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How to Remove Diesel Stains From Clothing

Updated June 15, 2017

Accidents are bound to happen. Stains of all kinds show up on your clothes and carpets. Home remedies and anecdotes from creative sources may be helpful, but when you've got a stain like diesel oil on clothes, for safety and to minimise the odour of gasoline you want to get it solved quickly.

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  1. Separate the diesel stained clothes from other items to wash. Don't combine them or you risk spreading the oil smell to additional pieces of clothing and increasing their flammability as well as the number of diesel stained items.

  2. Pre-treat the stain by blotting off any excess liquid with a paper towel. If there are any solid chunks, scrape them off the clothing with a knife. Check the clothing labels to see what the hottest wash water temperature is for each item.

  3. Continue pre-treatment by applying a solvent-based stain removal product such as aerosol Clorox, Shout or Spray'n'Wash. For diesel or oil stains, a citrus scented solvent such as lemon scented ammonia or citrus based degreaser will additionally help break down the oil smell as you wash. If you don't have access to stain removal products, pour a capful of heavy duty detergent onto the stain and rub the fabric together to work the detergent into the stain. Let it soak in for 15 minutes before washing.

  4. Wash the clothing in hot water, or warm water if the fabric recommends it. Fill the washer with a whole laundry load amount of detergent, even if you have only one or two items that have been diesel stained. When the wash finishes, check the clothing items to see if the stain and smell are gone. If either persists, retreat and wash the garment again.

  5. Air-dry the clothing after washing. Do not put oil stained clothing in the dryer (even after several washes). Check to make sure the stain and smell are both gone. Repeat the treatment and wash if necessary. Then air-dry it completely.

  6. Tip

    Try washing the clothes in Listerine to remove any remaining odour. Dump a small can of Coke in the washer along with the standard washing powder.


    Diesel soaked clothing is much more flammable than normal. Avoid contact with any flames or heat sources---including the dryer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Knife
  • Solvent-based stain removal product
  • Heavy duty detergent
  • Listerine
  • Can of Coke

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