How To Get Rid Of Gasoline Smell In Your House

If your house smells like gasoline, identify the source of the smell. Eliminate the source or exit the house immediately, depending on the cause.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you notice the smell of gasoline in your house, you need to deal with the situation right away. First, identify and eliminate the source of any harmful fumes. Then, make sure that your home is properly ventilated and use charcoal or kitty litter to get rid of the gasoline smell in your house. 
The smell of gasoline could indicate the presence of dangerous fumes or gasses. What's more, gasoline and other smelly chemicals are often highly combustible—one spark could lead to an explosion! 
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What to do if your house smells like gasoline

The first thing to do if you smell gasoline in your house is to identify the source of the smell. There are several things that can cause your house to smell like gasoline, and all of them are potentially dangerous. 
It could be something as serious as a leaking gas line filling your home with deadly gasoline—or something as small as some clothes left lying around that have gasoline on them.
To be safe, soak a rag in cool water and hold it over your nose and mouth while you’re searching for the source of the smell. Make sure not to light any matches or use any lighters!
If you find that you have a leaking line and there is actual gas filling your home, turn off all your gas-powered appliances and pilot lights. Then get everyone out of the house as fast as possible. Open some windows and doors if you can do so quickly, but prioritize your own safety. Once you’re out, call the fire department or a plumber to address the situation. 
If the smell is coming from your garage, make sure that all windows and doors to the area are tightly sealed. 
If the smell is simply coming from gasoline-soaked clothes, get them in the wash right away. Always check for spilled or leaking gasoline as well. 

How to get rid of the gasoline smell in your house

Once you have identified and properly dealt with the source of the gasoline smell, the odor can still linger for a while. Not to worry—there are a few things you can do to get rid of the gasoline smell in your house.

Open your windows and doors

Make sure all windows and doors are opened to get air moving through the house. Having windows and doors open on opposite sides of the area is best, enabling you to create a cross breeze. 
Also turn on any fans, including the one in your central air conditioning unit—anything to get the air circulating and moving out of the house. 

Set out charcoal or kitty litter

You probably have a few good odor-eating substances already lying around your house. Charcoal and kitty litter are a few great examples—but coffee grounds, tea, and oats also work. 
Lay charcoal briquettes, activated charcoal, cat litter, or your chosen natural odor eater in a few metal pans. Let them sit overnight and they should do a good job of scrubbing the air of unpleasant smells.   
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Mix up a DIY odor eater

You can also mix up a pretty effective DIY odor eater from household ingredients. 
Here’s what to do:
  • In a bowl, mix 1 cup water, 1 cup baking soda, and 1 cup vinegar (or lime juice).
  • You can leave the mixture out in a bowl to absorb smells or pour it into a spray bottle and spray it around your house. 
  • If the smell is from a specific gasoline spill, soak a rag in the mixture and dab the spot where the spill was. Rub the mixture in and then let it sit for half an hour before rinsing it. Repeat the process as needed. 

Wash any clothes with gasoline on them

If the smell was coming from clothes or other fabrics that had gotten gas on them, make sure to wash them separately from your other laundry. You may need to wash them several times to remove any lingering odors. 
MORE: A complete guide to carpet cleaning

Install additional ventilation

If your profession or hobbies make gasoline smell a constant issue (if you work in an auto shop or at a gas station, for instance), you might want to consider installing additional ventilation in your home, such as a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan. 
That way, the next time the problem arises, you’ll have an easier time getting rid of the gasoline smell in your house. 

The dangers of having gasoline in your home

Having gasoline present in any form is a serious danger. Just breathing in small amounts of the fumes alone can cause airway irritation, headaches, nausea/vomiting, confusion/dizziness, and respiratory failure. 
If any significant amount of gasoline is present in a gaseous form, a single spark could cause an explosion and subsequent house fire. 

Finding affordable home insurance

Gasoline can lead to all kinds of serious hazards—from asphyxiation and death to explosions and costly home damage. And while we’re on the topic of home damage, it’s vital to have the best possible home insurance for the best possible rate.
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Yes! Gasoline smells should never be taken lightly. There are a number of things that could be causing it—and they are all dangerous.
If you smell gas, immediately soak a rag in water and place it over your nose and mouth. Then, locate the source of the smell. 
If it’s a leaking gas line, exit the house immediately and call the fire department. Otherwise, safely eliminate the source of the smell and then air out your house.
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