How to get a gas smell out of your car

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You’re pumping gas in a hurry, and you spill it on your clothes or shoes. Or, you’re transporting a gasoline tank to your house to use in your lawnmower, and some of the liquid splashes and spills in your car.

We get it — we’ve all been there. But how on Earth are you supposed to get rid of this pungent smell?

In this article, we’ll explore various methods for eliminating the gasoline odor from your car.

Get Rid of Gasoline Smell Using Baking Soda & White Vinegar

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Baking soda and vinegar is an infamous combination for cleaning almost anything. It’s sure to help you eliminate the gasoline smell from your vehicle. This solution also works well for a smell or stain that’s lingering on your clothing.

Start by creating your mixture. We recommend using equal parts baking soda and vinegar to start. However, learning how to get rid of gasoline odors in your car’s interior is an experiment; it may take some trial and error to find the perfect ratio.

Pour the solution on top of the stain and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes. Use a clean rag or paper towels to wipe it up.

If the baking soda and white vinegar method doesn’t do the trick, keep reading for other tips to try.

Rubbing Alcohol & Baking Soda

This technique is similar to the previous one. Stir equal parts rubbing alcohol and baking soda to create a robust mixture. Pour this mixture on top of the stain and watch the odor vanish within a half hour.

Feel free to implement this method inside your car, garage, or wherever the odor of fuel lingers.

Dish Soap

Take some of the dish soap from your kitchen, mix it with water, and wash the stain and odor away using a couple of clean rags. Let the mixture soak for a bit, and then allow it to air dry.


Mouthwash doesn’t just make your breath smell fresh — it can also work wonders on your vehicle’s upholstery. Pour a small amount of mouthwash onto the gasoline-soaked area. Allow the mouthwash to soak for several minutes so its pleasant scent can sink in.

Note: Avoid this method on lightly colored car seats and floors.

Cat Litter

This solution may sound crazy, but hear us out. All you need is about a cup of two or cat litter. And, it doesn’t even matter if it’s scented or unscented — we just want to tap into the litter’s absorption powers.

Locate the spill and load the cat litter onto it. Spread it around evenly to cover the spill completely. Allow the litter to sit and absorb the gasoline smell for several hours. Then, brush and sweep all the litter off your car’s seats and carpet floor. Remove the rest of the litter by using a vacuum.

You can also try this smell-removing method in your garage if gasoline smells are lingering there.


The coffee method is best for a gasoline odor that has set deeply. You don’t have to search far and wide for a premium brand. Instead, you can clean the gasoline residue and get rid of the smell using cheap, store-brand grinds.

Implement this method just like you would with the cat litter one — pour the grinds on top of the spot and allow the coffee to infiltrate the odor.

If you have cloth seats, coffee will come in handy. However, car owners with plastic coverings on their seats won’t need coffee, as the liquid will wipe up easily.

This method can also work wonders on an odor that’s invading your garage and won’t go away with more mild-smelling solutions.


When you spill gasoline on your vehicle’s seats or carpet, you’ll want to clean the residue and eliminate the odor as quickly as possible.

If you’re low on supplies, plain old H2O will do the trick. Hot water will work best, but you can opt for cold or lukewarm water if it’s more convenient.

This method is good for delicate upholstery you don’t want to ruin. Rub the liquid in gently and allow the water to air dry. If you’re at home, try mixing vinegar and hot water if you have it on hand.


One of the best ways to get rid of gasoline smell is with Febreze. Search for the source of the spill and spray the affected area. You can also give the air a few spritzes to freshen up your interior.

To take this method one step further, you can remove the gasoline spot by rubbing the spray with a rag and letting it dry.

Get rid of the pungent fumes in the air by skipping the fragrance-free products. Instead, opt for a spray containing a citrusy, floral, or sweet scent.

Gas-Off Wipes

Gas Off Cleaning Wipes

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Mechanics often use these wipes from Briggs & Stratton to get the gasoline smell off of their skin. However, these wipes can also help you get rid of gasoline in your car.

Store these wipes in your garage so that you have them readily available to rub spots on your vehicle’s floor and seats. After you wash and dab, allow the wipes’ solution to air dry.

This smell-removing technique should be safe for your car’s cloth seats or carpet floor. However, we don’t recommend this method on expensive shoes or clothing. You should skip it, especially if you have spilled gasoline onto a delicate satin, lace, or chiffon clothing article.


How long does it take for the gas smell to go away?

Some people love the gas smell, but your odor-averse passengers will appreciate your efforts to clear rid of the smell if it’s in your car or on clothing.

The good news is, they won’t have to wait around for long for the fumes to vanish. The gas smell will dissipate within 24 hours if you treat it promptly.

Is it safe to drive a car that smells like gas?

Your car may reek of the gas smell if you’ve just left a fuel-up station. In this case, you should be able to drive your car around town without any issues.

However, your car may have a gas smell for more pressing reasons. For example, a leak in your fuel system could be contributing to the odor. In this case, it isn’t safe to drive your vehicle. A fuel leak may contribute to a fire that could result in serious burns and other injuries.

Is it bad if I spilled gas on my car?

Spilling a little bit of gas on your car won’t do much harm, but don’t make it a habit. Gasoline is quite corrosive, meaning it can eat away most paints designed for automobiles.

How long does it take spilled gas to evaporate?

Gasoline is a volatile substance, meaning it evaporates relatively quickly. A small spill will only take a few hours to evaporate.

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