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Spilled Gasoline
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Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Spilled Gasoline on 04/23/2012 20:43:31 MDT Print View

I spilled some gasoline from a mower can onto my car's backseat carpet. It wasn't much. Not even enough to blot up. But smell? Man, this stuff stinks enough that I can only drive with my windows open.

Any tips on dealing with it? I did it one time before and it took a couple months for it to go away.

Edited by lyrad1 on 04/23/2012 21:31:15 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/23/2012 20:53:05 MDT Print View

I assume that you blotted up all of the liquid. You might find something intermediate to dissolve anything remaining in the carpet padding. Then the final stage is spray Febreeze to neutralize odor. If you get too aggressive, you will kill the carpet padding.


Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Backseat on 04/23/2012 20:57:50 MDT Print View

Quit filling your lawnmower in your backseat!!! ;-)

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/23/2012 21:07:32 MDT Print View

I would use a compressor if you have it. Keep it outside the car and just pull the hose in and blow it as dry as you can.
A blower works too, but definitively keep it outside the car.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Backseat on 04/23/2012 21:32:44 MDT Print View


Good point. I'll start filling it in the front seat where the light is better.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Backseat on 04/23/2012 22:19:44 MDT Print View

If you park in the sun when available the moss will die back and you won't have to mow the rear seat.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Backseat on 04/24/2012 07:50:56 MDT Print View

Use a match to burn it off : )

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/24/2012 08:44:45 MDT Print View


Thanks for the Febreeze idea. I found a bottle in my laundry area. Didn't know that I had it or what it was for until I read your post.


Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/24/2012 08:52:58 MDT Print View

I would use Dawn dish detergent and a wet vac or carpet cleaning vac. Wet the area with warm water, drop of Dawn, scrub it a little, suck it up, repeat. The Dawn will break up the gasoline/oiliness of it and allow it to come out.

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Spilled Gasoline on 04/24/2012 18:38:16 MDT Print View

Throw some cat litter down to soak up the gasoline and couple pieces of barbecue charcoal. Then hit it with febreeze.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/24/2012 23:19:47 MDT Print View

This is a my day job - designing clean ups of contaminated soil and groundwater, most often with fuels.

Be glad it was gasoline instead of diesel.

Gasoline is very volatile and if you move a lot of air through there, it will evaporate more quickly. By a lot of air, I mean a box fan. Leave the doors open when security allows. Leave the windows open when weather allows - you'll get less of the volatiles redepositing on other materials in the car.

Heat definitely helps because the vapor pressure doubles for every 20F you raise the temp. So you could aim a hair dryer at it (with the doors open), as long as you keep checking that you're not getting it too hot. You can touch (barely) a 140F surface and anything in your car is good to >140F because the interior can get that hot on a sunny day. That heat and air flow from the hair dryer will remove the volatiles 50-100X faster than just leaving the doors open on a 70-80F day. Never leave the hair dryer going without setting an alarm to go back and check on it. 1-2 minutes at first. Then for 5 minutes if it's not too hot yet, then every 10-15 minutes.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Spilled Gasoline on 04/25/2012 08:39:57 MDT Print View

It's probably disapated enough that there isn't a threat of combustion from the hair dryer, right David?

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Progress on 04/25/2012 09:02:24 MDT Print View

I've tried every (serious) suggestion given here and the gas smell is going away much faster than last time I experienced this.

I just added David's suggestion of heat so the process should speed up even more.

Thanks for the ideas.

I can hardly wait to spill some more so I can apply all of my new found tricks.

Maybe I'm ready for diesel?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/25/2012 09:43:41 MDT Print View

>It's probably disapated enough that there isn't a threat of combustion from the hair dryer, right David?

I briefly considered verbally going down that rabbit trail, but I was posting 24 hours after the OP, so, yeah, although you can smell gasoline vapors down to a few parts per million, it has to be between 1.1% and 5% (volume/volume) to be explosive. All my cautions about getting the carpet too hot were for the sake of the carpet - not because of the small amount of gasoline. A glowing cigarette butt isn't enought to initiate a fire or explosion and the temps out the front of a hair dryer aren't enough either.

On the other hand, if you had VERY high concentrations of gasoline vapor, no, you shouldn't operate a hair dryer, (or cell phone, miniBic, flint&steel, wear synthetics, etc) because the nichrome wire inside is essentially a glow plug which any diesel engine demonstrates CAN ignite petroleum vapors (albeit preheated by an 18:1 compression ratio).

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Spilled Gasoline on 04/25/2012 17:41:15 MDT Print View

Years ago in my service station, a company was repairing a fuel dispenser. There was a small containment basin below it and a small amount of gasoline was captured there. The genius doing the work decided to vacuum up the gas with a wet/dry vacuum. Unfortunately I could not get his attention quick enough. He wasn't seriously injured, but it went boom.