The Best Way To Remove Strong Gasoline Odors From Clothing

Popping stinky clothes into your washing machine is an easy way to remove even the most stubborn of odors from clothing, but you can't do that if you accidentally spill gas on your items. Throwing them into the washer without pretreating the stains can create a fire hazard, per the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Instead, you need to spot-treat the splotches to remove the gas from the threads and allow them to air dry outside before moving them into the appliance. This minimizes the risk of creating a fire or causing a combustion in your laundry room. 

Gasoline can get on your clothes in all sorts of ways. Maybe you dribbled some on your pants while tanking up your car, or perhaps you got some on your hands when tinkering with your grill and wiped it on your sweater. Whatever the reason, gasoline is highly flammable and can't come in contact with extreme heat. Since washers and especially dryers can produce heat, these items are risky to wash directly in the appliance. Plus, the washer can become cross-contaminated with oil, which can spread to your other clothes. Luckily, safely removing gasoline from your clothes is simple.

How to remove gas odors from your clothes

To minimize your fire risk, spot-clean the gasoline stains with detergent, rinse them, and let them air dry for at least a 24-hour cycle. This allows the fumes to dissipate, making it less of a fire hazard. Before bringing it indoors, give the stains a sniff. If they still smell like gasoline, you may need to leave them to air for a couple more hours.

The best way to treat this oil-based stain is to pre-treat it with a stain remover such as Shout to ensure there won't be a faint mark left after you wash it. If you don't have that handy, Dawn dish soap will also work since it's specially formulated to break down grease. Let it sit anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and then set the washing machine to the hottest water setting your item can tolerate. Combine 1/4 cup of ammonia and your regular amount of detergent in the machine, and allow it to wash for a complete cycle. The combination should remove the oil stains from the fabric. Ensure you wash it alone, without any other laundry, in order not to cross-contaminate other items. Also, make sure your detergent doesn't contain bleach, as this can create toxic chlorine gas, as per the Washington State Department of Health.

In case some faint gasoline residue is left, skip throwing it in the dryer entirely and hang it on a drying rack. Repeat the cycle if the smell persists.