Cleaning Gasoline from Car Carpet

Gasoline odors can be very noxious, especially inside of a car. Since you can't remove your car's carpet it can be tough to remove spilled gasoline. This is a page about cleaning gasoline from car carpet.


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I spilled gasoline in the trunk of my car. I solved the odor problem by laying newspaper over the carpet where it was spilled. The paper absorbed the odor and there was no stain to even see where it was spilled. The problem was solved!

By Ethel Gerberick from PA

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April 25, 2005

I had a 2 gallon gas can unknowingly tip and spill contents in the back of our new Ford Van. 1st thing I did was PANIC. Then I soaked up all the gas that I could with rags and spread that green/piney smelly floor clean-up powder to absorb gas wetness in the carpet.


This turned the beige carpet green and my wife PANICKED. Vacuumed it up & scrubbed with Haggerty's Carpet cleaner, the green went. Bought a huge bag of kitty litter and covered the entire floor. Now we Pray and have a sleepless night. Any response or help would be appreciated. Thanks. Edgar from Canada


By (Guest Post)
May 8, 20072 found this helpful
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I spilled a 5 gallon gas can on the carpet in my living room of all places, thought me and the family were goners for sure from breathing in the fumes overnight! I finally dumped baking soda and arma nd hammer detergent obver the spill and voila!! immediate results! Will probably have to do this once or twice more but it made a definite difference immediately! I imagine sand would work too.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 30, 20070 found this helpful
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I had a gas can turn over in the back of my van. not a whole lot of gas but there was a whole lot of smell. I thought I would first try the baking soda routine. I sprinkled it heavily on the area, let it soak in, brush it some into the carpeting and vacuum it up the next day.


Still heavy gas odor. Heard about using Lestoil because of its petroleum base. Scrubbed it into the area then rinsed it off a couple times. Now I have a Lestoil fragrance. It did cut the gas odor. I am still rinsing the area with soap and water, it is getting better

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 18, 20080 found this helpful
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For the removal of petroleum odors I have used brake cleaner it will evaporate most petroleum based chemicals it gives off a bad odor that will pass in a very short time. It evaporates at very low temperatures but extremely good ventilation is a must. Spot test an area for color fast and degradation.

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By Melissa (Guest Post)
May 23, 20081 found this helpful
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I loaded up a lawn mower on it's side thinking it was empty...wrong!!!
I put a disposable pampers diaper on it, opened up as wide as possible, absorbant side down, and put a heavy weight on it for a day. When I removed it, the diaper was full of the gas and the smell was gone! If yours is dry, you could re-wet it with water and the diaper will draw up the moisture-gas and all. Yours sounds like a much bigger spill than mine, so you would have to use many diapers, but it would be worth the cost of a bag of diapers to get rid of the smell!!!


I guess you might have to repeat the process if it is really deep. I happened on this idea, because I always have extra diapers in my van, and it was the only absorbant material I had at the time!
Good Luck! Let me know if you try it, and if it works.
melissasue1968 (remove spaces to contact me)

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November 14, 2011

I spilled gas in my car about two weeks ago and used coffee; that didn't work. I also used Mr. Clean and washed the floor of my car. The kitty litter didn't work either, what else can I try?

By Melissa


November 16, 20110 found this helpful
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There was a post on this site that said to use old newspapers. I don't know if it works because I haven't hand this problem yet, but if I do I will try it.

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November 16, 20131 found this helpful
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I spilled gasoline on the center trunk carpet piece. I removed just the piece of carpet that had gasoline on it. I used 50% strength Sun laundry detergent on the spill. I let the detergent sit on the carpet 8 hours before rinsing.


After 4 cleanings and sun drying the carpet is odor free. I hope this helps.

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January 18, 2011

A gas can spilled over on my carpet in my Tracker. I have read about the coffee grounds. Is it just coffee from the can or dried out used coffee grounds? It is also 4 degrees out and I can't air it out much with freezing rain and snow. Brrrrr

Man it stinks and I have severe breathing problems as it is.
Thank you.

By Wen from NH


October 26, 20110 found this helpful
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Try using kitty litter to soak up both the smell and any remaining liquid. Change it until smell is gone. 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.

January 18, 2011

DH spilled gasoline on the carpet in our car. The smell is horrible. How can I get rid of the smell?

By Barbara Kamm from Middletown, DE



Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I spilled some gas on my dad's brand new Suburban, not a lot, but the smell was sickening. I tried every thing, but only two things helped. I used Muphy's oil soap mixed with water (1/2c to 1g), and rubbing alcohol. Scrub/soak the area with the oil soap water then let it sit for an hour or so then use a shop vac to suck it up. Repeat until the smell is almost gone when you stick your nose right up to the carpet. Then let the carpet dry in the sun, fans help to. When it is completely dry take a clean rag, soak the rag in rubbing alcohol and liberally wet down the area of the spill. Let this air dry. When that's done it should smell much better. Hope it helps (06/12/2010)

By Lars

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March 13, 2010

How do you remove gasoline from my car's carpet?

Ingrid from Blind Bay, British Columbia


Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

First of all. A basic chemical property is that "likes dissolve likes". So, in order to remove gasoline you must use an oil based product. I used Lestoil and water and rubbed it into the gasoline (let it sit for about an hour.) Then, I took detergent (like Tide) with water and rubbed that into the area (let it stand for another hour). Then I used a vacuum cleaner that aspirates water. I dried the whole area (and let it finish air drying about 1/2 hour). Then I poured rubbing alcohol over the whole area and let it air dry for 2 hours. The smell was gone. (08/28/2006)

By Isabel

Removing diesel fuel from Car Carpet

Clean area with Dawn or Joy, vacuum with a shop vac. Take a cake pan or some large surface container and cover the bottom of the container with vanilla. Set the container in the vehicle for 24 - 48 hrs and the vanilla will absorb all the odor. (08/31/2007)

By John S.

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

What will help is if you simply leave the item (car or whatever) open in the sun all day. Gas will evaporate given enough time. At least enough to make it bearable, until one can try one of these more involved methods. (01/27/2008)

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

Just sprinkle the unused dry coffee grounds all over any spots or smelly areas. I bought the cheapest brand and sprinkled it liberally. If you want, every couple of days you can swish them around, but after about 2 weeks the smell should be gone. Just clean the grounds out. If it still smells, do it again. This worked for me when I got kerosene in the back of my car. It just smells like coffee inside your vehicle and not the gas/kerosene. You can then wash it with a solution of Dawn and water. (07/09/2008)

By Linda

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

Gasoline leaked from a container in the back seat of my SUV the other day while I was driving home from a gas station. The odour was horrendous by the time I got home as it had soaked a two foot square section of the carpet. I purchased some Prosolve Carpet Cleaner and sprayed it on yesterday morning and it worked wonders. Today there was only a minor smell and I sprayed it again. It is drying now, but I suspect the smell will be entirely gone by tomorrow.

I sprayed the section of the carpet liberally with Prosolve and rubbed it around. I then let it sit 15 minutes. I then used toweling paper (2 rolls) to blot it up until the area was dry. I left the car doors and windows open for a few hours to let the air at it and then closed them overnight.

As I said, when I opened the car this morning, the smell was almost completely gone. And there was no discolouration of the grey carpet at all. I went through the process today, but did not need to use as much Prosolve.

I was amazed at how simple this process was. Having read earlier posts I was concerned I might not ever get rid of the smell. Fingers crossed.

Cheers (09/10/2008)

By Cal Gundy

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I had a gas can in the back seat of a car and some spilled out. First I opened the trunk and passage way to the backseat and put a house fan on the floor of the backseat. Leaving the trunk and windows open I left the fan on overnight in the garage for a couple of days and that took care of the problem. I also sprayed Febreze in the trunk and backseat.


By Gary B

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August 12, 2005

I spilled gasoline from a 5-gallon container in the back of my mini-van on the carpet and now cannot remove the smell. I tried suctioning it out with a steam cleaner and then cleaning it with steam cleaner odor remover and cleanser, but the smell is still so strong it's nauseating. Please help.

Dot DiGirolamo


Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

to wick out all of the gasoline with paper towels. Then soak the area thoroughly with a mixture of 1-2 cups of white vinegar mixed with 1-gallon hot tap water. Pour this on the area and use clean white rags and a brick to take the water back up. Rinse with hot water mixed with 1 1/2 cups of baking soda. Then take the water back up. If you have a wet/dry shop vac, that might work as well as the rags and brick but keep vacuuming until no more water comes up.

For more general ways to get rid of the lingering smell, put a tray or box full of kitty litter in the back of the van. It will help to absorb the odor. Putting baking soda down on a dry rug will also help. Let it sit over night then brush it up.

By Anna

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

just spread the mess around even further. My husband had a better solution - isopropyl alcohol. I also used it on the plastic where the gasoline has leaked through the carpet, then a little soap and water. It's been about 6 days and the smell is nearly gone. The carpet is doing much better as well.

  1. If you can, remove the carpet from the car.
  2. Air dry for a couple days
  3. Douse with isopropyl alcohol (I soaked the area)
  4. Air dry
  5. Wash with soap and water, rinse and air dry again for a couple days

By Karen

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

My mother-in-law spilled kerosene in her SUV and she had to have all new carpet installed but her insurance company paid for it. I can't remember if it was her car insurance or homeowners' insurance. It doesn't hurt to find out.

By it'

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

Gasoline is hard to clean because it's an oily solvent. Soap and water only spread it around. There are a couple of tricks to try.

Call places that do auto detailing (cleaning) and ask them if they have specialized procedure for just this problem. Careful, though, if they don't give you specifics, they'll probably just vacuum the car and give you one of those little cardboard deodorant trees that smell like crap.

Check your local automotive supply, even the commercial public places like Pep Boys, AutoZone, etc. They often have specialized cleaners that are made just for this purpose.

Next trick you can try is to use dry-cleaning solvent. This may be tough to get depending on the laws of your state, province or country. It works like a charm, but be sure to test it on an inconspicuous part of the carpet first. Be sure to have plenty of ventilation, or take the carpet right out of the car.

You may be able to buy some from your dry cleaner on the sly, particularly if you regularly bring in clothes and you explain what the problem is.

You can also try other solvents that will dissolve the gasoline and then evaporate themselves, like acetone. Acetone is the main ingredient in nail polish remover. Acetone is a pretty nasty solvent on its own, so make sure the carpet is colorfast and make sure to have plenty of ventilation.

A final note: make sure that the area under the carpet isn't soaked, too, or this will all be for nothing. The smell will come right back.

By Zildjean

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I have been detailing autos for 5 years now, and I've run across this problem more than most. To completely remove this odor you must raise the carpet in the areas of the spill. remove the padded backing from the carpet, then have the carpet steam cleaned. replace new backing pad to the carpet. Now the smell will not be gone yet because the rest of the interior has absorbed the smell. So I recommend a spray bomb or a Febreze. It may work. Do this with windows up, for an hour or 2, then let vehicle air out. The last step may need to be repeated... seems like a lot to do but trust me its cheaper than buying a new car.

By Chuck D

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I spilled a little bit of gas in the back of my Jeep Cherokee and it has seemed impossible to get rid of the smell and fumes. I have tried everything and nothing has worked. except, I took someone's advice about ground coffee. So far, So good. I will update the site in a few days to let everyone know if it really works!

By Chris Cherokee

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I tried all the tricks too but could never get the smell out. It was really bad on very hot days where had to run AC. I replaced my carpet with a $150.00 aftermarket carpet kit. It took some work to install but solved the problem. I probably should have done this first instead of last.

By James

Removing Gasoline from Car Carpet

I tried the acetone first and then the alcohol. Seemed to significantly help, after it was completely dry.

By Lamedwufnik

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