Unfortunately, if you drive a vehicle or work with some type of heavy machinery than hazardous fuels are an everyday part of your natural function which means spills are possible. This is why knowing how to properly get those fuel stains such as diesel or gas out of your clothing is important. Here are some steps to removing these harsh stains in order to avoid expensive professional cleaners or ultimately disposing of them altogether.
Step 1 – Removing the excess
The first thing most people think to do when any type of liquid or semiliquid material gets on clothing is to wipe it up. Not in the case of gas or diesel fuel. Instead, you want to remove excess spillage by blotting the area with towels or rags (particularly dry towels or rags) to absorb as much of the excess as possible. No rubbing or wiping involved.
Step 2 – Put the garment out to dry
After blotting the garment, it is now time to place it in an airy, well ventilated dry spot for at least two days out of the line of smell, the reach of children and pets. This aids in the process of stain removing by creating an environment for some of the fuel components to evaporate.
Step 3 – Pre-treating the stain
Now its time to add soap but you want to be sure to use a soap that is designed to cut grease (an example would be Dawn dish detergent or Mean Green cleaning solution). Place some of the soap directly onto the stain itself and work the area with a brush or cleaning pad (you can even use an old toothbrush if need be). Once the soap is applied fully, leave the garment out to dry the soap for at least 10 minutes or more.
Step 4 – Washing with hot water
At this point if enough time has passed between the initial spill and the proper execution of the first three steps of this process the garment should be a lot safer to place in the washing machine. It is important that you use the hottest degree of water appropriate to your garment as well as apply the strongest laundry detergent possible. If you are not sure about the water temp or detergent type suitable for your garments simply check out the care label which is located on the inseam of most garments.
Step 5 – Airing it out once again
Once the wash cycle is complete sniff the garment to ensure the odor has diminished. If it hasn’t then you want to run it through the wash cycle again with the same temp and detergent as before (a stronger detergent can be used if safe and deemed necessary). If the smell persists during wash cycle DO NOT place the garment in the dryer. Doing so without the smell being completely eliminated placing the garment in the dryer runs the risk of deepening the odors’ effect on the fabrics’ smell while also presenting a threat of ignition.
Step 6 – If needed, get some baking soda and vinegar to aid you
If the smell is still lingering call in the heavy artillery by mixing baking soda (1 part), vinegar (2 parts) and water (10 parts) and soaking the garment in it for at least a few hours. Afterwards wash the garment again repeating steps 4 and 5.
Lastly, if you still have the gas or diesel fuel smell and/or stain in your clothing then we have reached the limitations of cleaning without professional help. Consider taking the garment to a local cleaners. Also remember, gas and diesel fuels are very toxic and highly flammable so please be safe when attempting to handle them particularly avoiding flames or sparks. Failure to fully remove and restore garments saturated with these substances should be properly discarded to avoid incident.