Written by Grove Collaborative

5 tips to get rid of gasoline smells.

Last Updated: October 22, 2021


Whether you’re filling up the mower or tinkering in the garage, we’ve got tips on how to remove gasoline smell from your hands, the car, or the garage floor.

Do you enjoy the smell of gasoline? You’re not alone. Researchers have found that the pungent odor of gas often evokes nostalgia — from sepia-tinted memories of helping Mom mow the lawn to the anticipation felt waiting at the pump before a summer road trip.


There’s a lot of emotion associated with the smell of gasoline, but obviously, sniffing gas fumes isn’t doctor-recommended — they suppress the nervous system, causing a temporary (but potentially hazardous) buzz.


So after you’ve gotten your momentary high from filling up the tank, use these tips to remove gasoline smell from your hands, the car, or the garage floor.

What you’ll need to get rid of gasoline smells

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How to get gasoline out of clothes and shoes

Benzene, a chemical compound with a sweetly scented odor to it, is largely responsible for gasoline’s distinctive scent, which is easily detected, even in small amounts.


When you get gasoline on your skin, clothes, or shoes, the smell of benzene — along with noxious sulfur and nitrogen compounds — is really hard to get out.


So before you toss your stained clothes in the washer for naught, follow these steps for success:


Step 1: Air out the affected item overnight.


Gas evaporates pretty quickly, but the odor tends to cling.


Step 2: Mix enough vinegar with 2 tablespoons of baking soda to form a paste.


Coat the offending item with it, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Baking soda and vinegar are both natural deodorizers, and when combined, they react in a wonderfully sciency way to dig deep into the fibers of your clothes or shoes and break apart the smelly sulfur and nitrogen compounds.


Step 3: Wash and rinse your item separately from your regular laundry.


After you pull it out of the washer, give it a sniff to make sure the smell is gone. If it’s not, repeat step 2, and re-wash until you get rid of the smell.


Step 4: To get gas smell out of shoes or other items that aren’t machine washable…


Toss them in a sealable bag filled with baking soda or clay-based kitty litter to absorb the odors. Leave them for 24 hours, and the smell should be gone.


No? Repeat with new baking soda or kitty litter.

How to get rid of gas smell in the house and car

So you have gasoline spill on the living room carpet (we won’t ask how — but seriously, how?) Or maybe your gas can sloshed in the back seat, and now there’s gas in your car.


We’ve got a method that works like a charm for both incidents.


Step 1: Mix 1 cup each of baking soda, vinegar, and water in a bowl.


Step 2: Dip an old rag in the solution.


Dab the fizzy paste onto the spill, rub it in, and let it sit for a half hour. Rinse with a wet cloth, and repeat as necessary until the eau de gasoline is completely gone.

Grove Tip

How to prevent your rags from catching fire

Properly dispose of the rags you use for gasoline clean-up.


Set them out to dry so that the flammable gas evaporates, then get them damp with water, and seal them in a plastic zipper bag — dispose of it with your trash.

How to get rid of gas smell in the garage

Gasoline leak in the garage? Lift the smell from the concrete ASAP, before it becomes a permanent stench forever emanating from your garage floor.


Step 1: Open up your garage door while you work to protect your health and air the place out.


Step 2: Sprinkle the spill liberally with odor-absorbing cat litter.


Make sure it’s the clay kind. Let the litter soak up the liquid for a couple of hours.


Step 3: Use a broom to sweep the gasoline-soaked litter into a sealed bag.


Toss it out with the trash.


And if you need more tips for cleaning concrete floors, we’ve got lots of them!

How to get rid of gas smell on your skin

Remember that scene in Zoolander when they gleefully spray each other with gasoline?


We hope that didn’t happen to you, but if it did, here are a couple ways to get rid of the gas smell on your hands and skin.

Vinegar splash

Douse your paws in a cup of white vinegar, and rub it in for 30 to 45 seconds.


Squeeze a little dish soap into your hands, wash thoroughly, and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Baking soda

Make a gentle exfoliant with baking soda.


Pour about a teaspoon into your hands and mix it with a few drops of warm water to create a paste. Rub it over your hands for a couple of minutes, then rinse.

Lemon juice

Citric acid is a great alternative to baking soda and vinegar for breaking up those stinky gasoline compounds.


Just squirt fresh or bottled lemon juice onto your hands, rub it into your skin, and rinse with water. Once the gas is gone, moisturize your hands with a gentle, natural lotion.

Watch this video for more tips on how to remove gas smell from your skin.

Natural gas vs. gasoline: What’s the difference?

Natural gas smells different than the gasoline used to fuel your car. Fun fact: Natural gas doesn’t actually have a smell. Gas companies scent it with a harmless chemical called mercaptan to give it the easy-to-detect (and not-at-all-pleasant) scent of rotten eggs.


If you smell natural gas near an appliance, check to see if the pilot light is out. If so, relight it — problem solved.


For all other instances, whether the smell of natural gas is inside or outside, strong or faint — immediately leave the area and call your local gas company.


The smell could indicate a dangerous situation, and your gas company is available 24/7 to check it out. They’ll send someone out free of charge to make sure the area is safe.

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