If you’re maintaining a chainsaw, lawnmower, or weed eater, or doing other work that involves an engine, knowing how to clean up spilled gas is essential. Accidents happen, and if you’re unsure of what to do, you may take steps that create safety hazards.
To help you out, our experts compiled a guide for how to clean up a gas spill in the garage or car trunk safely and remove the lingering odor.
Open the doors and windows first. Gas vapors are toxic to inhale, so you’ll want to ventilate the space. Then ensure you have on the proper gear. Wear safety goggles and gloves, and wear either clothes and shoes that you won’t mind getting dirty or protect your outfit as much as possible.
Don’t Use a Hose
Your initial reaction may be to grab a garden hose to wash the gas away. However, gas and water don’t mix. Trying to wash the gas spill off a hard surface like concrete will spread it over a wider area. Plus, gas is a hazardous chemical, and you won’t want it to go down the drain.
Don’t Use a Vacuum
While you may be included to pull out a wet-dry vacuum, that will also make things worse. Vacuums pick up dust, fuzz, and debris. Yet, a flammable substance like gasoline can cause a fire or explosion.
How to Clean up a Gas Spill on Concrete
To clean up a gas spill on concrete, start by soaking up as much gas as possible. You can use absorbent pads designed to pick up gas and oil leaks. Another option is clay-based kitty litter, which absorbs the gas and helps remove any lingering odors.
- Pour the kitty litter over the spill in a half-inch thick layer.
- Let it soak up the gas. This could take up to an hour.
- See how much is absorbed and add more kitty litter as needed.
- After the gas has been absorbed, sweep the litter into a dustpan and dispose.
How to Clean up a Gas Spill in the Car Trunk
There are times when you’ll need to transport gasoline in the car trunk. Should a gas spill happen, follow these steps.
- Absorb as much gasoline as you can with old rags or paper towels.
- In this instance, you can spray some water over the area. Since gas and water don’t mix, the water will make it a little easier for gas to come out of the carpet.
- Spread a thin layer of kitty letter and leave it there for at least 30 minutes while it absorbs.
- With a cleaning solution and brush, scrub the area thoroughly.
- Then dab the carpet with clean rags and let your trunk air dry.
Dispose of Gas Safely
Since gas is hazardous, it can’t simply be thrown in the trash. There are three ways to discover where you can dispose of gas in your area.
- Search online for the nearest hazardous waste disposal center.
- Call your county or city waste management agency to ask where you can safely dispose of gasoline.
- Also, check with your local fire department.
All in all, go with what your town recommends.
Remove the Lingering Odor
Kitty litter may do the trick in removing the strong odor that comes from gas. If not, try using a baking soda paste on the concrete floor or sprinkling baking soda in the trunk.
Here is how to make a baking soda paste.
- Add a small amount of water to a bowl or bucket and stir in baking soda to form a paste.
- Wet the affected area with water and use a bristled scrub bush to clean the floor with the paste.
- Grab a hose or bucket and rinse the paste away, and let the area dry.
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