Here’s How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes

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A woman putting away her clean laundry after following ways on how to get diesel smell out of clothes

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get the smell of diesel out of your clothes? If you’re a mechanic or an everyday grease monkey, you know how stubborn the smell of diesel and the cling of oil can be. 

Understanding how to remove the smell of oil and diesel will help your clothes last longer and smell fresher. Bring new life to your old shop towels and t-shirts with these tactical tips. Take a look!

Does Diesel Stick to Clothes More Than Gasoline?

You could say that diesel sticks to clothes more than gasoline. Diesel has an oil base, which attaches to the fabric in your clothing. You not only have to work to get the smell out of your clothes, but oil stains cling to the material. Diesel contains sulfur and nitrogen, making for a distinct and pungent smell. 

Woman smelling a dirty shirt before trying methods on how to get diesel smell out of clothes

Why Regular Detergent Doesn’t Work on Diesel 

Regular detergents don’t cut oil or grease. Diesel’s oil base makes it challenging to remove it by ordinary means. To safely remove diesel fuel stains from clothing, you must use a product that has a degreaser or a heavy-duty solvent-based stain remover. 

How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes

Now that you know a little about why diesel fuel is such a harsh smell and stain to remove from your clothing, it’s time to look at a few helpful cleaning methods. Don’t let diesel stains rule the laundry room any longer. Try these tactics!

Use Mouthwash

Why It Works: Mouthwash doesn’t seem like the first thing you would use to clean your clothing, but it works for diesel fuel. Firefighters use mouthwash to take the smoke smell out of their clothing. The stringent antiseptic and the fresh mint flavor strip the potent oils from your fabrics. 

The Process: If you have especially dirty clothing, give them a 30-minute pre-soak in mouthwash like Listerine before washing them. To further strip the smell of the diesel fuel from the clothes, try adding a cup of Listerine to the water after your washer is full. 

Keep in Mind: Do you know what happens when you put Diesel in a Gas Engine? Let’s find out!

Clean With Fast Orange Hand Cleaner

Why It Works: If you’re unfamiliar with Fast Orange, it’s a lotion-style hand cleaner popular with mechanics and construction workers for removing grease from the skin. It’s been on the market for a while, and it is a trusted solution to tough grease. This solution works on more than just hands. It also works on fabrics. 

The Process: If you have a diesel stain, rub some Fast Orange directly into the stain before washing. If you’re combating the smell of diesel fuel, add a tablespoon of Fast Orange to the fill water in your washing machine. If the first round doesn’t altogether remove the scent, try another round, and add a half-cup of baking soda to the water. 

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Wash With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Why It Works: Baking soda and vinegar take the diesel smell out of clothing by providing a natural neutralizer. It’s best only to use this method on light aromas. Strong odors will likely need stronger chemicals

The Process: You’ll want to add half a box of baking soda and a half-cup of vinegar to your laundry and the regular washing detergent. 

Don’t put the baking soda in the washer’s dispenser. Pour it on the clothing, so it doesn’t clog your dispenser. The vinegar in the mix will also act as a brightening agent for your colors. 

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Put Cola and Baking Soda in the Washing Machine 

Why It Works: Coke is a powerful cleaning agent. It has citric acid, and it acts as a natural degreaser. It will remove oil and blood stains and help you get the smell of diesel fuel out of your clothes. Adding baking soda to the mix helps to break up tough grease stains

The Process: First, fill your washing machine with water and let your clothing soak for a couple of hours. Drain the water and fill for another soak. Add a 2-liter bottle of coke and a 14-ounce box of baking soda to the mix. Let your clothes soak in this solution overnight. Finally, drain the mixture. Wash the clothes on a regular cycle, and take a sniff to test the method’s effectiveness.

Use Any Solvent-Based Stain Remover

Why It Works: Solvent-based stain removers have the power to break apart the chemical compounds of the grease and pull the diesel out of your fabrics. This can be an effective method to get diesel smell out of your clothes.

The Process: Start by rubbing the stain remover into your stained fabric. Let the solvent sit for a couple of hours to give it time to break up the grease, and then wash your clothing in a heavy-duty detergent. 

Pretreat Your Clothes For Best Results 

As you have likely observed from each cleaning method, you must pretreat and soak your clothing before running them through a wash cycle. It gives the cleaning compound a better chance to break up the stains and smells. Don’t think you can go through a normal 30-minute wash cycle and conquer diesel. It would be best if you practiced patience when trying to get diesel smells or stains out of your clothes. 

Keep in Mind: While on the road, you’ll need to be prepared for anything you may need to clean. These are some of the best RV Cleaning Products Every Experienced RVer Owns

Keep Diesel From Smelling up Your Clothes 

These aren’t the only methods that work to get the smell of diesel fuel out of your clothes, but they will provide you with a good starting point. Try them all over time to figure out which method you think works best! Do you have any tricks for removing stubborn stains? Let us know!

Last update on 2024-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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