How to Get Rid of Diesel Smell: Tactics That Work Properly

How to Get Rid of Diesel Smell: Tactics That Work Properly

Working with diesel, you’re always probably careful not to spill it, not just for safety and money saving purposes but also because of the smell – a strong odor that doesn’t go away easily even with air fresheners. But accidental spills are bound to happen once in a while, no matter how careful you are. In case that happens, here are a few methods for removing the diesel odor.

Diesel stains on fabrics and carpets make them unusually flammable, so it’s essential to handle them cautiously.

A most important thing to keep in mind is that diesel-stained clothes shouldn’t be cleaned together with other items, and if after cleaning them, the diesel odor is still there, don’t put these clothes in the drier. That’s because the excess heat in the drier might ignite the diesel, causing the clothes to burst into flames.

Removing Diesel Stains and Odors from Clothes

Diesel is a petroleum oil-based product, and thus, you need to pretreat the stains with solvent-based stain removal products such as Spray N Wash or Zout. In case you don’t have that, you could use some heavy-duty liquid detergent that is enzyme based.

Some brands to consider include Persil and Tide. Apply the product to the stain then use a brush (a soft, brittle kind) to rub the stain. But before rubbing the stain, you should give the product about 10 to 20 minutes to do break down the chemical bonds in the stains.

Once you have pretreated the stains that way, it’s time to wash the clothes. Heat the water to the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric and use it to wash the clothes. The stains, as well as the odors, should be gone by the time you’re done but in case they’re not gone, repeat the treatment before drying the clothes.

In the event that there still are faint diesel odors, soak the garment overnight in water containing a cup of baking soda, and rewash the clothes and rinse them in the morning.

Handling eavy Odors

What if the stains are large and the odors are very heavy?

  • Fill a plastic tub, deep sink or the washer with hot water and add a cup of household ammonia (non-suds). Put the diesel-stained garments in there and shut the lid if there’s one. Let the garments soak overnight or for around 10 hours.
  • Remove the clothes and hand wash them.

Caution: ensure you’re not using chlorine bleaches in the soaking or washing process, as there can be the formation of hazardous fumes.

Pro tip: the garments dry naturally in the outside clothing lines or racks. That will help remove any remaining traces of diesel odor.

What If the Garments Are Labeled ‘Dry Clean Only’?

In that case, you might be considering to use your home dry cleaning kits, but that won’t be very safe or effective. Instead, take the clothes to the dry-cleaning shop promptly and inform them that the clothes are diesel-stained.

Removing Diesel Stains and Odors from Carpets and Upholsteries

 Do you have diesel spilled on your home carpet or perhaps in your car’s trunk? We know how overwhelming the fumes can be, but this solution can be of help:
  • First, switch off all the electrical equipment. If the diesel is spilled in your car, turn off the engine. The reason for doing that is, the electrical equipment might ignite the diesel, and the results would be devastating.
  • Also, open all the windows and doors to help disperse the vapors.

Before we continue with the steps, note that if the spill on the carpet is too large, it would be better to use the services of a professional.

  • Use paper towels to blot as much of the spill as you can, whether it is on the vehicle trunk or the home carpet. Dispose of the towels safely. 
  • Then, scatter some baking soda on the stained part and let it sit there for around 4 hours. In case the part grows damp, use a vacuum to remove the baking soda, then splash the baking soda once more, and remove the baking soda again. 
  • Combine some dishwashing detergent (a tablespoon, roughly) with a cup of warm water, then apply the solution to the stains. Use a soft-bristle brush to work the detergent from the outer ends of the stains to the center ones, so you don’t spread the stains to unaffected areas.
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    Use some paper towels or white pieces of clothes to remove the solution.
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    Dip a cloth or sponge in clean water and use it to rinse the section.
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    Allow the carpet to dry, ensuring it is away from any direct heat.
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    Lastly, vacuum the area.

In case some odor remains after the treatment, then repeat the process. Deactivated charcoal and coffee grounds might help with absorbing the odor.

An Alternative Method of Removing Diesel Smell

Step 1

Get some mothballs (these are just small balls of pesticides and deodorant, and you get them on Amazon, Walmart or any other retail store) and lay them inside the room where there is a diesel spill. The will successfully neutralize the odor, but of course, if you have kids or pets at home, you want to get them out first.

Actually, the best place for laying mothballs is the garage, as kids and pets probably don’t have access to it.

Step 2

If your clothes have diesel on them, wash them with Listerine. This is the product that firefighters apply to get rid of the smoke smell on their clothes. In case some of the diesel spilled on the car mat or the floor of your house, the same product will work just fine. After applying it, wash the clothes or mat (or whatever else you’re ridding of diesel smell) with a carpet shampooer. 

Step 3

Get some OdorGone and spray it in the room where there’s diesel was spilled. Though OdorGone is a natural product, it’s very strong and is designed to remove some of the most powerful smells. You could also spray it on your clothes if they’re stained in diesel, and then wash them.

Step 4

Take some portions of ammonia, vinegar, washing soda, and hot water, and mix them in a jar. Ensure the mixture is properly blended then apply it to the surface where there’s a diesel spill. This will not just remove the smell; it will also leave the surface pretty clean.

FAQs

1. Are diesel fumes dangerous?

Like gasoline fumes, diesel fumes contain hydrocarbons, which are not very friendly. In the short term, diesel fumes cause irritation to the eyes, throat, and lungs. The long-term effects include bronchitis, headache, and as Dr. Mercola suggests, particles from diesel fumes can travel to the brain, interfering with its normal function, and increasing the risks of developing conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. 

2. How can I clean my diesel tank?

Drain excess water along with fuel contaminants from the tank’s bottom. Then, put a gallon of tank cleaner and clear diesel fuel to every 500 gallons of diesel. 

3. What are mothballs?

These are just small balls of pesticides and deodorant that are typically used to store clothes. They’re very efficient at sucking diesel smell.

Final Word
Diesel odor is not just overwhelming; it’s a sign of danger, as diesel is highly flammable. That’s why you need to get rid of it. With the methods described above, that shouldn’t be a very difficult task.

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