Gasoline in Van Carpet

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

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By (Guest Post)
May 8, 20072 found this helpful
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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
Best Answer

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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September 5, 20180 found this helpful

Pampers to the rescue! I would have never thought of that. Scoopable cat litter works great as well. Just dump some on and let it sit. The longer the better for the smell. If that doesn't do the trick try using oil dry.

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April 26, 20050 found this helpful

This happened to my mother-in-law 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.

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August 8, 20171 found this helpful

Go to Canadian Tire or Napa and buy a bag of Sorb-All. Depending on your province, they may call it something slightly different. It is the active ingredient in Kitty Litter, and what the mechanics use to extract gas and oil spills from concrete.


Throw a handful onto an old oil spill on your driveway, where your Harley dripped for twenty years, and sweep it up the next day. Stain is gone.
It is just as powerful on vehicle carpets.
Throw it on, and the next day vacuum it up. Stains and smells are gone.
Have FUN!

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September 10, 20190 found this helpful

In regards to Ed's "2 gallon gas can unknowingly tip and spill contents in the back of our new Ford Van" situation.

Wrote "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."

I believe putting the "kitty litter" on the gasoline soaked carpet was a good idea, we use it in our shop to soak up spills of all kinds of oils & fuels on the concrete floor & asphalt driveway allot and it does a great job also.


Not to mention if you buy the right brand of "kitty litter" usually it's a better economically priced product to use and being made of clay it safer than so many other much higher priced products designed for that type clean-up of job and those are not the best for our environment or people either.

I'm not saying clay or clay dust is safe but it is much safer than clean-up shop products is what I mean.

But I'm thinking during the mentioned "PANICKED" state from this disaster happening their was one VERY important fact that was
just overlooked during that time and being in a rushed state.

So it brings us to the one part of Ed writing, "and my wife PANICKED. Vacuumed it up" meaning the "2 gallon gas can unknowingly tip and spill contents in the back of our new Ford Van."


But PLEASE, NEVER EVER VACUUM UP GASOLINE! Much less using a vacuum any where around gasoline or the vapors from gasoline.
Or for that matter any type of solids, liquids or fumes that may be (combustible solvents).
So again NEVER EVER use a vacuum or electric device with or near due to a fire or explosion risk!

As I mentioned above this was probably just a over site during the "my wife PANICKED. Vacuumed it up" state, I do get that tough.

I mean you can see how that could happen in a panic for sure.

But also many people just don't know about that high risk factor.

And then their are the people who know, but think it is so low a risk or it will never happen to them and so on.

But in Ed & his wife's situation being a electric vacuum the risk from electric sparks produced from the carbon brushes which carry the electricity to the electric motor and making the motor turn and run by making & breaking direct contact on the commutator of the armature.
It is those carbon brushes on the commutator where the most of the sparks coming from as a by product of the motors process while running.
This is a VERY high risk factor with gasoline as the combustible solvent in this situation.

These items just mentioned are just some of the parts inside the electric motor of the vacuum that spins when the vacuum is on sparks can and do also come from other locations in these electric motors also while running.

On some vacuums you cannot see these sparks while it is running due to covers and or shields on the motor or vacuum.

But chances are their being produced some where in the electric motor from the device being on as a by product. While you can usually see these sparks in the electric motor while the vacuum is on if your looking in the vented areas of the vacuums electric motor.

With all that being stated on a few of the better newer vacuums the motors might be brush-less or having no carbon brushes in the electric motor and they may not produce as much sparks if any that can be seen by your eyes, since all electric motors produce some form of sparks at some point while running even if it is just from a static discharge.

That static discharge of electricity alone can be enough to cause a explosion with a combustible solvent.

But that changes nothing on using electric devices especially with electric motors near any type of combustible solvents period. Even the on /off switch to a electric device can cause enough of a spark to ignite a fire or explosion from a combustible source.

But you should never mix electricity no matter if it is A.C. or D.C. even battery operated electricity of any type with combustible (solvents) meaning type of liquids, solids or gases.

Heck we have had a vacuum ignite super fine saw dust once on a canister vacuum thru the exhaust air. The saw dust was so very fine it was not filtered out by the paper filter of the air properly exiting the vacuum and was ignited causing tiny fires in about a 20' radius around where the vacuum was setting at that time.

These extra fine saw dust particles was later found to have been ignited by the carbon brushes in the vacuums electric A.C. motor.
As I'd mentioned prior it was due to the paper filter not effectively filtering the air leaving the vacuum thus the extra fine dance saw dust particles in the air ignited in a expulsion.

But it in our own situation with very fine saw dust is basically what happens when a feed or storage silos on a farm etc. explodes. Meaning tiny dust particles from feed grains and such when gets to concentrated in the air and then a spark is added from some source it explodes also.

And in our vacuum situation that supper fine saw dust did NOT even have a combustible solvent component with it even.

Can you imagine our situation had say just a super tiny mist of gasoline that had soaked into that fine saw dust or even just fumes of gasoline being vacuumed up then?!


We were so very lucky no one was injured, as it appears so was ED & his wife were also being they had no ignition just that very well could have happened to them also.

I only dove into this topic since it happened with a vacuum to us just a different combustible source.

One thing that someone ask me about this which never have I ever looked at the vacuum situation like this question I was ask the other day talking about this.

QUESTION I WAS ASK: The person said they had read all the posts and come to the conclusion it would have been OK to have just used a ""Wet & Dry Vacuum"" to suck up the gasoline ""Being It Was Designed For Both WET & DRY USE"".


The wording Wet & Dry use on some vacuums means NON-COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS ONLY!

That person also did not know you need to usually remove the filter inside the vacuum while the vacuum is sucking up liquids, they also did not know their is a Fill To Line you are not to go above when sucking up those type of NON-COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS also and that mark or line is usually the outside of the tank on those type of vacuums.

Another then did not know their are Wet & Dry Vacuums either!

OK Thanks everyone that was able to even read all of this, I know I'm a VERY POOR WRITER Etc. ..

But I hope it might help someone out there or even save someone any pain and or suffering from something like this from going wrong someone just trying to do a simple task.

Take Care..


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