I spilled gas in the back of my SUV. The smell will not go away. What can I do to remove it?
The solution is to rinse the nonvolatile solvent(gasoline) out of the carpet using a volatile solvent (dry cleaning solvent). Volatility refers to the ability of the solvent to dissipate at room temperature.
What you have tried to do was to wash, in essence, oil with water. They do not mix in fact when you attempted to wet clean the area the gas would have chased from the water.
If the spill is large (bigger than a dollar bill) I recommend calling an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration) certified carpet cleaning company and let them handle the problem.
If it is a small area, purchase some dry cleaning solvent (available at grocery stores, janitorial suppliers or carpet cleaning supply houses) along with some white terry towels.
Follow all safety instructions on the dry cleaning solvent bottle.
- Test the affect of the dry cleaning solvent on the carpet before attempting to clean it by placing a small amount of dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel and apply it to an inconspicuous part of the carpet (i.e. under the seat) to see if there is any colour transfer or puckering.
- If there does not seem to be a problem with the test, proceed to clean the stained area by placing dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel (DO NOT POUR IT DIRECTLY ONTO THE CARPET) and lightly tamp the stained area.
- Repeat this process 3 or 4 times if required and do nothing else.
Dry cleaning solvent will dissipate when exposed to the air and does not leave cleaning residue.
Jay Miles, Forum Member
CRS Carpet Cleaning