How to Eliminate the Spilled Gasoline Smell From a Car or Trunk

by Charlotte Johnson

You made a trip to the gas station to fill a small container with gas for your lawn mower or four-wheeler, only to have the container tip over on the way home. What you have now is a smelly, stubborn mess. Gasoline fumes can be difficult to remove from upholstery in your car or trunk, so you need to try a multidimensional approach.


Blot up as much of the gasoline as possible with some old towels. Discard the towels after using them.


Place the car in direct sunlight with the trunk open or the doors open (for inside spills) in order to allow any excess gasoline to evaporate. Leave the car like this for at least four to five hours.


Sprinkle some dry coffee grounds across the affected areas and vacuum them up after several hours.


Mix a solution of 1/2 cup carpet shampoo (the kind you use in rental cleaners) and 3 cups water.


Apply the solution to the trunk or upholstery with a nylon bristle brush. Scrub the solution in well.


Blot up the extra solution with a few more old towels.


Allow the car to finish drying in the fresh air and sun once more.


Spray odor-eliminating spray on the area for a finishing touch.

Items you will need

About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.

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Photo Credits

  • Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media