How to Get the Gasoline Smell Out of Your Car

Updated: Nov. 04, 2022

To get rid of that smell, you'll need to do much more than mask it with a sweetly-scented spray.

No matter how careful you are, it happens. You’re at the pump filling your tank and somehow some gasoline spills on your clothing or shoes—a gas pumping mistake as old as time. Or you’re transporting gasoline back home to fill up the lawn mower and it spills in your car.

To get rid of that smell, you’ll need to do much more than mask it with a sweetly-scented spray. And there could be any number of reasons your car smells! But here’s how to get rid of that gasoline odor once and for all.

Tools you’ll need: 

  • Clean rag

Materials you’ll need: 

  • Baking soda
  • Cat litter
  • Febreze
  • Mild soap
  • Old towels
  • White vinegar

Get rid of gas smell in your car

Bill Gatton Acura, a Johnson City, Tenn. car dealership, says that you need to act quickly if you spill gasoline in your car. First, soak up the gas with old towels or clean rags as quickly as possible. Then use a mixture of equal parts baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water to neutralize the odor. Rub it in and then wipe it away with a clean rag.

If the smell lingers, car detailing experts say a few sprays of Febreze can help get rid of the smell. It’ll get your vehicle smelling like new ASAP!

Get rid of gas smell in your garage

If you spill gasoline in the garage, use cat litter to absorb the liquid. The litter will also help combat the smell. Just let the litter soak up the gasoline for a couple of hours, then sweep it up and discard it. Be sure to check with your city’s trash disposal rules to make sure the mixture can be placed in your trash bin.

Get rid of gas smell on your hands

Keep a package of Briggs & Stratton Gas Off wipes in your car’s glove compartment. The wipes remove gasoline and diesel fuel odor and residue. They’re safe not only for your skin, but also for plastic surfaces and auto upholstery.

Get rid of gas smell on clothing

Since gasoline is highly flammable, safely discard any clothing or shoes that are heavily soaked.

If you have a small gas spill on clothing, try this trick: Let it air dry for 24 hours, preferably outside. If a strong gas smell remains, soak the garment in vinegar for an hour and air dry again.

Once the item loses that strong gas smell, rub mild dish soap onto the stain and wash the gas-stained garment only (nothing else in the same load) on the hottest cycle possible. Hang the clean clothes to dry.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman