How To Get Diesel Smell Out Of Clothes

It’s bad enough when you spill something on your favorite piece of clothes, but it’s even worse when you can’t get the smell out. Most auto parts stores have a diesel odor eliminator, but you are stuck if you can’t get there.

When working on a diesel vehicle, materials such as oil and gas seep quickly into clothes, creating unsightly stains and horrible smells that can destroy your favorite clothes. Removing diesel fuel, as a result, needs a quick solution.

Luckily, even if getting rid of diesel fuel or oil stains on clothes isn’t as easy as tossing them in the washing machine cycle. There are ways of how to get diesel out of clothing without heading off to your local dry cleaners.

In our guide, you can learn how to get diesel fuel out of clothes, so you won’t have diesel odors and smelly clothing. By the end, you’ll see the various ways to do this with things you have around the home, or you can get from your local grocery store. (Read Killing A Tree With Diesel Guide)

Get Rid of Diesel Smell Out Of Clothes

How Long Does It Take Diesel Smell To Go Away?

Diesel has a different chemical make-up than regular gasoline, making it more stain prone.

Because of the sulfur and nitrogen components in it, it has a more pungent odor. Diesel evaporates more slowly because of this. If you don’t deal with getting rid of your diesel fuel stains quickly, any diesel mechanic will tell you the diesel smells last for 6-8 weeks.

What You Need to Get Diesel Fuel from Fuel-Stained Clothes

  • Paper towel
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Washing machine
  • Hot water

How to Remove Diesel from Clothing

Diesel has a higher oil basis than conventional gasoline, so you must remove the oil and grease to avoid stains with any diesel spill.

The best approach to avoid stains on your clothes is to prevent them. So, if you act quickly after you spot spilled diesel, you can avoid stains and sickly diesel smells.

Remove Wet Stain

If you spot a spill and need to remove motor oil from clothing, act quickly! But it’s not as simple as washing clothes. Before you put the wet-stained clothing in the laundry, do the following.

Wipe up any spills. If you rub the tissue, you will spread the stain. Pre-treat the clothing to prevent stains before washing it.

Apply a stain remover and rinse with warm water.

Repeat, then wash with a cup of laundry detergent on the hottest setting your clothes can take rather than your normal wash cycle. If you don’t have a laundry detergent or stain remover, add some liquid dish detergent or even a hand cleaner to the stain before washing.

Here are other ways you can deal with diesel stains and smells.

What You Need to Deal with Diesel Stains

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Shampoo
  • Bar soap
  • Cornstarch
  • Baby powder
  • Laundry soap
  • Coca Cola
  • Baking soda
  • Lighter fluid
  • WD-40
  • Hairspray
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Commercial degreaser

The list is extensive, yet you don’t need all the things in one go. Some deal with stains, and others are natural deodorizer. (Learn How To Get Bleach Stain Out Of Clothes)

Baking Soda to remove the diesel smell out of clothes

Coke and Baking Soda

This powerful combination works even on heavy-duty stains and kills diesel fuel odors so that it can remove diesel fuel smell out of clothes with little effort.
Coke and baking soda are two popular items that you can use to remove the diesel smell out of clothes.

Put your smelly clothes in a tub of warm water with dishwashing soap to break down the diesel stain.

Let them sit for two hours before you rinse the garment.

Fill your tub halfway with fresh water and add a 2-liter bottle of Coke and a box of baking soda.

Allow your clothes to sit for 12 to 24 hours before using your regular wash cycle to let the Coca-Cola and baking soda work.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Another natural deodorizer you can use with baking soda for cleaning and odor elimination is vinegar. Add your laundry to the washer using your regular laundry detergent and an extra scoop of baking soda. Start your load with a cup of white vinegar.

You can, however, double up and add as much baking soda and vinegar as you would add to your regular detergent. It’s not that complicated. Baking soda and vinegar are both natural deodorizers and excellent oil breakers.

It can take repeat washing to get rid of a fuel smell and leave clothes smelling fresh. You can add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil to your rinse cycle to help remove any lingering odor.


A mouthwash like Listerine is ideal for odor removal from garments. Pour mouthwash into your washing machine on your regular cycle. You can use this to get rid of the smoke smell and a diesel fuel smell. (Learn How To Get Super Glue Out Of Clothes)

Commercial Deodorizer

You can use a commercial deodorizer if you don’t have the patience to remove fuel stains and odors yourself. Many products exist to remove the smell of diesel gasoline from clothing.

  • Simple Green
  • Fast Orange

How Do You Get The Gas Smell Out Of Clothes?

It’s difficult to get gasoline, diesel, or home heating oil stains and fuel smell out of clothes. Never wash gas or diesel stains with other clothes. It may take several attempts to remove the stains, but most standard stain removers or cleansers should work.

Here you can find a few additional ways of dealing with a fuel smell in your clothes or shoes.

Solvent-based stain remover

What you need:

  • Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent
  • Baking soda (Optional)
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent


  1. Use a solvent-based stain remover or an enzyme-based heavy-duty liquid detergent to pre-treat the stain. Apply the remedy by rubbing a soft-bristle brush over the stain.
  2. Allow at least 15 minutes for the stain remover to operate.
  3. The item should be washed as usual in the warmest water recommended for the fabric.
  4. If the fuel odors persist, soak the ruined item in enough water to thoroughly saturate the fabric, along with one whole box of baking soda, overnight. As an alternative, half a cup of rubbing alcohol can be used.
  5. The item should then be washed as usual.
  6. Dry the item in the dryer if there is no smell, or you can air-dry, which can help get rid of lingering odors.

Ways of dealing with a fuel smell in your clothes

Last Resort for Removing Odors

Here you can find one of the last ways you can try to get rid of stains and odors.

  1. Fill the washer or a deep sink or plastic tub with warm water and one cup of non-sudsing household ammonia. If possible, cover or close the solution. Soak the odorous fabric for many hours or overnight. Launder the garment, as usual, to get rid of lingering fuel odors. Using chlorine bleach when soaking or washing causes toxic fumes.
  2. To remove as much liquid fuel as possible, blot the spill with paper towels or clean rags. Safely dispose of used towels or rags.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda or kitty litter to absorb the petroleum and odor. Leave the baking soda on the stain for at least four hours and then vacuum if the powder dampens; vacuum and cover the area with more baking soda and let it sit overnight.
  4. In a bowl, combine one cup of warm water with one spoonful of liquid dishwashing soap. Apply the stain removal detergent to the affected area using a soft-bristled brush. As with any stain removal technique, work from the outside inward.

How Do You Get Car Oil Smell Out Of Clothes?

If you are still wondering how to get diesel fuel out of clothes, you can find many things to try.

Fast Orange

Fast Orange is our go-to method for removing diesel stains from clothing. Fast Orange removes grease from your hands, but it can also be safely used on clothing and unsightly stains left behind by diesel fuel.

While there are many ways you can see above, there are a few things you shouldn’t do when trying to get rid of diesel smell, and also some you shouldn’t try when you need to get rid of grease stains and remove diesel smell from clothes.

  • Don’t use chlorine bleach if the stain remains.
  • Avoid putting stained clothes in the dryer.
  • Do not wash stained clothes with unstained items (they will get both the smell and the stain).

How To Get Diesel Stains Out Of Your Shoes?

It can be more difficult for removing diesel smell from your shoes, as you can’t just toss leather shoes into your regular wash cycle in your washing machine with regular detergent.

You can use many methods to get the scent of fuel out of your shoes if your shoes are made of fabrics other than leather. Many shoes, especially those made of leather, should not be submerged in water. (Learn How To Get Ink Out Of Clothes With Hairspray)

If this is the case for you, there are two methods to try:

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Mix a spoonful of vinegar with a cup of water for the Vinegar and Baking Soda Treatment.
  2. Dip a clean sponge into the mixture, and wring out the excess liquid
  3. Dab the sponge on the fuel-stained regions.
  4. Let your shoes air-dry naturally.
  5. Put your shoes in a bag and dust them with baking soda once they’ve dried.
  6. Remove your shoes from the bag and brush off the baking soda the next day.

The Potato Treatment

Potatoes are also excellent at absorbing odors.

  1. You can cut up a raw potato and place it inside an airtight bag with your leather shoes.
  2. Leave them for a few hours before you check whether they still have a lingering odor.
  3. If they still have a smell, replace the potato with a new one, and repeat until the odor vanishes.

When you spill diesel or gasoline at the pump, you have to think about how to get the odor out of your clothes or shoes.

Although all of these procedures are simple and inexpensive, your clothes may need to soak for several hours or days. Even then, the scent may not be completely gone.

Obviously, avoiding a spill is ideal, but accidents sometimes happen. Prepare for an unavoidable spill and only wear clothes or shoes that you don’t mind spoiling.

How To Get Diesel Smell Out Of Clothes

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