Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Remove Gasoline Spills From a Car Interior

by Krissi Maarx

Remove gasoline spills from car interior as quickly as possible to prevent stains and prolonged inhalation of harmful fumes. Absorbent materials remove gasoline from upholstery and hard surfaces, though a large spill may require replacement of the carpet padding for complete gasoline removal. Allow ample ventilation to the area and use common kitchen items to clean gas from upholstery and neutralize odors. Your fire department or trash removal service will advise you of regulations on disposal of contaminated items.


Open the car doors or trunk to allow air circulation throughout the vehicle, depending on where the spill occurred.


Coat the gasoline spill in a thick layer of absorbent material, such as sawdust or clay cat litter, and allow it to sit for approximately 30 minutes.


Sweep the used absorbent materials into a plastic garbage bag and follow your community’s hazardous waste guidelines for disposal.


Pour baking soda on the spill area and allow it to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes. Baking soda will absorb additional liquids and neutralize odors.


Vacuum the baking soda from the carpet or upholstery.


Mix a cleaning solution of one tablespoon white distilled vinegar and one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent to two cups of warm water, as recommended by “Good Housekeeping.”


Scrub the stain with the cleaning solution and a sponge, and then blot the liquid out of the carpet or upholstery with white paper towels.


Rinse the cleaned area with cold water and blot the water up with white paper towels. Allow the area to dry with the doors open for adequate ventilation.


Coat the dried area in baking soda or fresh coffee grounds if any odors remain, and vacuum them from the area the following day.


  • Substitute cornstarch for baking soda if needed.
  • Use dry-cleaning solvent as a cleaning solution.
  • Scrub thin carpet with a stiff brush and soapy water, as suggested by Heloise Hints.


  • Do not smoke near a gasoline spill and keep heat sources away from the spill.
  • Printed or colored towels can transfer dye to upholstery—use white towels only.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media