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How to Get Diesel Stains and Smells Out

Published on December 15th, 2018 by Camper Report
This post was updated on December 10th, 2021

get diesel stains and smells out of clothes

Diesel powered RVs get great fuel mileage. But using diesel fuel can leave odors and stains on fabric in your rig or on yourself. If you can relate, you will love this easy trick to get diesel stains and smell out of clothes, skin, and RVs.

When it comes to gas versus diesel RVs, gasoline is easier to deal with if it gets on your clothes, skin, or in the RV. That’s because diesel odors and stains are so hard to remove. Thankfully, diesel RV owners are happy to share good tips to get diesel stains and smell out of inappropriate places.

How Do I Get the Diesel Smell Out of My Clothes?

If you own a diesel powered RV you might wonder: “Why does diesel smell so bad?” I’ll tell you now: diesel in the United States has a higher sulphur content than other countries. If you’ve ever driven past a natural hot springs pool, you know that sulphur smells like rotten eggs.

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But diesel doesn’t just make your clothes smell. Diesel also stains your clothes, and leaves a stench in your washing machine when you clean clothes with diesel stains.

But don’t let the cons of diesel powered RVs and trucks keep you from buying one. The savings in fuel economy is worth the occasional odors or stains. Plus you have four cheap and easy ways to remove diesel smell from fabric:

  1. Wash with baking soda and vinegar
  2. Splash cola and baking soda into the wash
  3. Pour Listerine on it
  4. Or clean with Fast Orange hand cleaner.

All of these tactics get diesel smell out of clothes pretty well. If they don’t, you might have to replace the fabric item. But hold off on shopping until you try one of these methods.

Wash with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers. The two products are also good at breaking down oils. Use them both for a natural method that removes mild diesel odors. Be warned, it may take multiple tries to get the smell out. 

When you do laundry, just replace your regular amount of detergent with an equal amount of baking soda and vinegar. It’s not that complicated.

Cola Soda and Baking Soda

Cola soda and baking soda are de-greasers. They work together to get rid of diesel smell in clothes, and even remove diesel stains stains. 

Here’s what you need to use a cola and baking soda solution:

  • 1 cup of laundry detergent or degreaser
  • 2-Liter bottle of cola
  • 1 small box of baking soda

Step 1: Let the clothes soak in warm water and degreaser for about two hours.

Step 2:  Drain the water, rinse, then refill with clean water, the 2-liter bottle of cola, and the entire box of baking soda. Stir to blend.

Step 3: Let the fabric soak for about 12-24 hours.

This method works. It takes a bit of time and money, but cola and baking soda removes diesel odor and stains from clothes better than most tricks.

Listerine Mouth Wash

You may think that this sounds silly, but Listerine is how some firefighters get smoke odor out of their clothes. It is a good deodorizer too. You can find Listerine mouth wash at your local grocery store and it’s pretty cheap.

All you have to do is pour some into your washing machine with your laundry. Listerine get ride of diesel smell and even cleans your washing machine.

Fast Orange

Fast Orange is an easy diesel odor remover you can find just about anywhere but especially auto supply stores. The smooth version of this mechanic’s hand cleaner is the most proven way to get diesel smell out of clothes. Some people add Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to the Fast Orange wash, just to be sure that the smell is completely gone. 

How Do I Get Diesel Stain Off Clothes or Hands?

get diesel stains and odors out of clothes and hands

Diesel stains are oil-based. This means that regular soap and water won’t get rid of diesel stains. Instead, you need a degreaser or a heavy duty solvent-based stain removal product, like Tide or Persil. 

Most of the ways to get diesel smell out of clothes work for stain removal as well. But these products offer a quicker way to get diesel smell off clothes and hands:

  • Tide 
  • Persil
  • Shout
  • Oxi-Clean
  • BIZ

Whatever you use, here’s what NOT to do: 

  • Never use chlorine bleach
  • Do not put clothing in the dryer if the stain is still present
  • Launder stained clothes separately

Products that get diesel smell out of clothes and off hands also works for inside trucks and RVs. Many car fresheners help too. Just tackle the stain or spill as fast as possible after the it happens.

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