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Cleaning Diesel Fuel Odors From Inside a Car

Category Odors
Fuel odors can be difficult to remove from the inside of your car. This is a guide about cleaning diesel fuel odors from inside a car.


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January 23, 20050 found this helpful

My husband brought diesel home from the garage in a can and it spilt in the car. The result is the back seat is saturated and the car is absolutely stinking. Does anyone have any advice on how to get rid of odour and stain?



By sharon (Guest Post)
January 24, 20052 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband is a heavy equipment mechanic and his clothes always smelled like diesel no matter what I used to clean them. One day I was reading one of my online newsletters and someone had written in that an insurance adjuster had told her to clean her household items with Listerine after a fire, and the smell would be gone. He said it would remove almost any odor. I tried it on my husband's clothes and it works great. Now I never wash them without it. I was thinking if your spill is a small one, saturating a paper towel or something like it with Listerine and leaving it in the car for a while might help. It's worth a try. Hope this helps, Sharon

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April 14, 20130 found this helpful

How do you remove diesel fuel smell from clothes and trunk of car?

By Sheila


April 22, 20130 found this helpful
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A thick layer of cat litter in the car will absorb the odor, you may need to repeat the application several times to completely rid the space of the smell.


Simply pour the cat litter over the spot, leave it at least 24 hours and then vacuum or sweep up. If you still smell diesel, repeat the application until the odor is gone. It does work-I've had to do it a few times myself and can vouch for the success.

The clothes are a loss. You can't wash the diesel (or any flammable material on fabric) out, and it's dangerous to try because the fabric may ignite if exposed to heat whilst machine drying or even wearing.

I've been there-done that, and it's upsetting to have to throw out clothing that's been splashed with petrol or oil. But it's the safest thing in the situation.

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April 22, 20130 found this helpful
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As the wife of a trucker, I used to have this problem.
One way I use to remove that distinctive diesel odor is to lay a baby wipe in his drawer. Baby wipes tend to absorb diesel odors better than any other product I've found.


Another use for the baby wipes is to get 5th wheel grease off his hands and clothes. We discovered this not long after he started driving. Baby wipes are the ONLY thing that will remove that stubborn 5th wheel grease.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 17, 2011

We recently left for 6 weeks and put the car in the garage. Unfortunately, it picked up a strong odor of diesel (the lawn mower was in there as well). The car has leather upholstery and it seemed to absorb the odor. So far the only thing that helps is leaving the windows down overnight, but it is cold and we get lots of storms this time of year. The odor comes back after the car is closed up. I am quite sensitive to this odor and do not want to have to get rid of the car! Please help.

By Mary R


December 19, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can try a couple of things:

*small shallow bowls of straight vinegar set on the floorboards overnight (maybe for a few days if needed)


*cat litter (the absorbent kind) about three inches deep in a shoe box, again left overnight or even for a few days

I think, too, that there is a deodoriser wipe for leather, look in the car care section of a big-box store, or in an auto supply store.

Good luck, I hope if the thoughts I have don't work that you find something soon that will!

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