How To Get Rid Of Gasoline Odor In My House?
Gasoline makes our lives easier by fueling many of our mechanical devices. It can also cause difficulties, including unwanted fumes in our homes.
I’ve tried various methods to remove the smell of gasoline from my home. Some are simple and work effectively. Others provide limited, if any, actual results.
So, if you’re asking yourself how to get rid of gasoline odor in my house, what follows are examples of things that you can do that work in eliminating those nasty gasoline odors from your living space.
4 Ways To Remove The Smell Of Gasoline From Your Home
Below are four proven methods for removing the smell of gasoline from your house. Keep reading to learn more about how you can use each method.
- Removing Exhaust Fumes
- Clean-out garages and attached sheds
- Remove contaminated items from the home
- Cleaning up gasoline spills
Method One: Removing Exhaust Fumes
- Move exhaust source or shut it down
- Close off openings near fumes
- Create escape paths for fumes
- Create air circulation
Combustion engines are one of the most common sources of gas smells in your home. Vehicle engines, lawnmowers, gas-powered trimmers, even motors on toys that use fuels can contaminate the air in your home.
You will likely notice this during the winter when cold weather forces you to warm-up your car or truck. Parking vehicles in a garage or near windows or doors provides the path for gas fumes to move into your house.
Your first step should be to move the source away from the house or to shut it down. That will prevent further contamination.
Next, look for openings that gas smells will enter through. Doors and windows between the source and your home’s interior should be closed. Lingering odors will stop entering through these openings.
You need to provide a route for the existing fumes to escape your rooms. Opening a window on the opposite side of the house, even during the winter, may be necessary.
Lastly, help promote circulation that pushes out fumes while allowing uncontaminated air to enter the room. Opening a secondary window in another room creates natural airflow. Turning on a fan that points towards an open window will push air out.
Method Two: Clean-out garages and attached sheds
- Close doors and windows near garages and sheds
- Open garage or shed and allow air to circulate
- Remove all sources of gas odor
- Clean any gas spills or stains
- Store smelly items away from your home
Outisde of exhaust fumes, gas odors often enter the home from storage areas near windows or doors. That can include your garage (especially if there is an interior door providing garage access) or a shed that is attached to the home or located next to an opening.
The first step here is to close off points of entry for gas smells. Close the doors between your home and the garage. Windows near garage doors or near attached sheds should be closed as well.
You will want to promote air circulation in your garage or shed. Open doors to these spaces, as well as windows, if they are available. You can increase circulation with a fan.
Next, locate the source of the gas smell. That can be a gas-powered motor, storage canister, or even a fresh spill. Remove all possible sources of odor, including other items that are lightly contaminated by fumes.
Wipe off motors and storage containers to remove exposed gasoline. Setting these items outside and out of the sun can help evaporate the spilled fuel. Exposure to fresh air will remove light gasoline smells from other things stored in these areas.
You will want to clean-up any spills on the ground or shelves. Commercial absorbents (cat litter and baking soda can also work) can be placed on the fuel to leech it from the surface.
Scrub the area with a mixture of dish soap and water to remove anything that is left over. Let air dry for several hours until the smell has evaporated.
You will find yourself having to do this again unless you find an alternative spot to store gas-filled items. Place these items from the garage into a shed. If openings near a shed are the source, find another location further away from these doors or windows.
Method Three: Remove contaminated items from the home
- Locate where the gas smell is coming from
- Move these items outside
- Air out
- Wash if necessary
- Do not hesitate to discard
- Follow Method One
Another source for gasoline fumes in the home is contaminated items. You may have spilled gas on your clothing or on an item that you brought in from storage.
The key here is to identify the items producing the smells. Clothing, including your shoes, can hold gasoline. Furniture and wooden storage are other culprits as well. Since gas evaporates quickly, it should not prove difficult to identify the offending objects.
Once you figure out what is smelling, you need to remove it from inside your home. Gasoline may have transferred to other items that came into contact, so make sure you remove anything that is a potential source of odors.
For items that contain smells only, simply airing them outdoors for 24-hours should suffice. An item that has directly absorbed gasoline may need longer. Washed items (see below) should also air out for a day.
Items containing wet gas should be wiped clean or have absorbents used on them. Next, use dish soap and water to help remove fuel that has worked its way into materials. Air dry for at least a day before bringing them back indoors.
Finally, follow the steps for Method One: Removing Exhaust Fumes to air out any rooms that held the contaminated items or have lingering gas smells in them.
Method Four: Cleaning up gasoline spills
- Absorb wet spills
- Clean hard surfaces
- Remove materials that absorb gas
- Follow Method One
Finally, let us take a look at direct gasoline spills inside your home. These will require immediate action, as interior spills produce the heaviest smells (and inhalation exposure).
You can use rags or paper towels to prevent small spills from spreading. Use an absorbent (clay-based cat litter is a great choice that is also cheap) to pull gas spills off of hard surfaces. Dish soap and water will clean off leftover gasoline.
Most fabrics will absorb gas immediately. Rugs and furniture are easy to remove. Let them air out and clean with dish soap and water if necessary.
Carpet, upholstery, and padding, on the other hand, will require extra work. You won’t be able to eliminate gas smells from your home until these are replaced (except for small droplet contamination). For fabrics that you can save, use a commercial-grade carpet cleaner and products.
Finally, follow Method One: Removing Exhause Fumes to eliminate gas odors from rooms in your house.
Why does gasoline smell?
Gas odors bother some people more than others. In fact, the benzene added in gasoline smells sweet to some people. The chemical is also added to other materials, like plastics, and might be responsible for odors emitting from these products as well.
Benzene, along with other hydrocarbons, evaporates quickly. This the reason that you can smell gasoline so quickly when it spills. It also plays a role in causing gas smells to linger in the air.
Is Gasoline Exposure Dangerous?
Manufacturers have reduced the amount of benzene added to fuel in recent years. It is still one of the top-20 chemicals used in the United States.
Benzene can be absorbed in various ways, with inhalation being the most common path of exposure. Limited amounts of gasoline can create fumes that cause skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation.
A Larger spill (or another source) can penetrate deeper into your body, affecting your nervous system. Symptoms can include:
Failure to remove the source of gas smells can result in longer exposure times. In severe instances, long-term exposure can affect your bone marrow and possibly the reproductive system.
To avoid possible gasoline fume poisoning, use one of the methods discussed in this article to get rid of the gasoline smell in your house:
- Method One: Removing Exhaust Fumes
- Method Two: Clean-out garages and attached sheds
- Method Three: Remove contaminated items from the home
- Method Four: Cleaning up gasoline spills
Removing gas smells from your home will likely involve some clean-up. That will generate wastes that can contaminate the environment with hazardous materials, including items that are flammable.
Make a game plan before pouring wastes down the drain or tossing them into your trash. If you used specialized cleaners, consult the label for proper ways to dispose of them once you are finished.
Also, contact your city and local waste management to determine where you can safely (and legally) dispose of used cleaning materials.
Be safe as you are cleaning. Use gloves and eye protection, as well as respiratory protection, when possible.
Make use of proper storage containers to hold wastes, and never store this long-term on your property.
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