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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Your Questions: Fuel on Clothes

By Dr. Laundry January 25, 2008

Q: My husband got sprayed with diesel fuel. He came home and washed his clothes right away in hot water. However, the yellowish stain is still there and the smell is awful. Do you have any suggestions on how to get even the smell out of that? Thank you!

A: I’m assuming that you have already dried them in clothes dyer so the stain may be set and tougher to remove. Always be very careful not to get a diesel/gasoline smelling clothes too hot in the dryer; you may want to consider air drying until the smell dissipates. Sometimes a good long soak can help; would probably try a detergent and appropriate bleach (Clorox if whites or Clorox 2 if colors) in presoak even overnight. Try rubbing the yellow stain with good liquid detergent before washing after soaking. Use hottest water recommended for the garments in the follow-up washing. It may take a couple of these treatments to be successful.