How to Clean Gas Spills in the Garage
Tips & Tricks

How to Clean Gas Spills in the Garage

Learning to clean up gasoline spills becomes essential, especially if your work involves an engine. When maintaining your car, lawnmower, snowblower, or any gas machine, there is a possibility of gas spilling. The fuel is highly flammable and smelly, hazardous to pets and human life.

 Again, gas is toxic if inhaled and can be fatal if ingested. Breathing gas vapors can cause complex health issues and even death if it’s in large amounts. Some of the symptoms one may experience after inhaling gas includes; irritation on the throat and nose, dizziness, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Also, exposure to gas with high amounts of benzene can lead to cancer.  

Therefore, it’s necessary to clean gas spills to prevent their exposure effects. In addition, the spill can still damage your garage floor or items in contact. Therefore, this article comes in handy to give you tips for cleaning spilled gas in the garage. 

Before you engage in any cleaning process, it’s best to take precautions. Your safety comes first, so ensure you wear protective gear to prevent exposure to the gas. Wear a face mask to evade inhaling the fumes, gloves, goggles, and closed shoes.

In addition, you should open the door and windows in the garage for fresh air. Proper ventilation will ensure the fumes dissipate as you do the cleaning. Also, you will reduce the risks involved in inhaling the fumes.

Secondly, check where the spill is leaking from and stop further damage. It may be a knocked-over container inside the garage, so keep it upright and secure the cap. Also, put a barrier all-round the spill to prevent it from spreading and maybe reaching electrical equipment. Be careful as you start the cleaning process and avoid any activity that may cause ignition. 

Other safety measures you may take include;

  • Switch on the ventilators
  • Alert your neighbors to avoid cigarettes or anything that may trigger sparks.

 What should I Use to Clean a Gas spill in the Garage?

  1. Rags, newspapers, or paper towels 
  2. Moisture- absorbing material like kitty litter or cornmeal or sand 
  3. Oil dispersant reagents 
  4. Odor-neutralizer like baking soda, cat litter, coffee grounds
  5. Vacuum cleaner 
  6. Scrubbing brush 

Cleaning Process 

Cleaning spilled gasoline on concrete may be tasking and requires patience and caution. The following steps will help you eliminate the gas spills quickly;

Absorb the Gasoline 

Use absorbent materials like paper towels cat litter to absorb the gas. You also consult your area fire station on how to dispose of the materials as they are flammable. 

Lastly, you should spread a thin layer of cornmeal or kitty litter to the area and allow it to settle for an hour. These materials will help draw the gasoline remaining on the floor. After time expires, wipe the area and carefully dispose of the materials.

If you have a heavy-duty plastic bag, use it to dump the materials. You can opt to take the waste to a fire station for disposal or a facility that deals with hazardous waste. 

You can use other materials to soak up the gas like cornstarch, old flour, or even salt. These can still help if you don’t have cat litter. Sprinkle the generous amount of the powder on the gas and wait for 25 minutes.

Later sweep or vacuum the remaining powder and throw it away accordingly. However, the method only applies to small spills. 

If you have a large puddle, newspapers, old rags, and paper towels are the best. But ensure you are extra vigilant when disposing of the dump materials and watch out for your safety. Again, avoid getting in contact with the gas as it causes rashes and swelling on your skin. 

Use Oil Dispersant 

After drying the gas, it’s now time to clean the stain. For a stubborn stain, use an oil dispersant since it lifts the gas from the asphalt. It’s a waste of time to use water-based cleaner and keep scrubbing. Water is repellant to oil, and thus the cleaner won’t clear the stain. Instead, consider some oil dispersant like CLR ounce Grease Magnet.  

The oil cleaner breaks down the oil components in the stain and makes it easy to clean. You should pour some amount of the cleaner onto the affected area and let it settle for a few minutes. Later use a scrubbing brush to remove the stains left behind. Keep scrubbing until the place is clean and dry it thoroughly. 

How long is spilled gas flammable

The spilled gas is flammable as long as there are fuel vapors. So it’s risky even after drying the gas and still having gas odors in the garage. After cleaning and drying the oil, it’s best to remove the odors to prevent chances of fire outbreak. 

The gas fumes can ignite up to 12 feet away from the spilled spot. In addition, the fumes can explode from sparks, frames, or even static electricity and cause a great fire. Therefore, as you clean the spillage, it’s best to keep the garage doors and windows open to let the fumes escape. 

How to get rid of gas smell in the garage after a spill 

The gas smell can be nasty and may cause health problems like nausea. That’s why we will elaborate on ways you can use to eliminate the odor.

Baking soda and vinegar

Make a thick baking soda paste with vinegar and apply it to the area. Leave the paste to dry to ensure it eliminates the smell. The two substances are known for their odor-absorbing capabilities. If there is still some smell trapped on the garage items, spray the solution using a sprinkle bottle. Spray the solution on the old coach inside or other pieces of furniture that may have the smell.

Coffee grounds 

It’s another option where you can leave the coffee grounds on the spilled spot for some time. Then, after eliminating the odor, you should vacuum the coffee grounds.

Cat litter 

This option works fast and can clear the smell in less time. The active ingredient in the litter, clay, is a very effective deodorizer. 

Disinfectant  

Consider mopping with some pine-scented disinfectant cleaner if the garage floor still smells even after cleaning up. First, add the right amount of cleanser in a bucket of warm water as per the instructions on the product. Then, mop the area and dry it. The components of the cleaner will help get rid of any remaining gasoline smell.

Conclusion 

Spilled gas in the garage is dangerous to your health andcan cost your life in case of fire outbreaks. If you notice a gas spill in the garage, it’s best to attend to it immediately. Always follow safety precautions like wearing gloves, masks, and goggles for protection.

Check this too: How to Clean and Maintain Your Epoxy Garage Floor

Also, ensure you keep the room ventilated, avoid spark-producing activities and alert your neighbors. Before cleaning, assess where the gas is leaking and control further spillage.

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