How to Remove a Diesel Odor From Clothes

Updated April 17, 2017

Diesel fuel produces a strong odour that can be difficult to get out of clothing using normal washing and drying methods. The smell of diesel tends to linger on clothes even after they've come out of the wash. If you are struggling to get rid of a diesel smell that is permeating your laundry, gather a few common household items to remove fuel odours for good.

Mix cold water, 2 cans of cola and 1 box of baking soda in a large bucket.

Place clothes in the mixture and soak them for several hours. Allow heavily soiled garments to soak overnight.

Remove clothes from the bucket and hang them outdoors to dry in the sun. If the odour is gone, launder them as usual. If any diesel smell lingers, soak the garments again in the cola-baking soda mixture.

Soak clothes in cool water and 1 cup of white vinegar at least one hour before laundering.

Wash the clothes in hot water in the washing machine with your usual detergent. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove any remaining diesel smell.

Hang the clothes out to dry in the sun.


You can pretreat clothes that have been soiled with diesel fuel with mechanic's hand cleaner. Simply apply a bit of the hand cleaner over fuel spills and work it into the fabric with a scrub brush. Rinse your clothes with cool water before proceeding with odour-removal methods.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cans cola
  • 1 box baking soda
  • Bucket
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • Detergent
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About the Author

Heather Kimbrell began writing professionally in 2009. Most of her work is featured online, where she publishes health and technology articles. She is a certified medical assistant and a part-time PC technician. Before pursuing a medical-assisting career, she received information technology training from Cisco Networking Academy. Kimbrell earned an associate degree in medical assisting from Fortis College of Montgomery, Ala.