the smell.

You will need all of these ingredients if you want to try this method:

  • A 2-Liter bottle of Coke
  • 1 box of Baking Soda
  • A sink or a tub full of warm water
  • 1 cup of Tide detergent or a degreasing product

First, soak the clothes in warm water with the Tide detergent or the degreaser for two hours. This will break down the oils in the fuel stain.

Next, drain off the water, and rinse out the clothes. Refill your sink or tub with clean water, add your 2-liter bottle of Coke, and mix in and dissolve the box of baking soda.

Finally, let the clothes soak in this concoction for 12-24 hours.

This method works, however, to be quite honest, it would probably work without the coke. This method takes a bit more time as well as money, but it will work. While this method is kind of quirky, some people like the quirky way of doing things, so maybe you should try it.

Using Listerine Mouthwash

This may sound a little weird, but many firefighters actually use Listerine to get the smell of smoke out of their clothes. It works well as a deodorizer, it’s pretty cheap, and you can easily find it at any many stores.

All you need to do is pour Listerine in with your laundry. The good news is, Listerine will not only get rid of the gas or diesel smell out of your clothes, but it will also leave your washing machine clean and smelling fresh. You may need to do it more than once, but Listerine is so strong, it seems like you may only have to do it one time.

Lots of people have raved about the effectiveness of this method, so it’s safe to assume it will work.

Fast Orange Smooth Lotion Hand Cleaner

You can buy Fast Orange Hand Cleaner at Walmart, an auto parts store or on Amazon. While it’s a hand cleaner, it’s also OK to use it in a washer to get out that gas or diesel smell.

The secret is, it’s specifically made to get grease or fuel off of your hands, and it works well on clothes too. Some people recommend adding a box baking powder as well, just to make sure that the fuel smell is completely removed.

Many believe this is the best way there is to get the gas or diesel smell out of your clothes. Be sure you get the smooth kind of Fast Orange, it will say it on the label.

Getting Diesel and Gas Smell Out of Your Shoes

If your shoes are machine washable, you can try any of the methods above. However, fuel spills on leather shoes are more complicated, since you shouldn’t soak leather in water.

The first thing to try is to mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water. Dip in a sponge, squeeze out the excess liquid, and dab the damp sponge over the fuel stains. Let it air dry.

Next, Place the leather shoes in a zip-lock bag full of baking soda to further absorb odors. Leave it overnight, then remove the shoes and dust off the baking soda.

The Potato Method

Cut up a raw potato and put it in a zip-lock bag with your leather shoes. Leave it for several hours, then do a smell test. Throw away the potato and use a fresh one if the smell is still there.

Final Thoughts

The best way of all is to avoid fuel spills in the first place. Always be careful when you’re fueling up your rig.

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