Gasoline is one of those particularly annoying smells that can be very hard to eliminate, especially its persistent smell. Although it might not bothersome, the smell of gasoline is an indicator of its presence, indicating that you should be careful with what you touch.
Since gasoline is an irritant, touching your eyes or mouth could lead to serious health issues. Besides that, consistently breathing in gasoline without proper covers could lead to long-term side effects.
So, the best way to prevent said health effects is to completely remove gasoline or its smell from your hands. Keep reading to find out a few methods on how to get gas smell off hands.
Things to consider before starting
Small amounts of gasoline on your skin is alright as it will not be absorbed through the skin. However, it can still cause irritation and is worse for people with sensitive skin types. The prominent danger is inhaling gasoline or making physical contact with it, especially at the mouth and ears.
The strong scent of gasoline comes from its molecules, particularly benzene and methane. These hydrocarbons can be dangerous if there is prolonged exposure over time. Examples of chronic gasoline exposure include kidney disease, brain disease, and nerve disorders.
Fortunately, getting rid of the gas smell off hands is simple and does not require fancy tools. That said, home-based methods can be abrasive, so do take note of these tips.
1. Pay extra attention to fingernails and contours of the skin.
The ridges of your fingernails and the imprints of your hands are normally where the gasoline can accumulate. They can collect there on their own, or latch onto the dirt that is already existent there.
Remember to give them a good rub for at least thirty seconds and go under the fingernail to rid it of any debris.
2. Moisturize your hands after application
The methods mentioned below can be relatively acidic or alkaline in nature, which can upset the PH level in your hands. This can easily dry out the moisture on your skin.
To combat this, remember to moisturize your hands after cleaning to reduce any damage or cracked skin. Any lotion or moisturizer would work in this regard.
3. Consider how often you will be getting gasoline on your hands
Whilst most of these home-based techniques can be a one-off method in remedying the gasoline smell, they can also be quite damaging if used too frequently. Besides them just having rather high pH levels, they also utilize exfoliating properties, which is something you should avoid doing too often.
If you got gasoline on your hands by accident or in a one-off incident, it is okay to use these methods. However, if you will come in contact with gasoline more often like doing car work, it is important to invest in commercial products that are specifically created for gas smell elimination.
Without further ado, here are 8 simple yet effective methods on how to get gas smell off hands.
How to get gas smell off hands
The 8 methods of getting gas smell off hands can be broken down into four categories. At a glance these categories are:
- Breaking down chemical bonds (vinegar, lemon, Gas Off)
- Exfoliating skills cells that have gasoline (gritty soap and coffee grounds)
- Masking the smell (vanilla extract)
- A combination of these methods (Salt and detergent, sugar and vegetable oil)
Each of these methods has varying costs and time required. So, use the one that you prefer or those that require tools you already have at home.
Vinegar, which ironically has a strong smell, is a great remover of most pungent smells. Although your hands might smell like vinegar for a while, their smell lasts a lot shorter than gasoline. Eventually, the vinegar scent fades as you come into contact with other things throughout your day.
Another factor of vinegar’s effectiveness is its acidic properties. Vinegar’s acidic properties are strong enough to break the bonds in the gasoline, allowing you to remove the gas smell in just a single wash.
How to get gas smell off hands with vinegar
- Pour enough vinegar to cover your hands
- Rub your hands together for 30 seconds, paying extra care to under your fingernails
- Rinse off the vinegar and wash with regular hand soap
Lemon juice works similarly to vinegar as they both have more acidic properties. However, it is an alternative, more natural method. Due to that, it also harms the skins less because it is less drying than vinegar.
It also works by being able to break the bonds of gasoline to the skin, allowing it to be washed away cleanly. Not to mention, it has a nice, citrusy smell, which can be preferable to vinegar.
How to get gas smell off hands with lemon juice
- Mix 1 part lemon juice with 1 part water
- Rub your hands together for 30 seconds
- Rinse off the lemon juice, and wash with regular hand soap
Vanilla extract, a common baking ingredient, is popular for its strong yet pleasant smell. Due to that, it is also pretty sufficient to cover or reduce any gasoline smell. Vanilla extract is also not drying than the other methods on the list.
That being said, keep in mind that it is not removing the gasoline, but rather masking the smell. It might not be very useful if you have come into contact with a lot of gasoline.
How to get gas smell off hands with vanilla extract
- Add a few drops of vanilla extract to water
- Mix the formula together
- In the case that you do not smell the vanilla, add a few more drops of vanilla extract
- Cover your hands in the formula (You can either pour it over your hands or submerge your hands)
- Rub your hands together for 30 seconds or until you do not smell the gasoline anymore
Gritty soap has the same properties as most regular soap, but with more physical exfoliants. This includes materials like pumice, charcoal, or walnut shells. These materials exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells through friction.
This method works to eliminate gasoline smells by removing skin cells that still contain the gasoline entirely. Besides that, it also cleans your hands at the same time, removing the need for more soap.
How to get gas smell off hands with gritty soap
- Wet your hands and apply soap as you normally would
- Rub your hands for 30 seconds or until you cannot smell the gasoline anymore
- Rinse your hands with water and pat dry with clean cloth
Coffee grounds have a relatively strong coffee smell, which is a good method of covering most unpleasant smells. Besides that, it also has rather physical yet gentle abrasive qualities, making it a good exfoliator.
As mentioned before, exfoliates eliminate the gasoline smell by removing the very skin cells containing the gasoline. Moreover, the coffee smell also can mask any lingering gasoline scent if you did not clean your hands thoroughly.
How to get gas smell off hands with coffee grounds
- Pour coffee grounds into hands, preferably used to prevent waste
- Rub for 30 seconds or until you cannot smell the gasoline anymore
- Rinse your hands into a basin to avoid clogging your sink with coffee grounds
- Wash your hands with hand soap as usual
Salt and detergent
The usage of salt and detergent is a good exfoliant and disinfection combo to remove the gasoline smell.
This is because salt is another physical exfoliant, which helps at removing any dirt or skin cells on the top layer of the skin. It also has some antibacterial properties which obviously help with cleaning your skin.
Dish detergent is the preferred choice because it has a stronger bond-breaking mechanism than other cleaning agents. Dish soap usually has to break down grease and oil on a daily basis, so it is pretty good at breaking down gasoline which happens to be a type of oil.
Note: Use this method with caution and in small quantities and frequencies. This method can be the most drying and abrasive to your hands if used too frequently.
How to get gas smell off hands with salt and detergent
- Prepare a dish with salt at the side, preferably the rough kind
- Wet your hands
- Add a bit of detergent
- Thoroughly rub your hands until it becomes foamy
- Add some salt to your hands
- Continue rubbing your hands for 30 seconds
- Add more salt if they’ve dissolved
- Rinse your hands with running water when the gas smell is gone
Sugar and vegetable oil
Sugar and vegetable oil works similarly to the salt and dish detergent technique but it is a more gentle variation of it.
Sugar is the exfoliant in this instance, but it also can be used interchangeably with salt. Just keep in mind that salt can be more drying than sugar so be sure to moisturize your hands after cleaning.
Vegetable oil works to eliminate the smell by binding to gasoline, just like how soap sticks to dirt. Vegetable oil also has a rather distinct smell, which helps mask the smell of gasoline.
Note: Keep in mind that this method might not be as effective so do not expect full removal, but rather a reduction in the gas smell.
How to get gas smell off hands with sugar and vegetable oil
- Prepare a dish with sugar at the side of your sink, preferably the rough kind
- Add vegetable oil to your hands
- Rub your hands together until the oil has completely covered your hands
- Add some sugar to your hands
- Continue rubbing your hands for 30 seconds
- Add more sugar if they’ve dissolved
- Once you are unable to smell the gasoline, rinse off your hands with water
- Wash your hands with regular hand soap
Gas Off wipes
If you are dealing with gasoline frequently, it will be best to purchase products specifically made to get rid of the gas smell off your hands.
Gas Off wipes are a quick and easy way to get rid of small amounts of gasoline in a pinch. They are small and convenient, and you can keep these wipes in your car.
Mechanic hand soap by Gas Off is a more thorough way to rid the smell of gasoline with its specific formulas for gas removal purposes. It also causes the least damage to your skin over time.
If you are doing more heavy work on automobiles involving gasoline on a regular basis, it would be preferable to invest in some mechanic hand soap.
How to prevent gas smell on your hands
It is said that prevention is better than cure. All matters considered, this is true in this case as well, and it is best to prevent gasoline from coming into contact with your skin, to begin with.
You can do this by wearing gloves. By having a designated set of gloves for when you do mechanic work, you can avoid having direct contact with gasoline on your skin.
Besides that, lotions or barrier creams work as well. These creams create an oily barrier between your skin and gasoline, and can be easily removed upon a wash. On top of that, they also keep your skin moisturized.
Why do I still smell of gas?
There can be a few reasons for this, but it is simply a matter of tracing it to the root cause.
Firstly, gas fumes are still on you. Even if you did not come into direct contact with gasoline, you can still smell of gas just by being around it. Simply wait a while or take a shower to remove these gas fumes.
Secondly, the gas could have gotten onto your clothes or fabric around your house. This requires more intense cleaning and soaking your clothes or fabrics to rid the smell.
Lastly, it could be coming from a direct gasoline leak. Check under your car gas puddles or any gasoline bottles in your garage. Gas leaks can be very dangerous as gasoline is very flammable.
How long does gasoline smell last on skin?
Gas smell can linger on your hands even after a few washes. However, it should disappear after two days of thorough washing. The persistent smell is caused by gasoline oil composites and hydrocarbons, which are tough to break down and therefore, wash off.
What neutralizes the smell of gas?
The smell of gasoline comes from this component called benzene. Since benzene’s pH level is actually neutral, acidic or alkaline materials will disrupt benzene’s pH level. Thus, most of the methods on this list involve either acidic or alkaline cleaning materials to break down the gasoline.
In summary, you can get the gas smell off your hands either through breaking gasoline bonds (vinegar and lemon), masking the smell (vanilla extract), or exfoliation (gritty soap).
Before using these methods, you should make sure your skin can handle the abrasiveness of these methods and also consider how frequently you plan to use them. If not, it would be best to use more commercial products to handle gasoline smell elimination.