House Smells Like Gasoline? Don’t Ignore These Signs

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Many people store gasoline in their homes, while others get it on their clothes or other items that can transfer to their garage and house. If your house smells like gasoline, you want to take care of it quickly.

A gasoline smell in your home can mean gasoline on your clothes, a gasoline spill in your garage, or you have unsealed gas canisters. You can clean up gas spills in your garage using kitty litter, vinegar, baking soda, and rubbing alcohol. This should also remove any gasoline smells in the garage.

The most crucial step when you smell gasoline in your home is to stay calm, which is often easier said than done! 

You know you need to find the cause, but where do you start? 

This article will examine what it means when you smell gasoline, where it could be coming from, and how to get the smell out of your home, garage, and clothes. 


Why Your House Smells Like Gasoline

When you smell gas in your home, the first objective is to find where the smell is coming from.

Some places are obvious, and others are more elaborate, but you must find out why your home smells like gasoline.

It might be nothing major, but when you smell gasoline in your home or garage, you must take it seriously.

According to the CDC, gasoline is easily absorbed through the lungs, meaning a gasoline smell in houses or garages is more dangerous than spilling petrol on your skin.

If you find the smell getting stronger as you look for the source, you must evacuate your home (remember to bring your pets). Once you’re safely outside, call the utility or gas supplier and 911.

Gasoline is a petroleum-based product that leaves a yellow/light orange oily residue behind when it is spilled. The gasoline’s benzene, nitrogen, and sulfur compounds have a strong smell.

Some of the reasons for the smell of gasoline in your home include:

Gasoline Spills

The garage is the first place you can look for spilled gasoline. Look for spills under your car and gasoline-powered vehicles or appliances such as motorcycles, lawnmowers, and weed whackers.

If you don’t find a spill, look around for any bottles with gasoline and see if some of the contents have spilled out.

Also, look for spilled gasoline near the fuel door of any vehicle, power tool, or appliance.

Unsealed Gas Canisters

If you don’t see gasoline spills in your home, look for unsealed gas canisters or improperly closed lids. 

Escaping fumes can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches, so ensure you have adequate ventilation in your garage or take the canisters outside.

Any gasoline canisters that are broken or can’t close will need to be emptied and discarded. 

Insufficient insulation and poor ventilation can cause gasoline fumes to spread throughout your home. 

After removing the gas, canisters use one of the odor removal methods mentioned in one of the sections below to eliminate the smell.

Gasoline On Your Clothes 

The final reason why your house smells like gasoline could be your clothes.

The most minor spill can make its way onto your hands, shoes, and clothes when you fill your car’s gas tank, and you may only notice it once you are at home.

Put on fresh clothes and look for an oily stain on the ones you wore when you first smelled the gasoline.

Because gasoline is a petroleum-based product, it will leave an oily residue on your clothes. The stain will keep smelling like gasoline, spreading the fumes to the rest of your home.

You must remove the stain from your clothes, or the smell will linger.


How to Get Rid Of a Gasoline Smell In Houses or Garages

How can you successfully remove the odor if the gasoline smell is nothing serious but won’t go away?

It depends on where the smell is coming from.

If the smell comes from a gasoline spill, you must deal with it quickly. If you wait too long, it may be absorbed into the floor, and you will always have a gasoline smell in your garage.

Use clay-based kitty litter to soak up as much gasoline as possible. After around two hours, sweep the cat litter into a trash bag and safely dispose of it.

Then, we can deal with eliminating the gasoline smell.


Method #1: Use Baking Soda & Vinegar to Remove Gasoline Smells

This is how to remove the smell of gasoline from your home, car, and clothes using baking soda and vinegar.

Here is what you will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge or scouring pad
  • Clean cloth
  • Water
Use baking soda and vinegar to remove gasoline smells

Step 1

When you have a gasoline spill in your car or a room in your home (the carpet, perhaps), you can use these cleaning supplies to remove the stain and, thus, the smell. Mix one cup of baking soda, one cup of vinegar, and one cup of water in a container. 

Step 2

Dip a clean old rag into the paste and rub it into the spill or stain. 

If the spill is on your car seat or floor, open the doors to remove the fumes. 

Let the cleaning paste sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. 

Step 3

Clean the solution up using a clean, wet cloth. Rub vigorously and smell the stain to see if the gasoline odor is gone. 

If it remains, repeat steps 1-2 until the smell and stain are removed. 


Method #2: Use Rubbing Alcohol & Baking Soda to Remove Gasoline Smells

Here are the steps to use with rubbing alcohol and baking soda to get gasoline smells out of your home and car.

If you would rather use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar, this is what you will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean cloth
  • Water 
  • Laundry detergent
  • Sponge or scouring pad
Use rubbing alcohol and baking soda to remove gasoline smells

Step 1

If you have spilled gasoline on your carpet or inside your car, start by sprinkling baking soda on the spill. 

Then, add some rubbing alcohol to the baking soda, making a paste.

Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2

When the 30 minutes are up, clean the area with a damp cloth, and the gasoline stain and smell should be gone. 

Repeat step 1 if the stain and odor remain. 


How to Remove Gasoline Smells From Clothing

Removing gasoline smells from clothing can be challenging but not impossible.

We can use the same household supplies we discussed earlier, but the steps are slightly different.

Method #1: Use Baking Soda & Vinegar to Remove Gasoline Smells From Clothes

When gasoline spills onto your clothes or shoes, the smell remains even after washing them. 

Here is how to get rid of the smell for good.

Step 1

Air out the clothing item overnight (on the line outside so the gasoline fumes evaporate). 

Then mix just enough baking soda with vinegar until it forms a paste (around two tablespoons). 

Rub the paste on the gasoline stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

Step 2

Wash and rinse the clothing item in your washing machine (make sure you separate it from your regular washing) using strong laundry detergent. Take the clothing items out and do a smell test. 

If you still smell gasoline, repeat steps 1-2 until the smell and stain are gone.

Step 3

If the clothing item is not machine-washable, put it into a trash bag and add some baking soda or clay-based kitty litter. 

Shake the bag and let it sit in it for 24 hours, then give it a smell test. 

The smell should be gone, but if the smell is not gone, repeat step 3, and the next day, the smell should be eliminated.

Step 4

After removing the item from the bag and the smell is gone, you can use a household vacuum to eliminate baking soda or kitty litter dust.  

Removing gasoline smells from clothing is tricky, but not impossible

Method #2: Use Rubbing Alcohol & Baking Soda to Remove Gasoline Smells From Clothes

This is how to use rubbing alcohol and baking soda to remove gasoline stains from clothes and shoes.

Step 1

Let the items air out (outside) overnight. It should help lessen the strength of the smell. Then, combine two tablespoons of baking soda with enough rubbing alcohol to make a paste. Then, rub the paste onto the stain. Let it sit for 60 minutes.

Step 2

After 60 minutes, wash and rinse the affected item in the washing machine using regular laundry detergent. 

If the smell remains after washing, repeat the first step until the smell is gone. 


Wrapping It Up

When your house smells like gasoline and you can’t immediately find the source, it’s important to evacuate the home and contact the utility company and 911.

Once you have found the source, you can use baking soda, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and cat litter to remove the smell and the stains from your home, garage, and clothes.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.