Kerosene is without a doubt the most dangerous liquid and it can be spilled on carpets. Kerosene, a highly flammable liquid, is toxic and destructive when it comes to carpet fibers.
You should act quickly, as kerosene can destroy carpets and the padding beneath if you don’t take action. You will need an absorbent material that can absorb the oily residue from carpets and another one to remove the stain.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get rid of kerosene. Common household items such as baking soda or vinegar can do the job. However, it is important to take immediate action to avoid costly repairs.
These tips will work for both carpets in your vehicle and inside your home.
Tools For Cleaning Kerosene off Carpets
These are the most important tools for cleaning.
- Towels or cloth (for drying and cleaning).
- Liquid dish soap
- Dry cleaning solvent
- Vacuum cleaner
- Baking soda (or cornstarch).
- Use a clean paper towel or rags
Steps to Remove Kerosene From Carpets
These are the steps you need to take to get rid of kerosene from your carpet. Wear a mask to protect your face from inhaling the toxic fumes.
Step 1 – Open windows to ensure proper ventilation
To allow the kerosene smell to disappear as quickly as possible, open all windows. To speed up the process, turn on any fans in your home.
Step 2 – Spread clean paper or towel over the edges
This will form a barrier to stop kerosene from spreading further. These items will need to be disposed of afterward. Paper towels are a better option. You can also use any old rags you have.
Step 3 – Sprinkle Absorbent on the spill
Next, pour a generous amount of an absorbent such as baking soda and cornstarch on the affected areas. Allow it to sit for approximately 10 to 15 minutes to absorb any oily residue.
Step 4 – Vacuum the residue
After the waiting period is over, vacuum up any remaining cornstarch or baking soda sediment with an upright or stick vacuum. The best brand of vacuum bags would work well in this situation. They have a sealed system that traps all contaminants in a bag that can be quickly disposed of in a trash bag.
Step 5 – Blot the area with dry cleaning solvent
Use a quarter-inch amount of dry cleaning solvent on a white cloth (don’t use colored rags when carpet cleaning ) and then wipe the affected area clean.
Continue this process until all traces of kerosene are gone.
Step 6 – Remove any stains left behind with vinegar and liquid dish soap
A homemade cleaning solution is the last step, at least for stain removal. Combine one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and vinegar with two cups of water.
Use a sponge to clean the carpet. Rinse the sponge, and continue this process until the entire area is covered.
Step – 7 Dry the area
To dry the area, place a white absorbent towel on top. To speed up drying, place a book or other heavy object on top.
How do You Remove Kerosene From Cloth Upholstery
This principle is also applicable to cleaning kerosene from your vehicle’s carpets. It is best to remove the carpet and wash it outside with liquid dish soap, vinegar, water. To remove any lingering odors, dry the carpet in the sun.
Upholstery for vehicles would need a different set.
The Tools You’ll Need
- Pink All-Purpose Supercleaner/Degreaser: This product is used by mechanics to remove stubborn grease stains from vehicles. It is water-based and all-purpose, so it doesn’t emit toxic fumes.
- Use absorbent, clean towels
Steps to Take
The steps below will not apply to vehicles with fabric upholstery. You may need to follow a different process for leather seats.
- Remove all upholstery from your car if possible. Japanese vehicles are usually made with four bolts that hold the seats. It will give you more work space and decrease drying time.
- Use water to dilute the pink all purpose cleaner. For the exact ratio, please refer to the label. To check for discoloration, test the mixture in a small area. If the mixture does not cause discoloration, move on to the next step.
- Use a towel to wipe the stain. Continue the process until all areas are cleaned.
- Allow the seat to air dry.
How do I Remove the Kerosene Smell?
Kerosene’s toxic odor is another side effect. These ingredients will absorb the odor and help to remove it. All of the ingredients are absorbent, so they can dissipate kerosene fumes faster.
The Tools You’ll Need
- Baking soda
- Coffee grounds should only be used if you have darker upholstery, as it can stain carpets and fabric that are light-colored.
- Kitty litter
- white vinegar
Steps to Take
- Use large amounts baking soda, coffee grounds or kitty litter to treat the affected areas.
- Allow it to sit for 12 to 24 hours to absorb the odor.
- To remove any remaining absorbent, vacuum the residue with a handheld vacuum and a turbo brush.
- Continue repeating steps 1 through 3 until the odor disappears.
- Apply white vinegar to the affected areas. Let it air dry.
- If you have a garage, make sure that the windows are open. The circulating air will help to dissipate the odor.
There Are Other Options That Can Absorb Odor
- Oranges Cut into quarters and place in a bowl to absorb the odor.
- Vanilla: Work the same as oranges. To absorb the fumes, place them in a bowl.
- Low-cost vodka: Has similar disinfecting and odor fighting properties to vinegar. Spray the spray bottle with the deodorizer, and let dry.
Worst Case Scenario
If the kerosene seeps through the subfloor, the worst-case scenario is that the carpet needs to be replaced.
Matthew Davis points out that the problem is not the staining or the odor. It is a fire hazard in the area because there will be kerosene residue underneath the carpet strands.