Whether it leaked out from your car or spilled while refueling your lawn mower, we’ve all had to clean up gas spills in our garages.
Sometimes, our first instinct isn’t the right way to handle a problem, though.
Usually, when we see a fresh puddle of oil or grease, we reach for the closest rag to clean it up.
Unfortunately, you’ve probably rubbed the stain in even deeper than before.
In this article, I will cover how to clean up spilled gasoline on concrete garage floors and driveways, including some safety tips along the way.
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A Word About Gasoline Safety
We’re always told to think about safety first, but it’s really important with a gas spill clean up. Remember, if you can smell gasoline in your house, there’s enough in the air to be concerned about.
Once you’ve figured out where the spill is coming from, want to take care of it quickly. Remember, if the problem is a leak under the car, be sure you get it fixed.
That way, you don’t have to repeatedly clean up the same spill.
Any time you’re dealing with a chemical spill, gasoline included, you must take safety precautions. That means having garage ventilation, like an oscillating fan or exhaust fan. If it’s a fresh spill, open the garage door and get some outside air circulating through your garage.
Gas fumes are a potential health risk, causing vomiting, dizziness, or even making you pass out. Prolonged exposure can even lead to permanent lung damage.
That means, as much as we’re tired of hearing about them, you must wear a mask or ventilator. Be sure it’s an N-95 mask, which offers higher particle filtration than cloth masks.
Finally, wear rubber (not latex) gloves and eye protection to protect your eyes and skin.
It goes without saying, but remove anything that makes a spark.
A gas spill isn’t just an unpleasant sight or smell. It could be a serious fire hazard.
How to Clean Up Spilled Gasoline on Concrete Garage Floors
Gas and oil spills are some of the more difficult stains to remove from your concrete garage floor. Especially on an epoxy floor, the quicker you act, the less it’s likely to leave a permanent stain.
Before you clean your garage floor, you should try to tackle any stubborn stains – including gasoline stains.
Gasoline doesn’t bind with water. That means regular cleaning, rubbing, and scrubbing that might work on other spills won’t cut it with gas.
The first step is to try to soak up any excess gasoline.
How to Soak Up Excess Gasoline
Lay down paper towels or rags to soak up some of the spills. Let the towels do the work, and then discard them.
Don’t try to scrub the stain away. It causes the gas to seep even deeper into the surface and spread the stain wider, making things worse.
Another option is using clay-based cat litter, sand, or baking soda to help soak up the pooled liquid.
Another option is to use a mix of paint thinner and sawdust instead of cat litter. Let this mixture absorb the stain for at least 20 minutes before sweeping it away and discarding it.
The concept is the same, and both products are known to yield good results.
Make sure that you use enough to absorb the whole spill. Let it sit for about an hour before sweeping it up.
Gas Spill Clean Up: Eco-Friendly Options
There are other options for those who are just as conscientious about the environment as they are about the appearance of their driveway or garage.
Products like Spill Magaic, made from coconut husks, may be worth trying.
This environmentally friendly product reduces some of the waste that comes from using sawdust or cat litter. The coconut-based cleanup solution acts similarly to those products, soaking up the excess gasoline.
- Quick and Easy to Use
- Safe and environmentally friendly
- OSHA Compliant
- Absorbs and disinfects in one step leaving the surface clean & dry
- Single Use Plastic Bag for one time clean up
Removing the Gasoline Stain from Concrete
Once you clean up the remaining liquid gasoline, you may still see a visible stain on your garage floor.
Next, we’ll focus on deep cleaning methods to remove that stain.
Some people have successfully used undiluted bleach to clean a deep, dried gas or oil stain off concrete.
However, bleach is toxic to the environment and harmful to your skin, so we won’t focus on that product here. Depending on your floor’s finish, it could also damage it.
Now, let’s move on to phase two. After our cleanup, we’re dealing with a dry gas stain.
The cheapest solution is a homemade paste with a mixture of water and baking soda.
After applying the paste, let it sit for about ten minutes, then scour it with a stiff brush. Pure white or cleaning vinegar has also been known to get some stubborn stains off the concrete.
However, I’ve had the best luck with commercial stain removers, testing quite a few of them.
I’ll highlight some of my favorites here, but you can check out my entire concrete cleaner roundup here.
My favorite product was Oil Eater cleaner and degreaser, followed by GP66 Miracle Cleaner. Both were very effective at removing stubborn stains on my garage floor. However, Oil Eater was much cheaper than the GP66.
Another option is a microbial oil stain remover. While it didn’t perform well in my roundup review, some people swear by them. One example is the biodegradable ACT Concrete Cleaner.
The micro-organisms eat gas, oil, and grease until they’re gone. After covering the stain with the ACT powder, spray it with water and let it sit for a few hours. Then, clean off the residue with soap and water.
Oil Eater CleanerDegreaser removed a two--year old stain on my concrete garage floor that nothing else could. I highly recommend this, even for stubborn stains.
Wrapping It Up
We’ve covered staying safe during the cleanup job and looked at several ways to remove gas stains from your garage floor.
However, it’s not just the stain we need to deal with.
Gasoline can leave a strong, lasting smell even if the stain looks almost as good as new. This can be a damper on your newly cleaned garage.
You can use baking soda and vinegar to help eliminate the strong gas odor.
This should help alleviate some of the smell so you can return to enjoying time in your garage.