Gasoline stinks - here's how to deal with spills

It eventually happens to everyone…you’re in a rush while getting gas and you spill some gas on the ground, or worse yet, on your hands or clothes. In this blog post, we’ll tell you how to deal with each situation.

So you’ve spilled some gasoline on the ground while filling up your vehicle. There’s no reason to panic, although for safety reasons, something does need to be done. If you happen to spill enough gas on the ground to make a small puddle, go inside the filling station and inform the clerk. Gas station attendees have special products they use to soak up spilled gasoline to keep everyone safe.

What if you’ve splashed gas on your clothes? This problem is not as easy to solve as gasoline spilled on concrete. Gasoline is oily, and like all oil stains, it’s difficult to remove from fabrics. Because gasoline is volatile, there is also a risk of fire if the garment is handled improperly. But fear not, you don’t need to stop, drop and roll right away. If you’ve just gotten a small spot of gas on your garment, don’t worry, it can be salvaged. If it’s soaked, you’re better off cutting your losses and throwing it away. Follow these steps to get gasoline out of a fabric garment:

1.)   Gather your supplies: apple cider vinegar, laundry detergent, and spot remover.

2.)   Weather permitting, hang the garment outside in the fresh air for 24 hours; this can remove a large portion of the smell and help the gasoline evaporate.

3.)   If the garment still smells badly after 24 hours of outdoor exposure, spray the garment thoroughly with a garden hose and let air dry for another 24 hours.

4.)   Now it’s time to prepare your garment for washing. Use your preferred spot remover and apply it directly to the area where the gasoline was spilled. While the spot remover is working to break down the oily residue, mix one part apple cider vinegar to one part regular laundry detergent. Now wash the garment as you would normally using the detergent/vinegar mix. It is important to wash this garment ALONE. Do NOT add any other clothing to the washer with a garment that has gasoline on it.

5.)   Do NOT put the laundered garment in the dryer. There is a risk of fire and/or combustion. Let the garment air dry ONLY.

6.)   Repeat step 4 as needed until the garment no longer smells of gasoline. Never put the garment in the clothes dryer if it smells of gasoline. If you can no longer smell gasoline, you can put the garment in the dryer using low heat.

What about your shoes? Removing gasoline from shoes will depend on the material the shoes are made of. Leather shoes will not be easily cleaned and will usually require professional care from a shoe repair store. However, if you were wearing sneakers or other fabric shoes (like Converse, Toms, etc.), you may be able to clean your shoes yourself. To clean your shoes, follow these steps:

1.)   Gather your supplies: Dawn dish washing liquid, a 5 gallon bucket, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, scented baby oil.

2.)   Fill the bucket with warm water (doesn’t have to be hot). Squirt a tablespoon of Dawn into the bucket.

3.)   Stir the water until a good amount of suds form.

4.)   Pour apple cider vinegar on your shoes and let sit for 5 minutes.

5.)   Put your shoes in the sudsy bucket and leave them for 24 hours (you may stir the bucket every few hours to renew the suds if you’d like).

6.)   Take your shoes out of the bucket and rinse them for several minutes. You can use a utility tub or your garden hose for this step. Keep rinsing until no suds form on the shoes.

7.)   Let the shoes air dry for several days (or however long it takes for them to be 100% dry).

8.)   If the shoes have rubber soles, soak a cotton ball with scented baby oil. Gently scrub the entire surface of the sole with the baby oil-soaked cotton ball. Remove the oil residue with a dry paper towel. Your shoes should be gasoline free. If they aren’t, you can repeat the steps above.

While some gearheads and motoring enthusiasts love the smell of gasoline (which brings to mind this Dodge NASCAR commercial from 2002), many people think gas stinks. If you’ve gotten it on your hands or skin, use rubbing alcohol to remove the oily residue, then wash your skin thoroughly with regular soap and water. Next, soak a cotton ball with lemon juice or eucalyptus oil and scrub your skin with it. Wash with regular soap and water again and you should be good to go and free of gasoline smell.

If you notice a gasoline smell in your vehicle, it’s important to bring it to a mechanic right away. Not only is your vehicle not performing its best if its leaking fuel, but it is a danger to you and your family’s safety. You can trust the professional technicians at SVG Jeep to take care of your vehicle and get you back on the road quickly and safely.

Categories: Service
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