How to Eliminate a Kerosene Smell

Kerosene is a type of natural gas fluid that can be purchased in fluid form and used to light lamps or heaters. Though kerosene lamps for the household or camping are not used with the same frequency they once were, they are still used occasionally and are known to produce a strong odour. Whether the kerosene smell is coming from your lantern or has wafted through the house, you can eliminate both with the use of household supplies.

Fill bowls with undiluted ammonia and place them in rooms, in the garage or tent where kerosene smell is heavy. Dampen a cloth in ammonia and use it to wipe up a kerosene spill. The ammonia breaks down and neutralises the strong kerosene odour.

Deodorise upholstery and carpeting containing the kerosene odour by sprinkling baking soda over the surface. Allow the baking soda to absorb the odour for 24 hours before vacuuming.

Sprinkle charcoal-based cat litter on hard-surfaced floors such as concrete and wood. Allow it to remain for 24 hours to absorb kerosene odour.

Drop vanilla extract onto cotton balls. Place one or two cotton balls in each room to naturally remove kerosene odour and add a pleasant aroma.


Adding 1 tbsp of rubbing alcohol to kerosene for a lantern or heater will decrease odour. Substitute vinegar or coffee grounds for ammonia to absorb odour. Activated charcoal can be used to remove kerosene odours from surfaces.


Use caution when handling kerosene as it can irritate the skin and eyes and is flammable.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowls
  • Ammonia
  • Clean cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Charcoal-based cat litter
  • Vacuum
  • Cotton balls
  • Vanilla extract
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.