Most mechanics will tell you, getting rid of the smell of gas from your hands is not an easy task. Gas fumes are stubborn, staying on your hands, body, and clothes.
Lucky for you, our article has insights on how you can rid yourself of the smell. But before we get into that, let’s answer one of the most common questions people ask when it comes to gas.
Is Gasoline Harmful For You?
Gasoline can be harmful to your skin and other parts of the body. It consists of many chemicals, including benzene. A chemical linked to blood disorders such as leukemia and anemia.
Once you expose your skin to gasoline, it is absorbed in a matter of seconds. The chemicals then travel through your bloodstream to various parts of the body, including the liver and kidneys. If your body is continuously exposed to gasoline in this manner, then it is.
That is why many people look to wash gas off as soon as they contact it. Let’s discuss how you can do that.
Effective Ways to Get Rid of Gas Smell on Your Hands
Getting rid of the gas smell off your hands is not as simple as washing them with water and soap. But don’t worry, the following ways are sure to get rid of the smell.
1. Dishwashing Liquid
Unfortunately, water loses most of its washing properties when it comes to gasoline. The two don’t mix, making it difficult to get rid of gasoline and its smell off your hands with water and your average soap.
The following method using dishwashing soap such as Boraxo and Dawn should get that smell out in no time.
- Pour the soap onto your dry hands.
- Add water, but just enough that you can massage the soap into a lather.
- Rinse the soap off and go through the steps a second time.
Once you expose your skin to gasoline, it is a matter of seconds. It is easier to overpower the gas smell.
You can also buy mechanic hand cleansers such as Goop, Swarfega, or SHOUT. Some mechanics even swear by WD-40, using it to clean their hands to get rid of the gas smell.
2. A Mixture of Baking Soda and Water
A paste of baking soda and water works well in cleaning off excess gas from your hands and its smell.
To create the paste, you need three parts water and one part baking soda. Mix the combination to paste. Then all you need to do is:
- Rub the paste on to your hands for a few seconds, ensuring you cover it completely.
- Wash it off with any nonabrasive soap.
3. Water with Vanilla Extract
Who doesn’t like the smell of vanilla? With the help of vanilla extract, you can cover the smell of gas on your hands.
- Pour a few drops of vanilla extract into a cup of water.
- Let your hands soak in the water for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Then, wash them off with a nonabrasive soap.
Going through the above process once should be enough. However, if the smell persists, go through the process again. The second time should take care of it.
4. Natural Methods for Sensitive Skin
Those with sensitive skins may irritate it using any of the above methods. Instead, you can try one of these natural ways:
Citrus fruits: Both lemon and orange work well because they have a strong scent and cleaning agents. You can either take the rind or half the fruit and rub it all over your hands. Make sure you rub it thoroughly.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is excellent for cleaning and has a distinct coconut smell. You can pour some into your hands and rub it. Keep in mind that coconut oil is expensive.
Vegetable oil and sugar: Sugar has properties that work as a mild abrasive agent. While vegetable oil easily binds to oil present on your hands. The combination of the two works well in cleaning the oil and its smell off.
- Pour some sugar into a small amount of vegetable oil and mix it.
- Apply the mixture onto your hands and rub thoroughly.
- Let it settle for a few seconds, and then wash it off with soap and water.
Both of these methods provide your skin with natural solvents. They are ideal for anyone that experiences dry skin because it nourishes and moisturizes your skin—all the while combatting the smell of gas.
5. A Deep Facial Cleanser
Someone in the house, wife or mother, is likely to have a deep facial cleanser in their bathroom. It cleanses deep into the pores of your skin, ensuring oil residue is cleaned. It also consists of ingredients that don’t irritate the skin or strip it of its good oil.
Before you clean your hands with the facial cleanser, you need to wash them with water and soap. This will get the heavy elements of the oil off.
Then wash off with the facial cleanser, which will work to get the gas’s excess chemicals off.
Vinegar has a strong, pungent smell that many find unpleasant. It also has chemical properties that will breakdown the bonds in gasoline—limiting its impact and odor.
The process of using vinegar is simple:
- Pour some vinegar on your hands.
- It would be best if you poured enough that you can coat your hands with it and run it for 30 seconds. This should be enough to breakdown the gasoline bonds.
- Wash your hands afterward with a nonabrasive soap to rid yourself of the vinegar smell.
You have a few options when it comes to which alcohol you can use. We recommend using rubbing alcohol, vodka, or distilled ethanol. These are easy to find around the house.
- Pour some alcohol onto your hands and rub it for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Immediately, wash it off with water and soap. Your hands should no longer smell of gas.
A lot of people prefer the strong smell of coffee. You can use it to cover the smell of gas on your hands.
- You just need some coffee powder or used coffee grounds.
- Rub it onto your hands for about 30 seconds or until the gas smell is gone.
- Then, clean your hands with soap and water.
We didn’t put this under one of the natural methods because tomatoes, naturally, don’t have much of a smell. But tomato ketchup or juice does, and it can mask the smell of gas.
- Pour a tablespoon of tomato ketchup or juice onto your hands.
- Rub it rigorously to get the gas smell out.
- Wash your hands with water and soap afterward.
Prevention is the Best Method
You’ve probably heard that when it comes to any type of treatment, prevention is the best method.
We have some ways you can prevent the smell of gas from getting on to your hands:
Use gloves: Gloves allow you to work with gas without exposing your hands to it. Nitrile gloves and surgical gloves provide your hands’ protection.
Use them as they are cheap and easily available. They also save you time in terms of having to clean your hands afterward rigorously. Kimberly-Clark is a brand known to make reliable gloves that you can use 2 to 3 times if you are careful.
Use lotion: Lotion keeps your hands moisturized and serves as a barrier if it comes to contact with the gas.
Use barrier cream: You can also find barrier creams that lipophilic and lipophobic formulations. Invisible Glove from Borden Chemicals Inc. is one such cream.
Apply the cream onto your hands and forearm. Give it some time to dry before you work with gas.
The cream is particularly popular with mechanics who are around fuel all day. All you need to do is wash it off after working with gas, and your hands will be odor-free.
6 Tips to Ensure You Get Rid of the Gas Smell
Keep the following tips in mind when trying to get rid of the smell of gas from your hands:
Tip #1: Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. Gas can get trapped into your nails and webbing of your fingers. When washing, make sure you cover every aspect of your hands with the solution.
Tip #2: Take a shower after thoroughly washing your hands. This way, your whole body is clear of the smell. Vapors from the gas can get onto other parts of your body and your clothes.
Tip #3: Apply the cleaning mixture onto dry hands. Use water only to rinse the mixture off. Otherwise, water will deter the effect of the mixture since water and oil don’t mix well.
Tip #4: Use cold water only when it is time to use water. Hot water opens your pores, and oil can easily seep through if not thoroughly cleaned. In contrast, cold water closes your pores.
Tip #5: If you opt to use dishwashing soaps or other chemicals, do so with a little caution. Using too much can be harmful to your skin as they contain chemicals that can eventually lead to skin problems.
Tip #6: Moisturize your hands after washing them. Use creams specifically made for hands with nutrients such as bee-wax. This will provide your hands with the nutrients it needs.
How long does it take for the gasoline smell to dissipate?
Using any of the methods mentioned above should rid you of the gas smell immediately.
If you don’t have a way of cleaning your hands, the gas vapors do eventually evaporate with their smell. But that takes hours and allows the chemicals to seep through the skin.
Can you die from inhaling the fumes of gasoline?
Inhaling gas fumes for a short period won’t lead to death. But severe and constant exposure to the fumes can be detrimental to your health as it contains carbon monoxide.
The fumes contain chemicals that enter your body and are harmful to its organs. Exposure to the fumes for a long period can lead to coma or death.
Exposure to gas over a long period is harmful. The chemical makeup of it will eventually breakdown your body. Cleaning off any gas residue from your hands or other parts is vital to the impact the chemicals can have. This is why you should do it immediately have you come in contact with gasoline.
You can also take preventative measures such as wearing gloves to protect your hands. Taking the right precautions to protect yourself from the harmful impact of gas is essential for your health. The methods and tips we have shared can help you do just that.