5 Ways to Remove the Smell of Gasoline From Your Hands

If regular soap isn’t doing the trick, try one of these five methods to remove the smell of gasoline from your hands.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
To get rid of the smell of gasoline from your hands, wash them in warm water with the strongest soap you have, and then try washing them with one of the following: vanilla extract, a mixture of salt and detergent, baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice.
We all know what gasoline smells like and how persistent that smell can be. If you’ve ever gotten some on your hands and tried to wash it off, you may have learned the hard way that soap and water won’t always do the trick.
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Method 1: vanilla extract

If you happen to have a bottle of vanilla extract lying around in your kitchen cabinet, you can use it to eliminate the gasoline smell by following these steps:
  1. Mix a few drops of vanilla extract into about a half cup of water.
  2. Pour the mixture over your hands and start scrubbing. Do this for at least 45 seconds or until you no longer smell the gasoline on your hands.
  3. With the smell gone, rinse your hands and then wash them again with soap and water.
After you dry your hands, there should be no lingering scent of gasoline.

Method 2: salt and detergent

You can also get rid of that unpleasant smell of gasoline with a mixture of salt and detergent. Here’s how:
  1. Pour one to two teaspoons of salt into a small cup and place it next to the sink. The salt will help exfoliate and scrub away the smell of gasoline.
  2. Pour a small amount of dish detergent onto your hands—this will help break down gasoline’s chemical bonds, and then pour the salt over it.
  3. Scrub your hands and fingers with the mixture for at least one minute until you can no longer smell the gasoline.
  4. Rinse and wash your hands with water until clean.

Method 3: baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar aren’t just good for science-fair projects—they can also help remove that persistent gasoline smell:
  1. Pour a small amount of baking soda into the palm of your hand.
  2. Pour about a tablespoon of vinegar onto your hands and start rubbing them together—scrub for at least two minutes.
  3. Once the smell is gone, thoroughly rinse your hands.
The chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda helps lift and remove the oils in gasoline that stick to your skin.

Method 4: hydrogen peroxide

As you may know, hydrogen peroxide has a myriad of uses—and cleaning your hands is one of them:
  1. Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide on your hands.
  2. Scrub your hands and fingers for one to two minutes until the smell is gone.
  3. Rinse your hands with warm water.
Hydrogen peroxide can dry out your skin, so you may want to try a different method if you tend to have very dry hands.

Method 5: lemon juice

Got an old lemon in the fridge? Put it to work cleaning your hands with these steps:
  1. Squeeze (or pour) an equal part of lemon juice into an equal amount of water and stir until combined. 
  2. Pour the mixture over your hands and rub the juice into your palms and fingers for one to two minutes or until you can no longer smell the gasoline.
  3. Rinse off your hands, either with water and soap or just water by itself and dry them. 
Now your hands should smell nice and fresh!

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In most cases, regular soap isn’t going to be strong enough to remove the smell of gasoline from your hands. But, there are certain soaps you can buy which help remove gasoline, oil, and other similar substances. Companies like
Bali Soap
, and
Tough Nut
sell products that can help remove the gasoline smell from your hands. Briggs & Stratton even sells a product called
Gas Off Spray
, specifically made for removing gasoline odor.
As a general rule, you don’t want to keep gasoline or any other similar substances on your hands for long periods, as they can seriously dry out your skin and break down the fabric of your clothes. People with sensitive skin may experience irritation, inflammation, redness, and even blistering if gasoline is left on their hands for too long.
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