If you work as a diesel mechanic or technician or drive a diesel car, your clothes will probably have diesel stains or smell like diesel. This strong smell can also linger in your home, especially if you work with diesel a lot.
When you try to get rid of these stains and smells, they can be hard to remove. So, you might have to try more than once to get rid of the stains, which can be dangerous if they aren’t cleaned properly. How? Well, stains from diesel fuel make your clothes and carpets more likely to catch fire. Diesel stains and smells can be fixed in a number of ways that work well.
How to Remove Diesel Fuel Out of Clothes
Now, before we go any further, I should say a few things. If the stained item says “dry clean only,” you should take it to a dry cleaner. Make sure to point out and name the stain, because different stains need different ways to get rid of them. Also, if you have stains on old or silk upholstery, you should talk to a professional. There are many ways to get rid of diesel fuel, such as:
Solvent-Based Stain Remover
Use a solvent-based stain remover or an enzyme-based heavy-duty liquid detergent to treat the diesel fuel before you use it. Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the treatment, and then leave it on for at least 15 minutes. Then, wash the item of clothing in the hottest water it can handle.
If the smell of fuel is still there, repeat the process or soak the item overnight in a baking soda and water solution. After that, wash it as usual.
If your clothes have a strong smell, soak them overnight in warm water and non-sudsing household ammonia in the washing machine, a deep laundry sink, or a plastic tub. If you can, keep the washer lid closed or cover the tub and sink. The next day, empty the washer and wash the clothes as usual. DURING THE SOAKING OR WASHING, DO NOT USE ANY CHLORINE BLEACH. When you mix ammonia and bleach, toxic fumes are made.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
To make a soaking solution, use the same amount of baking soda and vinegar as you would detergent. Both of these things are natural cleaners and deodorizers that break down oils well. When the vinegar and baking powder mix, the vinegar reacts with the powder and gets deep into the fabric. Give the clothes 15 minutes to soak before you rinse them.
Tip: If the diesel smell is too strong, you may have to do the process more than once to get rid of it.
Coca Cola and Baking Soda
When mixed together, Coke and baking soda can do amazing things to get rid of diesel smells and stains on clothes. Coke gets rid of grease. A degreaser is a chemical that breaks up things that don’t dissolve in water, like greases and oils. On the other hand, baking soda takes in smells instead of covering them up like most store-bought air fresheners do.
Mix one cup of industrial degreaser with water in a tub or washer, and let the clothes soak in the solution for about two hours. The oils in the fuel are broken down when you do this. Drain the water, rinse the clothes, fill the tub or washer with clean water, and add a 2-liter bottle of Coke and one box of baking soda. Give it 12 to 24 hours to soak.
Rubbing Alcohol and Baking Soda
Since baking soda is good at getting rid of smells and alcohol evaporates quickly, this is a great way to get diesel stains out of clothes. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain, douse it with rubbing alcohol, and rub the paste into the fabric.
This method is especially helpful if diesel gets on the seats of the car. Because rubbing alcohol won’t soak into the material, which leaves it open to mould problems. If you only want to get rid of the diesel smell and there are no stains, you can just use rubbing alcohol.
Pour half a cup of rubbing alcohol into a half-gallon bucket of water to do this. Soak the clothes that smell like diesel for 20 minutes, then wash.
Mouthwash, yes! Even though it seems strange, Listerine is a very good deodorizer. In fact, professional firefighters have long used it to get rid of the smell of smoke and soot on their uniforms.
Pour some mouthwash that contains alcohol into your washer and wash the clothes as you normally would. After that, smell them to see if they still smell bad, and if they do, do the same thing again. You could also put the mouthwash on the area and let it sit for 15 minutes. Any smells that are stuck in the material will be eaten away.
No matter what you do, don’t put the clothes in the dryer if the smell of fuel is still there. The heat from the dryer can cause them to catch fire. If there is still a faint diesel smell, let the clothes air dry on a drying rack or clothesline inside. Air-drying can also help get rid of smells.
How to Remove Diesel Fuel From Your Hands
Fast Orange can also get rid of the smell of diesel fuel on your hands. You can buy Fast Orange hand cleaner on Amazon, at Walmart, or at most auto parts stores. Even though it is made to remove grease and diesel from hands, it works well on clothes as well. And you can even put it in your washing machine without worrying.
You can also clean diesel smell off your hands with Listerine. The mouthwash is cheap and can be bought at a grocery store near you.
How to Remove Diesel Fuel From Car Carpet and Upholstery
If you spill a lot of diesel in your car trunk or on your carpet at home, it will likely soak the padding underneath the carpet and need to be cleaned by a professional. Most of the time, the carpet and pad will need to be changed. But follow these steps for small stains:
Use paper towels to soak up as much of the fuel as possible, and then throw them away in a safe way.
Spread baking soda or kitty litter on the stain to help absorb more diesel and the smell. Leave the absorbent material in place for at least 4 hours, and then use a shop vac to get rid of it. If it gets wet, you can vacuum it up, sprinkle on more, and let it sit overnight. The next day, you can vacuum it.
Add one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent to one cup of warm water. With a soft-bristled brush, work the solution into the stained area from the edge of the stain toward the centre to keep the stain from spreading.
Blot the area with paper towels, and then rinse it with a sponge or cloth dipped in plain water. Let the treated area dry on its own, and then vacuum the carpet to bring back the pile. If the stain stays, you’ll have to do the treatment again.
Keeping your car well-ventilated will help get rid of any diesel smells that might still be in there. Aside from baking soda, coffee grounds and activated charcoal will also help take away the smell. Put some in a plastic bowl under the driver’s and passenger’s seats to act as extra air filters.
Top 9 FAQs for removing diesel fuel
How do you clean up diesel fuel?
In a clean, empty gallon jar, mix together hot water, ammonia, sodium carbonate (also called washing soda), and vinegar. Shake the jug until all of the ingredients are mixed together. Then use it to scrub the surface where the diesel got spilled. This should clean the area and get rid of most of the smells.
What does diesel fuel smell like?
If you smell regular gasoline and diesel fuel side by side, you will notice that they smell different. Also, they feel different when you touch them. Diesel fuel is more oily because it has a thicker consistency. Similar to oil, diesel fuel does not evaporate into a gaseous state like gasoline will do. Diesel is thicker than gasoline, so a gallon of diesel weighs about a pound more than a gallon of gasoline.
How do you neutralize diesel fuel?
To get rid of diesel fuel, first put mothballs around the area where it got spilled. As an extra step, you can wash your clothes in Listerine, which has alcohol in it. If the room smells like diesel, open a can of coffee grounds. Put a few cans of coffee grounds around the room to cover the smell.
Read this if you don’t know where to throw away your gasoline: How to get rid of old gasoline.
This guide will show you how to get diesel fuel out of your clothes, home, and car. Diesel is a common fuel, and you will probably spill some of it sooner or later. There is a strong, unpleasant smell. Always be as careful as you can to keep things from spilling and going to waste.
I hope that one of these methods will help you get rid of that annoying diesel stain or smell. Best of luck!