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Hey, there car-owner!
Stuck with a gasoline smell on your car carpet or in your house?
This article takes you by the hand and goes into a detailed how-to guide with all the essentials you need to get rid of that sweet, flammable smell.
So, next time cleaning gasoline spills and odors from your car carpet or regular carpet turns into a painless job.
How to Clean Gas Spills from a Carpet (It’s Easy with These 7 Steps!)
Table of Contents
Gasoline spills are those kinds of stains that don’t damage the fabric. Instead, they leave a nasty odor on your carpet, lasting for days or even, weeks.
So, here are the steps on cleaning gasoline spills out of your carpet:
- Pour a handful of FloorDry absorbent over the spill.
- Wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour for the absorbent to work.
- Vacuum or sweep out when it becomes saturated (you’ll see the discoloration in the FloorDry).
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda, an ounce of citric juice, and half a mug of vinegar into a spray bottle of water.
- Spray the cleaning solution over the spill.
- Flip the carpet over and spray the mix over the carpet back padding.
- Steam clean the top surface of the carpet (link to steam cleaning carpet).
Today’s gasoline isn’t like the good-old gasoline from the 80s. Nowadays, it’s filled with various additives, stabilizers, and octane boosters, many of which leave a residue while evaporating. That’s why gasoline leaves a whiteish circle stain when evaporating.
Using lemon juice and vinegar destroys that stain circle on your carpet.
Gasoline additives don’t like acids and alcohols from citric juice and vinegar. When exposed to citric acid and alcohol, they get dissolved.
⚠️ Always leave your windows open when cleaning gasoline spills. Benzene (stuff the gasoline is made of) mixes with oxygen quickly, making the air highly flammable and hard to breathe!
Instead of FloorDry absorbent, use kitty litter or even baking soda.
Baking soda is a powerful alternative for absorbing nasty odors and stains like gasoline, oils, and battery acid stains. It’s also hygroscopic – it pulls water molecules from ethyl alcohol in gasoline besides other compounds.
How To Clean Gasoline Off Car Carpet
Accidental spill of your emergency Jerrycan in the trunk or back seat can happen. No biggy, right?
Just roll your windows wide open and leave them during the day to evaporate.
The longer you leave the gasoline spill in your car carpet, the harder it is to clean it out. Gas vapors get imprisoned in your car seats, floor mats, and upholstery.
Driving with such smells everywhere in your car eventually becomes unbearable.
So, here’s how to clean gasoline spills out of your car carpet:
- Pour baking soda over your car carpet.
- Wait for several minutes for the baking soda to do its making and neutralize the gasoline odor.
- Remove the car carpet from your car onto the driveway.
- Leave it for an hour, so the left-over gasoline evaporates.
- Spray baking-soda-vinegar-citric-juice mix over it.
- Flip the carpet over and spray the mix on the rubbery back padding.
- Steam clean it.
A wise alternative to baking soda is coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds are a powerful absorbent and odor killer. Before you make your morning espresso, they will neutralize the strong gasoline odor and replace it with that sweet coffee smell.
Be careful if you opt for coffee grounds in this scenario. There is a chance of developing coffee stains on your carpet, which creates even more trouble! Make sure the coffee grounds are desert-dry before spreading them on the car carpet.
⚠️ Before you remove car carpets, disconnect the GND terminal from your car battery and de-electrify yourself.
It sounds stupid, but static electricity has burned so many gas stations over the States. That’s why gas clerks wear anti-static shoes and clothing.
A small static spark from your finger leads to a fire mess even Ghost Rider would envy.
How to Get Gasoline Smell Out of Carpet
The case with gasoline is an extraordinary one. Once it settles into the fabric, it’s a living nightmare to get rid of it.
There’s only one smell in the world that comes shoulder to shoulder with gasoline odor – transmission oil smell. Stuff that makes even people with strong stomachs make a mess in their mouth.
So, why is it that hard to get the gasoline smell out of a carpet?
Gasoline is less dense than other liquids like oil, water, and even, wine. When it touches the fabric, it goes deep into the fiber and stays there.
As long as gasoline molecules are in the fabric, you’ll feel that pungent smell.
Now, how do we get gasoline smell out of carpet? Simple.
- Find out where the spill happened.
- Pour a tablespoon of washing powder.
- Rub it in with an upholstery brush.
- Wait for an hour for the detergents in washing powder to do their magic.
- Steam clean the area.
A great alternative to washing powder is dry cleaning solvents.
Dry cleaning solvents aren’t based on water, but rather on tetrachloroethylene. In English, a powerful solvent capable of cleaning even the nastiest of fabric stains and odors.
Washing powder contains powerful detergent compounds that dissolve gasoline and built-in additive molecules. It also acts like an odor neutralizer, which takes care of that nasty gasoline smell.
Try this 👉 Place a plastic trash bag underneath your carpet when cleaning the gasoline smell. A plastic bag stops it from going through the carpet and onto your hardwood flooring.
Gasoline molecules don’t like high steam temp. It tears their molecular link. No gasoline molecules mean no nasty smell on your carpet.
How to Get Smell of Gasoline Out of Car Carpet
It’s a different story when cleaning gasoline smell out of car carpet. The car acts as a chamber, preventing the gasoline from escaping into nature.
As soon as you open the car door during the summertime, there’s that instant hit of gasoline vapors. Every car owner knows what I’m talking about.
It’s a hell of an unpleasant feeling.
Here’s how you get rid gasoline smell on your car carpet, once and for all:
- Take as many carpet paddings out to dry.
- Form a baking soda paste and spread it all over the carpets.
- Wait for the baking soda to neutralize the gasoline smell.
- Dilute a couple of drops of dish soap into a plastic tub of water.
- Use a sponge to spread the dish soap mix over the car carpets.
- Flip the carpet and spread the dish soap on the back padding.
- Wait for the dish soap to dry.
- For the final step, use a power washer to deep clean your car carpets.
- If the gasoline smell has gone into the car’s seats and upholstery, use a portable steam cleaner with a couple of drops of essential oils into the water container.
If you have those small pine-shaped car refreshers, get rid of them as soon as possible.
Gasoline smell mixed with the car refresher’s fragrance is a torture you don’t want your nose exposed to. Lavender and orange refreshers combined with gasoline smell are the worst. Trust me, you don’t want to know how I know that.
Add a couple of tablespoons of salt into your dish soap mix, before going at it with a power washer.
Salt is a powerful absorbent and neutralizer. If one could give the best neutralizing effect award, it would be baking soda and salt.
As a final side note, don’t forget to roll down your windows so the leftover gasoline smell escapes. Many car owners forget that. As soon as the summer heat strikes, they all start from zero, just because there wasn’t an escape route for the gasoline smell.
Stay Strong, You Can Do It
Cleaning gasoline stains is easy, but getting rid of the gasoline smell in your carpet or trunk is the challenging part. As long as gasoline molecules are trapped inside the carpet’s fabric, you’ll feel that sweet, toxic smell.
Luckily, your kitchen or laundry room offers plenty of tools to get rid of it.
Use baking soda, citric juice, and vinegar mixed with water to deal with tiny gasoline spills and smells on your carpet. Don’t forget to treat the carpet’s back padding too!
Paper towels are a great tool for absorbing stains, but for absorbing gasoline they aren’t that effective. Instead, use FloorDry, kitty litter, or even baking soda to do the work.
Getting rid of the gasoline smell from your car carpet or your trunk needs a bit more skill and tools.
Here, dish soap, power washer, and a portable steam cleaner are your best friends. Dish soap contains powerful solvents that dissolve additives in gasoline. If the spill is large (letting loose a gallon of gasoline), there’s a good chance the smell has gone into the seats, upholstery, and door panels.
That’s when the steam cleaner comes into play. A neat trick with a steam cleaner is to use an essential oil or floor refresher. That way you’re replacing a nasty smell with a more pleasant one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the gasoline smell go away?
Yes, but only in the case of tiny gasoline spills. Leaving your windows rolled down or wide open for a couple of hours will do the trick. But if the spill is larger, the smell won’t go away on its own. Then, use baking soda to neutralize the odor and steam clean the carpet area.
A great alternative to baking soda is a dry-cleaner solvent. It’s like getting rid of persistent stains without using any water. (That’s magic, right there!)
Pour a bit of it on the gasoline spill and rub it in with an upholstery brush. After half an hour, steam cleans the area.
What removes the gas smell from the carpet?
Baking soda, citric juice, and vinegar are the all might unpleasant odor killers. Unbeaten so far!
Citric acid gets rid of fuel additive compounds, replacing the smell of benzene (stuff gasoline is made of) with a sour lemon scent. Spray the mix over the gasoline spill and wait for a couple of minutes. If the smell is strong, spray it a couple of times, with time breaks for the mix to dry.
For the final cleaning blow, steam-clean the carpet area.