You’ve just spilled a gallon of gasoline on the garage floor – and now you’re panicking, wondering, “how should I clean up a gasoline spill in my garage?” Don’t worry! This guide will walk you through the proper steps for cleaning up a gasoline spill so you can stay safe and get the job done right!
What You'll Learn Today
Is Spilled Gas in the Garage Dangerous?
It’s never a great idea to store gas in your garage.
That’s because spills from gas cans or even escaping fumes from your gas storage container can cause a fire or an explosion.
Not only that, but you should also avoid installing a gas-fired water heater or furnace in the garage. These fumes can reach the ignition flame and even explode.
That said, it’s common for gas to leak from cars or other parked equipment in the garage. This can be difficult to avoid – so knowing how to clean up a gasoline spill in the garage is essential.
How Long is Spilled Gas Flammable?
If you’re concerned about spilled gas in the garage catching on fire, you can take a deep breath – for the most part, this isn’t something you have to worry about long-term.
Spilled gas is flammable for roughly 15 minutes if it’s on the ground. However, for as long as you can still smell the spilled gas, it is likely still able to start a fire.
That’s because some of it can seep into the concrete or other materials, which poses a fire hazard in and of itself. If you can smell the gas in the air, you need to take steps to clean it up because it is not only reducing air quality but also posing a fire hazard.
How Do You Clean Up Spilled Gasoline on Concrete?
Looking for a quick guide on how to clean up spilled gasoline? Here’s a helpful video tutorial that will walk you through it in case you aren’t feeling up to reading this entire article:
Gasoline spills are common in garages because of occasional leaks from vehicles and equipment. Despite being relatively commonplace, though, this is an issue that you need to address immediately. Gasoline can release odors that are tough to get rid of.
Not only do gasoline fumes lead to issues like headaches, trouble breathing, and throat irritation, but they can also contaminate the other items you may have stored in your garage. Again, there’s the issue of the potential fire hazard, too.
Here are a few ways you can clean up spilled gasoline on the concrete floor of your garage.
Use Kitty Litter
Kitty litter is highly effective at getting rid of spilled gasoline. That’s why you should always keep some on hand if you store vehicles or other items in your garage.
While the spill is still fresh, pour some kitty litter on it to help absorb it and make the clean-up process easier. Spread enough kitty litter on the spill to completely cover it, then let it sit for an hour or two before you sweep it up.
This will also absorb any odors from the floor, particularly if you use a brand of kitty litter that is meant to be odor-absorbent.
This should take care of the actual spill itself, but if any lingering smells remain, you can use some regular dish detergent to take care of it.
Try Baking Soda
Baking soda is also highly effective at cleaning up gasoline spills. It packs a one-two punch in that it can not only neutralize and absorb the gasoline spill but it can also get rid of the odors.
Pour enough baking soda to cover up the spill into a large bowl. Then, add water so that it forms a thick paste. Apply this paste and allow it to sit until the paste dries completely. Once it’s dry, you can sweep it up with a broom and discard it. If there’s any paste or residue lingering behind, usut mop it up.
Use a Disinfectant
If you have tried the steps listed above and still notice a gasoline odor in your garage, you can always use a disinfectant floor cleaner. Just make sure you’ve cleaned up the actual gas spill before you do this to prevent the likelihood of any chemicals interacting.
Add a pine-scented disinfectant floor cleaner to a bucket filled with warm water. Scrub the stained area with a stiff brush and then wipe it clean with a wet rag.
The disinfectant should get rid of any last traces of gasoline along with its odor.
A Few Other Notes
Before using any kind of cleaning product on your floor, make sure you read all of the instructions.
Follow them to a T to make sure you don’t do any damage to your floor. Test a small amount first, ideally in an unseen area of the floor, to make sure it won’t stain, discolor, or etch it.
Also, avoid using a wire brush on the floor. This can cause permanent damage.
What to Do When You Spill Gasoline on the Ground?
The steps above should help you get rid of a gasoline spill (and a gasoline smell) if you happen to spill it on a concrete pad in the garage. But what should you do if you happen to leak gasoline directly on the ground?
First, make sure the source of the spill is contained. If you knocked over a gas container, return it to an upright position and secure the lid. React quickly to prevent any more leakage.
To prevent the spill from spreading, throw down an object that can slow its movement, like a piece of lumber or a beach towel. Take extra care to prevent the spill from reaching electrical equipment or any items that give off heat, like a space heater or stove.
Then, you can follow many of the same steps to clean up the spill that you would on a concrete floor. Use an absorbent agent, like dirt, straw, sand, sawdust, or kitty litter.
Let the material sit on the spill for up to two hours so it can soak up as much gasoline as possible. Then, sweep it up and dispose of it, repeating the process as needed to get every last trace of the gasoline.
How Do You Get the Smell of Gasoline Out of a Garage Floor?
Again, baking soda is one of the best items you can use to get rid of the gasoline smell. Another effective cleaning agent of this purpose is vinegar. Remember, to get rid of the smell, you need to get rid of the source – so be sure to clean up any last trace of the gasoline before you attempt to make any headway on the smell.
If you’ve ever spilled gasoline in your garage, you know how difficult it can be to clean up. The good news is that there are several ways to do it, depending on the severity of the spill and the type of surface you’re dealing with.
Hopefully, these tips for cleaning up a gasoline spill in your garage have been helpful – so the next time you find yourself in this predicament, you don’t need to stress over a single drop. If you need more cleaning tips, this is our guide on how to remove smoke smell from your garage.