How To Get Diesel Smell Out Of Clothes [8 Easy Ways]

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Diesel trucks are a beast in their own right – super-functional with a solid build, but they also have their share of disadvantages. One of them is the stain and smell that they leave behind on the clothes.

Most times, the odor is so strong that it might drive not only you but also your neighbors crazy, and in this case, just tossing the shirt in the washer won’t do the trick.

As much as you love your diesel truck, we understand that you don’t want to show up the next day smelling like an oil refinery worker. So how do you get the diesel smell out of clothes? Well, some ways might help you, and we’ll learn all about them in this article.


Why Can’t You Wash Away The Diesel Smell?

Before we learn how to get the diesel smell out of clothes, let’s first figure out why those stains and smells are persistent.

The main reason behind this could be that diesel fuel contains a high percentage of sulfur in it. Sulfur is the stinky yellow stuff that usually comes out of the diesel truck exhaust after it has been burning for a while. It leaves behind long-lasting stains which are almost impossible to remove, even if you use one of those stain removers.

It is pretty tricky to get rid of the pungent smell using your usual washing methods because some commercial laundry detergents can’t break down oil-based stains completely, leaving the grease and odor behind. Instead, you’ll need a commercial degreasing agent, a solvent-based stain remover, or a natural deodorizer.

Tips Before You Start 

Using some precautionary steps before using all kinds of cleaning products will lead to better results without compromising the quality of your clothes. Here are a few things you should do before starting the cleaning process:

  • If necessary, blot the spill. When dealing with a diesel spill on your clothing, use a paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible, as it will help you reduce the wash time later.
  • If the stain is dry, pre-wash it by hand in a solution of water and dishwashing detergent before using any method listed below. Simply fill a pail with warm water and add a tablespoon of dish soap to neutralize the smell a little.
  • If washing before cleaning is off the table, you can soak the cloth in an overnight bucket filled with warm water and a tablespoon of anti-grease laundry detergent.
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Warning: Diesel odor can linger on your clothes for up to 8 weeks! Luckily, we have listed 8 great methods you can use at home – so keep reading!

How To Get Diesel Smell Out Of Clothes

1. Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

Both baking soda and vinegar are excellent natural ingredients that can help eliminate the diesel smell from your clothes, thanks to their deodorizing quality.

Step 1: Combine equal parts water and white distilled vinegar in a bucket, add 1/4 cup baking soda, and stir well until it is completely dissolved.

Step 2: Then, add the garment to the bucket and let it sit for about an hour.

Step 3: Use your hands to gently rub the garment where the diesel smell persists, ensuring that you do it thoroughly.

Step 4: Rinse with water until all of the baking soda solutions has been removed from your clothes. Let it air dry before checking if the smell remains.

Some people prefer this method because it uses natural household items; however, it works best on faint smells. If your clothes have a strong smell of diesel, you’re probably going to have to use a heavy-duty commercial cleaning product.

2. Using Coke And Baking Soda

This method uses Coca-Cola, baking soda, and water. The citric acid in cola helps break down the grease and loosen it from your clothes without fading garments. Mixing both of these results in an excellent solution meant to get rid of the tough odor.

Step 1: To begin, fill your washer with clean water and let the fabric sit in it for a few hours. Drain the water and soak the fabric again in clean water.

Step 2: Pour a 2-liter bottle of coke and a generous amount of baking soda over the cloth as the washer fills up.

Step 3: Let the garment stay in this solution for around 24 hours or overnight, depending on how strong the smell is. Once done, wash the cloth as usual.

While this may not be the most cost-effective method, it yields excellent results and can wash off any residual smell efficiently, without much effort.

3. Using Rubbing Alcohol and Baking Soda

Rubbing alcohol is a solvent used in various household items and can help remove stubborn diesel stains from your clothes. It is effective in fighting the harsh odor since it has a strong scent of its own that easily overpowers other smells.

Step 1: Add warm water, one cup of rubbing alcohol, and about 7 ounces of baking soda to a bucket or a tub.

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Step 2: Dunk the garment in this solution and let it sit for about 2-3 hours.

Step 3: As the smell starts to lift, take the garment out and wash it as usual. Let it air dry and repeat the process, if necessary.

4. Using Ammonia

Ammonia is an effective odor remover primarily because its smell is overpowering but also because it is a gentle cleanser – so when used in combination with other ingredients, it works wonders.

Step 1: Put your shirt into a washer as you normally would with detergent and water. Ensure you only wash the pungent fabric by itself as it could transfer scents onto other clothes.

Step 2: Now, pour 1/2 cup of ammonia as the washer is filling up. Start the machine and let the cycle complete.

Step 3: Avoid putting the garment in the dryer and let it air dry instead.

Ammonia itself has an overpowering scent, and if you’re someone who likes scentless clothes, you will have to wash the fabric as usual once again to have it smell normal.

5. Using Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a very potent plant oil known for its medicinal and purifying properties. It can help remove stains and spots on clothes as well as combat foul odors; its thin consistency penetrates deep into fabrics and breaks down tough grease and oils and leaves you with fresh-smelling clothes.

Step 1: Take a bucket and mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil and a bit of baking soda into it.

Step 2: Dip the fabrics in this solution for about fifteen minutes or until it starts to smell better.

Step 3: Wash the fabric as usual afterward to make sure all of the solutions have been removed along with the diesel smell.

6. Using Listerine

You may be thinking, what is a mouthwash doing on this list, but Listerine is much more than that. It contains ethanol and several essential oils, including eucalyptus oil. Mixing it with baking soda helps boost its cleaning effects.

Step 1: Fill your washing machine up to the usual level and add one cap full of Listerine.

Step 2: Add your stained garment and let the machine do its job before rinsing the clothing, as usual, to rid it of all odor.

Step 3: Give the fabric a sniff test and if you can still feel the faint diesel smell, repeat the process, but only add half a cup of baking soda this time.

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7. Using Pinesol

Pine-Sol All Purpose Multi-Surface Cleaner, Original Pine, 60 Ounces Each (Pack of 2) (Package May Vary)

One of the widely known commercial toilet cleaners and disinfectants, Pinesol is also a powerful odor neutralizer and stain remover. It works quickly to combat germs and bacteria that cause bad smells and stains on clothes.

Step 1: Fill your laundry machine with cold water and then add about one cup of Pinesol to it.

Step 2: Now, you can put your garment in the wash and proceed as usual. If the odor persists, repeat the process.

You may want to wash the cloth as usual after removing the smell if you don’t want it to smell like a commercial cleaner.

8. Using Fast Orange

Permatex 25219 Fast Orange Pumice Lotion Hand Cleaner with Pump, 1 Gallon

Fast Orange is a citrus-based cleaner that works great on many surfaces, including fabric – it can break down tough grime and oils, making it an excellent choice to get rid of diesel stains on clothes.

Step 1: Locate any noticeable diesel stains on the garment and rub just a dab of Fast Orange directly onto them.

Step 2: If you’re dealing with the odor only, then fill up your washing machine and add a tablespoon of fast orange to it.

Step 3: You can choose to add baking soda- a natural deodorizer – to the machine. Wash as usual and check for remaining smells once done.

It is recommended to test these products in an inconspicuous area first before you use them on all of your clothes for safety purposes.

After Care For Your Odor-Free Clothes

While you’re almost diesel-smell-free, your clothes still need some looking after being cleaned. Here are a few tips on how to take care of them:

  • You will need to perform a regular wash in your washing machine as a follow-up to all of these methods. Make sure you use a heavy-duty detergent that can remove any residue during this process.
  • After washing, try to air-dry your clothing in a pleasant, bright location if possible.
  • Be extra cautious not to put diesel-stained clothing in the dryer; there’s a chance the heat might set off any remaining diesel particles.

Well, now you know that you can use both household ingredients like baking soda and vinegar and commercial cleaners like Pinesol and Fast Orange to get rid of the diesel smell from clothes. We hope this guide helped by providing you with the steps you need to take before and after cleaning to make sure you maintain the quality of your clothes. Happy cleaning!

Written by Pulkit D

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