How to get the smell of gas off hands

Gasoline is an oil-based product. When it is spilt on skin, the gasoline partly evaporates and leaves the oily residue that smells of gasoline. The smell is difficult to remove, but try using these tips for quickly getting the smell of gas off your hands.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water. Use Lava soap or a gritty soap to help scrub off the oily residue. Work the soap under the fingernails and into the knuckles to remove as much gasoline as possible.

Lather up with a grease-cutting dish detergent such as Dawn. Squirt it full strength on your hands and use a washcloth to work it into the skin and knuckles where the gas soaked into the skin. Scrub with an old toothbrush or nail brush to work the detergent lather into skin folds and around fingernails. Rinse thoroughly.

Keep mechanic's soap, such as Goop, handy. These hand cleaners are designed for removing grease, oil and other grime. Rub it thoroughly into hands, wipe off with a paper towel and then wash with mild soap and water. Check store automotive sections to find mechanic hand cleaners or oil-removers such as Goo-Gone.

Try household remedies such as mixing a paste of vinegar and baking soda to clean your hands. Some handy people suggest mixing a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of baking soda and a squirt of dish detergent for a quick odour remover. Others advise using lemon juice to neutralise the gasoline odours.

Check your laundry room for degreaser detergents. Use Borax or OxiClean to make a quick hand-scrubbing paste. Mix it with a small amount of water or detergent to clean hands and fingernails. Rinse thoroughly.

Use rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to blot off gasoline residue. Hand sanitisers are usually alcohol-based and are good for quick oil removal. The alcohol helps remove the gasoline and odour.


Try any degreaser that is safe for skin. Scrub with mild soap and water to remove the degreaser from hands. Use a hand lotion or moisturiser immediately after scrubbing as degreaser cleaners also remove essential skin oils.


Do not use any heat or flame while cleaning your hands. Gasoline, alcohol and some degreasers are highly flammable.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Degreaser cleaners
  • Dish detergent with degreaser
  • Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
  • Laundry detergents
  • Mechanic's soap
  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser
  • Vinegar and baking soda
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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.