Diesel fuel is highly problematic for clothes and shoes as it stains badly and also leaves behind a difficult to remove smell. If you’re interested in learning how to get diesel fuel out of clothes, you will find the following advice handy. In case you’ve ever spilled diesel fuel on your clothes by accident, you know very well how challenging it is to get rid of both stains and smell.
What’s worse, this type of fuel based on petroleum can leave behind the same unpleasant smell inside your washing machine, which means that you might end up making other laundry smell the same. To prevent such issues, you must take into account some measures that will help you eliminate the diesel odor with maximum efficiency.
What not to do when dealing with diesel stained clothes
Before examining all the tried and tested methods that will help you get rid of such unpleasant smells, let’s see what things you should never do. First of all, don’t wash the diesel-smelling clothes with others so that you don’t end up spreading the odor all over the place.
If the clothes still smell after washing them, don’t put them in the dryer. Consider washing them again, or your dryer will catch the smell and then drive a snowball effect that will make all your other laundry smell the same.
It is essential that you don’t use chlorine bleach. While you might feel tempted to believe that the strong chemical will be able to deal with diesel stains and smell, it simply doesn’t work.
Vinegar plus baking soda
While it’s not a guarantee that your clothes will look and smell as good as new once you try one or more of the methods that will be described below, they give you the best chances to salvage them. If nothing works, consider replacing the damaged clothes. However, most people who employ such methods report success, so let’s start with the vinegar plus baking soda solution.
You don’t have to depend only on strong anti-grease detergents to deal with diesel stains and smell. Some methods are natural, homemade, and the ingredients are easy to find, as is the case with this one. When you pour the necessary amount of laundry detergent in the dedicated compartment employed on your washing machine, add equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda.
While does this method work? Both ingredients mentioned are capable of breaking down oils, such as petroleum, which is what diesel fuel is made of; plus, they are known to remove strong smells, so they are a good bet that you will manage to achieve your goal.
As you can see, you don’t have to give up on your laundry detergent. With vinegar and baking soda, you give it a helping hand, so that all their advantages combined will end up helping you get rid of the nasty smell. Whenever you need to eliminate odors from your clothes, you can rely on these natural deodorizers.
A word of caution is needed. While this method works, you may have to wash the smelly clothes several times with this combination of ingredients to achieve the wanted results.
Coke plus degreaser plus baking soda
It appears that no ingredient can work wonders by itself, and if you hear someone bragging about taking diesel smell out of clothes with nothing but Coke, that’s pretty much a lie. However, you may have heard the myth according to which the popular fizzy drink would be a miracle-maker. By itself, it doesn’t do much, which is why the correct manner of using it is as follows.
While the combination of vinegar and baking soda with laundry detergent works with your regular washing machine cycle, this method is a bit more complicated and requires several ingredients and steps. First, you will need to fill a tub with warm water, and then have at hand one cup of degreaser, one box of baking soda, and a two-liter bottle of Coke.
Take the bad-smelling clothes and place them in the water-filled tub, where you previously mixed the cup of degreaser recommended earlier. Allow the clothes to soak in water for two hours, a time during which the degreaser will have time to break down the oils.
When the two hours are up, drain the tub and rinse the clothes as well as possible. Fill the tub again with clean water, and mix in the box of baking soda and the bottle of Coke. In this mix, let the clothes soak for 12 hours or more. Some people swear by it working if you allow them to stay there for an entire day and night.
Seeing how the vinegar and baking soda method may need several repetitions to get rid of the smell completely, this one might not appear as time-consuming as you might think at first glance. It is all a matter of preference, and if you find a method that works, the best recommendation is to stick to it.
Is Listerine really good at taking diesel smell out of clothes?
One of the methods listed here that may sound tough to believe involves Listerine, the popular mouthwash. Before you hurry to dismiss this method as being too over the top, here’s a tidbit of information you might not know: firefighters use it to eliminate the smell of smoke from their clothes, so there has to be some truth to it.
Listerine is famous for its ability to reduce and eliminate the bad smells from your mouth, but it’s much more than that. Due to its active ingredients, it can be highly efficient against many other foul odors. The best part is that this method is the least time-consuming, and it appears to work like a charm.
All you have to do is pour the mouthwash with your regular laundry detergent in the washing machine. Run the same washing cycle you would typically run, and you will notice that the smell is gone when you take the clothes out of the washing machine. The nice part is that Listerine also washes your washing machine so that it leaves a pleasant smell behind.
In case your clothes are affected too much by diesel fuel stains and odor, not even this may work. But for moderate cases, it is a cheap option, and the great news is that you can find Listerine anywhere. A combination of methods can be the answer when you truly want to save your clothes from the nasty smell of diesel.
Fast Orange, the hand cleaner everyone swears by
What you need to understand above all else when dealing with clothes stained by diesel fuel is that the most crucial aspect is to break down the oils. With them gone, the smell will be eliminated, as well, hence the use of potent ingredients that are known to degrease well, as you have seen so far.
From all the products people have tried to get rid of the diesel fuel smell from their clothes, one called Fast Orange appears to be an absolute winner. It is a hand cleaner, and typically, it is designed to help you get the grease off your hands when manipulating petroleum-based substances. In other words, it pretty much does the same thing you are after.
The idea is the same. You take some Fast Orange and add it to your laundry detergent when running a washing cycle on your machine. It should be very efficient at breaking down the oils present in diesel fuel, but it might not work on its own that well. It might also make you happy to hear that Fast Orange is biodegradable, and it’s not made from harsh chemicals.
How to deal with diesel smell that affects your shoes
Spilling fuel all over your clothes happens, but that means that the chances are that your shoes got splashed, too. In that case, you should learn about the most efficient methods to get rid of the diesel smell from your shoes.
If you can machine-wash your shoes, then the problem is solved because you can employ any of the methods described above and get rid of the odor in the same manner as you would when dealing with diesel-stained clothes.
However, for leather shoes, the same methods cannot work. You should never let leather soak in water as its structure will be damaged permanently. Create a mix of one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water. Soak a sponge in the mixture, squeeze the excess, and dab a little the splotches of diesel fuel on your shoes. Allow the shoes to air dry until there’s no more moisture left.
The next step is placing the shoes in a sealed bag filled with baking soda. This ingredient should absorb the unpleasant smell. Leave the baking soda to work for at least 12 hours. If this doesn’t work, try this option. Take a raw potato, cut it in two, and place it in a sealed bag with your shoes. In case the smell doesn’t go away after several hours, replace the potato, and repeat.