Remove Gasoline From Clothes?


Roll With It
Yesterday morning I had a doctor's appointment out of town and woke up a bit late. When Jess and I left we were only about 15 min later that I wanted to leave. I noticed it and thought we were doing fine. Then I realized I needed gas. Just as I was taking the gas nozzle out of the car, my hand spasmed. Gasoline splashed all over the car and on ME. I used the gas station restroom to rinse off and then went back home. I had to wash my right arm and leg and upper torso, change and leave. I left my dress soaking in a big bowl in the tub.

How do I clean the dress? I just got it a month ago and have only worn it a few times. I love the dress but can it be saved? It got a lot of gas on it, all across the front and down onto the skirt. Searches online say to wash it with vinegar, but I don't think they mean for a stain this big. Is it possible to save the dress?

Thanks for the advice!

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
susiestar, you were smart to come home and wash and change. It isn't safe to wash the dress in the washer with gasoline all over it. My washer has a sticker on the lid warning against this. Maybe try washing the whole thing in the tub in vinegar several times and then line drying it. I think, though, that you will probably still smell gas on it. I'm sorry about the dress, but at least you didn't burst into flames.


Well-Known Member
Can it be saved? Yes.
As pigless says, though, you can't use the washing machine.

What kind of fabric are we dealing with? As in, can this be washed in HOT water? Is it color-fast?

You did well to soak it a bit - reduce some of the obvious excess. Now, let it line dry outside for at least 24 hours.

If it is color-fast, try using dish soap on it, with just enough warm water to be workable. Then soak in the hottest water that the fabric can take. Gasoline has a "grease" component that dish soap handles. This may or may not take care of most of it. After half an hour or so, rinse it out and line dry.

If stain or smell are still there, use a paste of baking soda. Work it in, let it dry, brush it off.

Wash in machine, then line dry. If smell or stain are still there, repeat baking soda step. (multiple times if necessary)

Do NOT dry in machine unless all stain and smell are gone.


Well-Known Member
Felt that this was worth repeating. People have done this when there was still some gas on the garment and it caused the dryer to explode. DONT DO THIS!!
Problem number one is running the dryer at the same time.
Problem number two is the sparks and friction from the washing machine motor.
Problem number three is that even just opening the LID of the washer when you are done, may cause enough friction to spark an explosion.

On the other hand, one of my relatives was known to wash gas-soaked clothes in the washing machine... only outside and always on a windy day. The wind kept the fumes down, it was a really old machine, and it was sitting on a gravel driveway - nothing to burn. Never did have a fire, but... I don't know many people who want to haul a machine outside to do this. (This person kept an old washer in the garage)


Shooting from the Hip
Yup, I will chime in on the don't wash it in the washer till the gas is gone!

Gasoline itself is odorless. They add a smelly compound so people notice it. ALSO, it is the FUMES from the gasoline that are explosive/flammable, not the gasoline itself.

Bill has done similar when working on cars, here's what I do.

Vinegar for the whole thing. I would soak for at least a day. Rub baking soda into obvious stains - it will foam up with the vinegar. Then HAND wash in COLD (bathtub or sink or whatever) with Woolite. Air dry. Use your nose and fingers to determine - if the smell is gone and there is NO oily residue, you're good to go. But check carefully.

A caveat... Bill usually wears his coveralls, so I don't run them through the dryer, ever...


Well-Known Member
Can you call a dry cleaner and explain what happened. And see if it is something they can get out? KSM


Roll With It
I ended up throwing it out. After several attempts to wash it out by hand, my hands hurt so bad I was in tears. husband found me crying and insisted I toss it and buy another dress. He can handlle almost anything but finding me in tears is the one thing he hates.