How to Get the Smell of Diesel Fuel Out of Leather

Written by kristie brown
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How to Get the Smell of Diesel Fuel Out of Leather
Use a homemade remedy to rid leather of diesel fuel smells. (leather shoes image by Steve Lovegrove from

Stains and foul smells are puzzles that require solving. As a result, an entire industry is built around the pursuit of unlocking stain-fighting secrets and making our things smell better. Certain spills, though, leave an odour that is often hard to combat. With diesel fuel or gasoline, the liquid seeps into clothing, leaving not only a stain to be reckoned with, but also an overwhelming odour. To rid leather of fuel smells, try a homemade remedy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Old towel
  • 3 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Castile soap
  • 40 to 60 drops of your favourite essential oil
  • 8 to 12 drops of grapefruit seed extract
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • Gallon jug
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean, soft cloth or cloth diaper

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  1. 1

    Wipe away any excess fuel by blotting the leather with an old towel. Press the towel firmly into the leather and hold it for several seconds while the diesel transfers to the towel. Continue to blot until fuel residue does not easily transfer to the towel. Discard the towel.

  2. 2

    Mix together the olive oil, Castile soap, essential oil, grapefruit seed extract and water in a gallon jug. The essential oil will infuse the leather with the oil scent, masking and eventually overpowering the diesel fuel smell.

  3. 3

    Pour some of the mixture into a clean spray bottle.

  4. 4

    Spray the stained area. Work the solution into the affected area, using the soft cloth. Spray more solution and repeat the process until you no longer smell the diesel fuel.

  5. 5

    Buff the area with a dry cloth until it's shiny. Allow the area to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult a leather-care expert tor stubborn stains and smells, particularly for items that indicate they should be cleaned by a professional or dry cleaner.

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