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Cleaning Diesel Fuel Odors from Clothing

Category Odors
Man testing a diesel injector
The smell of diesel fuel can be quite overpowering when spilled on clothing. This is a guide about cleaning diesel fuel odors from clothing.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 3, 20041 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to remove the smell of diesel fuel from hands and clothing?

Michelle from PA

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 4, 20040 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband is a truck driver and we have had this problem a lot on his work clothes. He has a hand cleaner called Fast Orange. We got it at Wal-mart, they also carry it at auto parts stores. I put a little of that on his clothes and wash as usual. It gets the smell and the greasy feel out of the clothes. I would think it would work just as well for your hands.

Good Luck!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 2, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband spilled diesel on his hands tonight and we saw that Simple Green might get rid of it, so we tried it. The smell is gone for the most part. We're satisfied with it!

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 20, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband works in the oil field and always reeks of diesel. Getting sick of running to the laundry mat everyday, finally I just threw some baking soda and vinegar in with laundry soap, in the washer, and the smell came out. I was shocked!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 31, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try soaking the clothes in a tub of warm water or washer after agitating a few minutes with 1 cup of Tide or degreaser like Dawn dish soap for 2 hours (this breaks down oils in fuel). Drain this water off, then rinse, and then refill tub or washer with warm clean water and a 2 liter bottle of Coke and a whole box of baking soda agitate it around to mix it up with the clothes. Let this soak for 12-24 hours. Wash like normal. There is not even a faint fuel smell left. This could get expensive if you do this each load for some one who works and gets full of fuel/gas all the time though.

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March 8, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband work in the oil field and his clothes had a horrible smell. I tried everything I knew to remove the odor. I saw the post by Alisa and I tried Fast Orange Smooth with a little ARM and Hammer with oxy detergent. The clothes came out smelling wonderful. The detergent balanced out the orange smell. It was hard to find the smooth in a large container. But O'reilly auto parts can order it! Thanks so much for sharing the info!! ;-)

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January 19, 20150 found this helpful

How do you get diesel smells out of clothes?

By Karen O. from Holsworthy, Devon

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January 29, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

To get rid of the oil add 1 can coca cola to your wash ten add 1 cup vinegar to rinse

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April 7, 20120 found this helpful

Is pumice in the fast orange that bad to put in the washing machine to remove diesel fuel from clothing?

By Stacey s

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May 7, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would recommend Dawn dishwash liquid and hot, hot water. Pumice works like sand paper and the diesel has worked into the fiber of the material. It may take several cycles to remove the diesel and the Dawn itself, so don't use too much Dawn.


If you can, stop the wash cycle after the clothes are saturated and let the items soak for 10-15 minutes to allow the water and Dawn to permeate the fabric. Vinegar in the rinse cycle will help get soap out.

WARNING: Dawn suds like crazy and you will have a mess if you use too much. Add a little at a time until there is a very thin covering of suds on the top of the water. Good luck.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 3, 20100 found this helpful

How do you get diesel fuel out of a cotton shirt?

By Jolene


Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

First put "GOOP" the hand cleaner on to any stain.


Then wash it in your machine with 2 cans of Classic Coca-Cola (not sugar-free) in with your regular laundry soap.

Smell the shirt before you place it in the dryer. Do not put it into a hot dryer until the odor is gone or the heat may "set" the stain and odor.

Afterwards, you can also spray it with Febreze and hang outside in the fresh air. If this doesn't work, you can also try Oxiclean. (04/03/2010)

By Cyinda

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

How do you get diesel fuel out of clothing?

By Marie


Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Here in Mississippi, the orange hand cleaner is called Gojo. They have it at WalMart and AutoZone and various other car part stores. Sometimes it can be found at Dollar General, also. I have used it to remove hydraulic fluid stains and it works pretty well, but it may take a couple of tries to get it done. (11/18/2009)

By Belinda

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

My husband has worked on aircraft fuel tanks for years. He comes home reeking of the JP-8 jet fuel that he gets exposed to. I'm extremely allergic to any kind of scented products so I had to find a way to remove the smell from his clothes without using more chemicals. Get ready, it's the simplest thing and it always works.

I put everything he wears including underwear and socks that reek of jet fuel in the sun. Sometimes it can take from a few days to a week, but it always works. The sun's rays just bake the smell out. Make sure you get all areas exposed to the sun and turn inside out as well. (12/13/2009)

By gailz

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

How do I get the odor of diesel out of clothes? I have washed and air dried them, but the smell is still there. Thank you for all your help.

Burn from Omak, WA


Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Try sudsy ammonia. Pour at least one cup per load of clothes. Wash as usual. (12/20/2008)

By missysmom

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I had my therm-a-rest stored in the garage and diesel ended up getting all over it. I tried the washing machine over and over with no luck. Then I tried the orange hand cleaner I use to wash my hands after working on the car. It took a lot of it, but it worked! I thought for sure I was going to have to buy a new one. Now, let's just hope the bears can't smell it. (12/28/2008)

By Chris

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Okay, that's great. I have spent the last 1/2 hour on line looking for an "orange glo" multi-purpose cleaner. Doesn't exist, the only thing they advertise is floor cleaner. Where are you getting it? I couldn't find it at Dollar General either. (01/08/2009)

By Natalie

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I soaked jeans that diesel had spilled on in a bucket with Downy fabric softener for 2 hrs, and then washed normally and the smell was gone. (01/13/2009)


Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I just wanted to share something that I've done with my husband's clothes for years. He drives log truck and works on it so there is always the smell of diesel and other oil, lube stuff and whatnot on his clothes. I know the orange works, but I don't usually have it, or not enough to wash his clothes with it, but I do have lemon scented ammonia all the time. I just pour some in the wash with his clothes and they always come out smelling good. Ammonia doesn't take out the color on anything so it's safe to use on colored clothes.

Also, a friend of mine has always used a small can of Coke to take out the diesel stains and smell. She just dumps it in the washer along with the soap. Hope someone can use this! (08/18/2009)

By Carla53

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December 16, 20080 found this helpful

Can you clean diesel fuel from leather and mesh shoes?

John from Quartzsite, AZ


Orange Glo

Thanks for the Orange Glo tip. My son got diesel on his new jeans. I figured I'd have to throw them away until I came to this website. I went to Dollar General and bought an All Purpose Orange Cleaner. Took it home, poured about 3/4 of the bottle in the washer with the jeans in hot water. Let soak for about 2 hours. Ran through the wash cycle with Gain and the water they had soaked in. I then added the remainder of the orange cleaner and let soak overnight. I washed them again using the same cycle as before. NO DIESEL SMELL!Thanks so much! (11/07/2007)

By Cheree

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Can someone please help me out? I spilled Diesel all over my work clothes, and cannot get rid of the smell at all. Can anyone tell me a product or method for getting rid of the Diesel smell, that is available in the UK? Because I'm not sure if the products listed before can be purchased here in the UK. (12/15/2007)

By Joe

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I'm a mobile grease monkey/fuel guy who regularly gets sprayed with a variety of oils and fuels including diesel, hydraulic/transmission/engine oil, and grease. I've tried borax, ammonia, bleach, dandruff shampoo and detergent to no avail at all. I guess I'll try orange glo next. (01/19/2008)

By Gordo migraned86 AT

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I have a brand new wool Tibetan sweater I bought about 3 weeks ago. The other day, as I was fueling my school bus, the nozzle and the hose at the fueling station fell apart spraying diesel fuel all over my hair, face, sweater, bus, as well as the ground. Being wool, I cannot wash my sweater in hot or even warm water. I washed it normally once as soon as I could. I have soaked it and washed it once with the Orange Glo stuff, but can still smell the diesel. Guess I will try a few of the other ideas here. Perhaps a combination of them will finally do the trick. I am really glad that I found these ideas though, at least I have a few different things to try. (02/09/2008)

By Lisa

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

My husband had diesel spilled all over his suitcase, all his clothes smell really bad. Thanks for the ideas, I was lost. Now I'm going shopping. (02/13/2008)

By cindy


Can you buy orange glo in the UK? Trying to get smell of diesel out of husband's trousers! (02/21/2008)

By Sarah

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Hi all. I'm a foolish male in the UK, so you Yanks don't have the monopoly, after all. ;) Whilst squirting diesel into my Merc., I decided I couldn't feel it pumping, so I drew the nozzle out, and generously splashed my Rohan trousers.
I stuck them in the washing machine, on a normal wash, and, what's more, I put other clothes in too. Told you I was a foolish male. After polluting the machine and all the other clothes, I THEN started reading.

Using a couple of dishwasher tablets on the hottest (empty) cycle was successful with giving the washing machine a detox. For the clothes, and particularly the trousers, I tried and failed with all the usual ones, vinegar, soda, etc. Things didn't even go better with Coke, so that's another Marketing lie. I couldn't find the "Orange" product in the UK, or an equivalent. I did consider chucking orange-juice concentrate in with the load. I didn't in the end, but I do still suspect it might work.

Finally, I remembered what my Mum always swore by : an overnight soak in Ariel washing powder. A 6am visit to Tesco led to the discovery that they do one "with Febreeze effect", so that's the one I used. Put about half a pint of powder in a bucket, add boiling water (ie: from a kettle), and stir in the clothes with a wooden spoon. Put the most polluted items in first, and stir viciously as you like, but without splashing any nosy, but otherwise innocent, observer (although inebriated adult males are fair game).

If the water is largely absorbed before the last garments are in, please DON'T stick your hands in to maneuver the clothes, add cold water until it's over the clothes, stirring with the spoon. Unless you're another foolish male, in which case, I'll probably see you in A&E. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I actually soaked for 24 hours, so I don't know if overnight would be sufficient or not. Anyway, once drained and wrung, they came out smelling "grubby" but otherwise neutral, but most specifically NOT of diesel, so I then put them through a normal 40deg cycle with conditioner, and the job is done.
Hope this helps someone :) (02/28/2008)

By david AT

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

I could not find orange glo, but used pine sol all purpose orange cleaner. It worked great. Thanks for the tip! (03/28/2008)

By nutsmama

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

Liquid fabric softener worked! I tried everything (simple green, clorox for colors, vinegar) then last resort I soaked the shirt in liquid fabric softener for about 2 hours. No more Diesel Fuel Smell. (03/29/2008)

By Deb

Removing Diesel Fuel Smell from Clothing

If you're in the UK, I can confirm that using Ariel with Febreeze (pale turquoise box of liquid sachets), using just one sachet, worked like a dream on really badly contaminated jeans and also a wool rug. Many thanks for the tip! (10/15/2008)

By J Fox (UK)

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November 1, 20070 found this helpful

How do you get diesel fumes from a Navy ship out of clothing? Just washing doesn't help.

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February 7, 20070 found this helpful

My husband works with diesel all day long and he comes home smelling of it. I have no clue in how to remove the smell off his clothing I know not to wash it in our own washing machine and I really can't soak it.

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December 28, 20040 found this helpful

I am requesting any information regarding the elimination of diesel fuel smell from clothing. I have tried washing (twice actually) with regular detergent but the smell remains.

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