Is it possible to get diesel and gasoline smell out of clothes?

How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes

TDS Reader Contributors

How to Conquer Debt eBook

How to Get Diesel Smell Out of Clothes

I am having a tough time removing fuel smells from our laundry. My husband drives a fuel truck. Does anyone know how to remove smells/stains of diesel/gasoline from his work clothes? The smell permeates everything! It's turning cold where we live and I will not be able to dry them outside much longer!
Chris J.

Coke Classic Eliminates Odors

When washing these clothes pour a can of Coca-Cola Classic in the machine with your detergent. This will remove the petroleum products completely, which I suspect is the problem. You must use Coke!

Baking Soda Odor Eliminator

My husband drives a fuel tanker as well; I have found that adding 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda when I add detergent helps remove the odors and stains from his work clothes. If the baking soda doesn't help try pre-washing in Pine-Sol or Mr.Clean, either one removes the stains and oily residue from the clothes.
Denise G.

Amonia Will Remove Diesel Fuel Odors

To get odors out of your clothes, add some plain ammonia to the water while washing them. Gets rid of musty smells. Put it in the water with your soap and other things, not on top of the clothes. Use 1/2 cup. I used it in washing old "down" quilts that had been in an attic for a long time. Washed them and set them outside in the air. Were good as new.

DIY: Make Your Own Fabric and Room Deodorizers


My late husband used to drive a fuel truck, and the diesel fuel was the worst smell to get out. What I put in the laundry to help clean better and get rid of the odors was 1 to 2 cups of white vineagar, it also helped get the grease and oil out of his clothes. The vineagar is good to use just to get better smelling clothes.
Vivian O.

Related: 50 Money-Saving Household Uses for Vinegar

Special Pre-Wash

Try rubbing mechanic's hand soap (GOJO Hand Cleaner is a common brandname) on the oily spots, then wash as normal. The best type is the kind that doesn't need water, contains lanolin and is commonly found in a plastic tub. I got this trick from a woman who always wore white and worked with me in a machine shop. At the end of the day she would put some hand soap on any (the many) spots and they always came out. I've since found out it will remove almost any stain.
Eric W

Good Quality Detergent

My husband is a diesel mechanic, and I have had to wash his uniform for over ten years. I find that washing them in hot water with Tide with Bleach and drying them with a fabric softener sheet works fine. (I learned long ago that using a "bargain brand" detergent in not worth it, I only use Tide with Bleach. You may also try adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse water. I just put it in my fabric softener dispenser. if you don't have this feature on your machine try one of those "Downy Balls."
Patricia R

Oil to Remove Oil

Try adding a drop or two of eucalyptus oil to the wash after filled with water.
Andy P.


I found after years of greasy clothes leaving gunk in my washer that heavy duty (industrial) Pinesol (approx. 3/4 cup in full load) along with the soap does a great job.

Dishwashing Pre-Treat

My fiancee drives a semi-truck and always seems to be getting either diesel fuel or axle grease on his clothing. The best thing I've found for getting diesel smell out of clothes is to pre-treat the clothing with Dawn dishwashing detergent, and then wash them as usual. I have even added some to the whole load to get rid of the diesel fuel smell.
Sherry W.

Reviewed January 2018

Take the Next Step:

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book