Gasoline has a pervasive odor that can make your car reek. In addition, it can make you light-headed, dizzy, or nauseated. The first thing to do is deal with a spill right after it happens, if you can, by getting rid of as much gasoline as possible. Then you should scrub the spill down. You can also try a variety of tricks to help lessen the odor. However, if you can’t locate the source of the spill, you should have your car checked out by a mechanic, just in case you have a gas leak.
EditFinding and Removing the Spill
- Locate the odor. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out where the smell is coming from. Often, the culprit is where you’ve dragged gasoline in on your shoes or where gas has spilled out of a can in the back. Use your nose to sniff out the likely source of the smell.
- Soak up any gasoline. If the spill is new, press a cloth on the spill to get up as much gasoline as you can. It’s best to use old rags, as you likely won’t want to keep them once you’re done.
- Let the gasoline evaporate. Once you’ve soaked up as much as you can, let the sun do the rest. Leave the car open in a sunny spot, so it will dry out the spot and draw the gasoline into the air. Try to leave it open for at least 4 to 5 hours.
EditCleaning the Spill
- Make a cleaning solution. Create a simple solution of carpet shampoo and water. Use about 3 cups (720 milliliters) of tap water to 1/2 a cup (120 milliliters) of shampoo. Stir it gently until it is well combined.
- Scrub the mixture in. Using a nylon brush or a rag, apply the mixture to the spill. Scrub it in, applying more solution as you need it. Make sure to use a rag or brush that you don’t mind throwing out.
- Dab the solution up. Once the stain seems to have lifted, dab at the solution with old rags. Make sure you are using different rags in each step. Get up as much as you can with the rag, then let it air dry in the sun.
EditEliminating the Smell
- Rub in some coffee grounds. Some people have good luck using coffee grounds to eliminate gas smells. All you do is rub grounds into the affected area. After a week or so, vacuum up the coffee, and the smell should be lessened.
- Some experts recommend trying a short coffee treatment before you shampoo the area.
- Pour on the baking soda. Some people cover up the smell by dousing it in dry baking soda. They leave the baking soda on it all the time, switching it out monthly or so by vacuuming up the old and adding a fresh layer.
- You can also use baby powder instead of baking soda.
- Add a layer of kitty litter. Another option is kitty litter, which is designed to absorb moisture and smells. Pour it on the spill, and leave it for at least a day before vacuuming it up. You may need to repeat the process several times.
- Try an odor-eliminating spray. These sprays are designed for fabrics, so they may make a difference when it comes to a gasoline smell. Spray it on generously, and then allow it to air dry.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Old rags or towels
- Carpet shampoo, dishwashing soap, or baking soda and vinegar
- Coffee grounds, kitty litter, baking soda, or odor-eliminating spray