How to Clean Up Spilled Diesel on Carpet

Diesel -- along with its vapours -- can cause a slew of health problems including nausea, headaches, skin irritation, shortness of breath and lung damage. When you spill diesel on carpeting, the carpet fibres quickly absorb and trap the fuel and its odours in. If you do not remove the diesel properly, the odour can linger for weeks and even months after the initial incident. Take care when cleaning the diesel from the carpet to prevent a potential fire hazard.

Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda liberally on the spilt diesel. Let the cornstarch or soda absorb the diesel for 10 to 15 minutes.

Secure the upholstery attachment to your vacuum. Vacuum the cornstarch or baking soda off the carpet with the upholstery attachment.

Dampen a white cloth with dry-cleaning solvent. Blot the diesel stain with the cloth until it can no longer absorb any more liquid.

Fill a small container with 2 cups warm water. Add 1 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tbsp liquid dish soap. Mix the contents together with a spoon.

Saturate a clean cloth in the mixture and blot the diesel stain until no more liquid can be absorbed.

Rinse the mixture off the carpeting by blotting the carpeting with a clean cloth dampened with cool water. Pat the carpet dry with a towel.


Open doors and windows as soon as possible after you have spilt the diesel.


If you begin to feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated, move to fresh air as soon as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch or baking soda
  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment
  • White cloths
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Small container
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Spoon
  • Towel
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.