So, you’ve spilled gasoline in your garage and now you need to get the smell out. You can open the garage door or window, and that will help somewhat. You might even think about setting up a fan to help it dry. However, neither of these will get rid of the smell completely.
You need to get rid of the gasoline itself and this will, by extension, mean you also get rid of its smell. It’s a problem that’s actually pretty easy to solve, and you might even have all the things you need in your house already.
Do You Have a Cat?
If you do, you’re in luck because it probably means that you already have kitty litter on hand. If not, run to the nearest pet store and grab a box.
There’s really no need to get an expensive brand. In fact, the generic version is probably better because it’s not likely to have all those fancy additives that makes it appeal more to cats.
Once you have some cat-litter, simply sprinkle it on the spillage. It’s important that you completely cover the residue and you can ensure this by using slightly more than the area requires. This will allow you to cover just past the edges of the spill and make sure that you treat all of the spilled gasoline.
If the gasoline soaks through, add more litter until it looks dry. Leave the litter a few hours to let it absorb any liquid from the floor and make sure you keep your cat away from it!
Once the patch is completely dry, use an old brush to sweep up the litter and dispose of it in a strong plastic bag that won’t break when you pick it up. Now, all the liquid is gone, but you may still smell gas.
This is because no matter how quickly you got the litter on it, some of the gas will have soaked into the floor. A stain on your garage floor is a clear indication that some has soaked in.
Do You Bake?
If you do, you’re in luck again. Baking soda is great for more than creating fluffy cakes in the kitchen. It can be used effectively to deodorize substances. Baking soda doesn’t simply cover up odors, it neutralizes them.
In order to use baking soda on spilled gasoline, simply make some into a paste by adding water. Spread the paste over the stain and let it sit until it dries. When it is completely dry you can sweep it up and dispose of it in the same way you did with the cat litter solution.
It Still Smells and What About That Stain?
If you still smell the lingering odor, or if you just want to get rid of that ugly stain, then it might be time for some big guns. Any of the following products can works well when it comes to removing stains and the lasting smell.
- Dishwashing liquid, especially the grease-cutting kind
- Dishwasher detergent
- Disinfecting cleaning solution
- Powdered dish soap, with water
- Powdered clothes washing detergent, with water
Scrub any of these into the stain with a plastic or nylon brush, or a push broom. Avoid using a wire brush because they can scratch your floor. Rinse with a hose and let dry completely.
Ok, I’ve Tried All This and I Still Have an Ugly Stain!
If the stain and the smell just don’t come out to your liking, you are not out of options just yet. However, you may now need to take a trip to the hardware store because you probably don’t have trisodium phosphate lying around the house.
Trisodium phosphate, or TSP, is a very strong degreaser and general cleaning agent that dissolves in water. Painters use it to prep tough areas before painting. It’s fairly inexpensive and you won’t need much.
When you pick it up at your local hardware store, don’t forget to buy yourself gloves and eye protection. Read and follow all the package warnings and instructions. This stuff is powerful and getting it in your eyes or sensitive areas will not be fun!
Preventing the Whole Thing in the First Place
Hopefully, the above advice will have helped you if you find yourself in a situation where you need to get rid of an off-putting gasoline smell. However, you will have likely spent a long time rectifying a problem that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Of course, you’d rather not have to deal with this kind of issue again. Consider sealing your garage floor with a concrete paint or sealant specially designed to keep any liquid, not just gasoline, from soaking into your floor. You’ll thank yourself the next time you see a nasty spillage and can just wipe it up immediately.