How to Get Gas Smell Off Your Skin

A car is usually a necessity for many people in the United States. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. For example, typical car owners will spend $397 per year on car repairs for each vehicle they own.

However, most people tend to postpone the repair and maintenance projects that they need to do. And money is one of the primary reasons why they do that. Also, some people don’t trust mechanics in general. So, it’s likely that you will find yourself trying to sort out your vehicle’s mechanical issues.

You will inevitably have gasoline smells on your clothes and skin when that happens. The smell of gasoline is also something you could have in your garage space. Also, you may work with the fuel for long periods as part of your work and may not have a choice on the matter.

Whatever your reasons for working with gasoline, you need to prepare to deal with gas fumes and the pungent smell of gas on your skin. And it would help if you did it as quickly as possible when it comes into contact with your body because it can harm you.

Harmful Effects of Gasoline Fumes and Stains on Your Health

If you are exposed to gasoline odors for short periods, you don’t have to worry too much. Neither do you need to worry when your skin comes into contact with gas or diesel stains for a limited time.

However, when the human skin is exposed to gasoline stains, or someone inhales gasoline vapor for a long time, there may be negative impacts on your health.

Below are some reasons you should take those gasoline stains and odors seriously.

  • If gasoline comes into contact with seawater, then there is skin contact; you will likely experience fuel burns.
  • If there is eye contact, gasoline vapors or liquids can damage your eyes.
  • Prolonged exposure to gas fumes can cause lung damage.
  • If you have an opening on your skin from wounds and cuts, and the hydrocarbons in the gas enter your bloodstream, your central nervous system may be adversely affected, and you could end up with organ damage.

·         Research in animals shows that gasoline is a possible carcinogenic, which may cause cancer if one is exposed to it over a long period.

Safety Steps to Take to Deal with Strong Gas Smells

Because of the dangers that gas vapors or fumes pose to the respiratory system and everything in the surrounding area, it would be best to ensure your safety first before getting rid of the smell from your skin. And the first thing is to ensure that the garage doors are wide open to allow the vapors to dissipate into the open air. Also, ask everyone to leave.

In addition, don’t light up anything, no matter how dark it is. Also, avoid switching on any lights or equipment, and don’t even ring the doorbell.

Gasoline is flammable and may cause an explosion or fire. A gasoline spill 12 feet away could still ignite due to the gas’ volatility. And it can float on water and spread further, making a more extensive fire more likely.

How to Get Rid of the Gas Smell on the Human Skin

Once you have established that the immediate danger from a gas spill is no longer present, you need to address its smelly effects on your skin. Of course, if you have an open wound, you need to address that as quickly as possible.

Below are strategies you can use to get rid of the strong smell from your skin.

1. Wash With Soap

If you have an open wound and gasoline spills on it or your skin and hair, it is best to remove your clothes and flush the affected area with water for about three minutes as soon as possible due to its toxicity. Then wash the skin with mild soap, such as hand soap, and rinse yourself well. And if you can’t find that opt for dish detergent or any other regular soap.

2. Wash With Salt

When gasoline gets into your eyes, you can continuously flush them with warm water from the tap for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can put several tablespoons of salt into a large container of plain water to create a saline solution. Then use that solution to flush your eyes by slowly pouring water from a jug.

You can remove your contact lenses after flushing the eyes. But you should leave them on if you find it challenging to do so. And then visit the emergency room for medical care. In this case, it would be best to have someone drive you there while you cover your eyes with a clean rag to reduce sensitivity. Alternatively, you can wear sunglasses.

In addition, you can create a mixture of salt and dish detergent and exfoliate your hands with it. It would be best if you waited for a few minutes after you rub it into your skin, then rinse with plain water.

3. Clean With White Vinegar

Vinegar helps with the breakdown of gasoline, making it smell less. If you need to eliminate the oily residue or gas odor from your skin, you can use white vinegar quite effectively due to its acidic chemical properties.

First, pour white vinegar into a bowl and get some on the palm of your hands. Then rub vigorously for about 45 seconds and wash the hands with regular soap and water. Afterward, you will notice that the oily residue is gone.

Also, you can soak your smelly clothes in hot water and white vinegar mixture for 30 minutes. And then put them in the washing machine and launder them as usual.

4. Make a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is excellent at absorbing odors. For that reason, it is a perfect choice for removing gas smells on the skin.

First, you need to create a paste with baking soda and warm water. Then you can rub the paste on your hands and wait for two minutes or so. If other parts of the skin are affected, you can create enough paste to scrub all the affected areas and apply it as an exfoliant on them. Then wait for two minutes and wash as usual.

And if your clothes have gasoline stains, you can mix equal parts hot water, white vinegar, and baking powder and soak them for at least 15 minutes before washing them separately from the rest of your laundry. Alternatively, you can use old rags to clean the affected patches using the mixture. Once the smell is gone, you won’t have to worry about it clinging to your skin the next time you wear those clothes.

5. Scrub With Lemon Juice

The citric acid in lemon juice can work wonders on gasoline smells on the skin because it breaks it down. So, you can create a mixture with equal parts lemon juice and water, pour it onto your hands and rub the mixture into the skin for at least a minute. Then wash your hands with regular soap and dry them.

6. Eliminate the Gas Smell with Vanilla Extract

You probably know vanilla extract as a must-have ingredient for the kitchen, especially if you love to bake. That is because it impacts a pleasant floral aroma into any dish in which it is included. But what you may not know is that vanilla extract also comes in handy when you need to get rid of any gas smells on your skin.

If you have a little bit of gasoline smell, you can pour a few several drops of vanilla extract into half a cup of water. Then apply the cleaning solution onto the affected areas of the skin and rub gently. After a few minutes, you can wash your skin with water and soap and dry yourself. If the smell of gasoline persists, you can repeat the process.

Vanilla is more of a masking agent. So, it will replace the gasoline smells with its aroma, which is quite pleasant. But it works best if the amount of gasoline you have been exposed to is minimal.

7.   Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide works well as an antiseptic and helps treat minor cuts and infections, which is why it is used to make hand sanitizers. It can also be used as a mouth rinse. In addition, it is useful for getting rid of stubborn stains on surfaces. And the latter quality is what makes it an excellent choice for anyone that needs to get rid of gas smells on the skin.

When your skin has been exposed to gasoline, make a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and three parts water and soak your hands in it for two or so minutes. Then wash off the mixture.

Remember, hydrogen peroxide is a strong chemical. If you leave your hands in a hydrogen peroxide solution for a long time, your skin will get irritated, which is counterproductive if you try to get rid of gasoline to avoid the same fate.

8.   Apply Coffee Grounds

Did you know that coffee grounds are one of the natural deodorizers you can use to get rid of any unwanted smells? That’s because they can absorb the odors around them due to the nitrogen in them. And some coffee ground products are so strong that they can even absorb the smell of hydrogen sulfide, which tends to smell like rotten eggs.

So, when you have a gas smell on your skin, you can mix a few dried coffee grounds or use the wet ones you already have. Apply them to the affected areas, wait for a few minutes, then wash off the mixture.

9.   Apply Rubbing Alcohol

People often use rubbing alcohol as an antiseptic and disinfectant. But you can also use it on your skin to eliminate gas odors.

All you need to do is apply rubbing alcohol to your hands and rub for half to a full minute. Then wash it off with soap and water, and the smell will probably disappear. If not, you can repeat the process once or twice. But if you don’t have plain rubbing alcohol, you can opt for a hand sanitizer with an alcoholic content of 80 to 90 percent.

10. Apply an Oil-Based Lubricant

If you have engine oil or gasoline stains, consider using an oily lubricant, such as a WD-40 product. Start by pouring it in the palm of your hands and rubbing them together. Then wait for a few minutes before removing it using old paper towels or rags. After that, you can wash your hands with soap and water.

11. Use Mechanic’s Soap

Mechanics or anyone who works in a gas station deals with gasoline every day. It’s an occupational safety hazard. So, they have learned to handle the issues that come with that. And one way they do that is by using mechanic’s soap.

Unlike regular soaps, mechanic’s soaps clean and exfoliate the skin. They are rough, probably due to ingredients such as pumice or walnut shell powder or something similar. And these ingredients help in the removal of stubborn grease stains from the skin, which experiences prolonged exposure to gasoline and diesel.

If you have been exposed to a gasoline leak to a significant extent, it would be best to use mechanic’s soap to get rid of any stubborn stains and smells. You can either buy these products or make some of your own.

It is worth noting that some mechanic hand cleaners are in liquid form. So, you can look for what you need on e-commerce platforms like Amazon.

How much gasoline you are exposed to will largely determine the method you use to get rid of the gas odors from your skin. Also, the body areas that have been affected will influence your choices. For example, if you have a gasoline smell on your entire body, you cannot use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because they may irritate your skin too much. But you could bathe with mechanic’s soap or regular soap. Alternatively, you could rub coffee grounds all over your skin with minimal worries.

Therefore, be careful about what options you use. And if you have open cuts on your body or gasoline gets into your eyes, clean your skin up or flush your eyes quickly to reduce the dangers of gas to your internal systems and sight.

Photo of author

Brandi Miles, BSW, MS Human Services

Brandi Miles, BSW, MS Human Services is the mother of two adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. Brandi has 20+ years of experience helping people with developmental disabilities.
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