How To Get Kerosene Out Of Carpet (Step-by-Step Safe Removal)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Kerosene is known for being one of the most pungent types of fuel on the market, and if you are like many people out in the country, you sometimes have to carry it indoors during winter months. The only problem? Kerosene can spill, and when it does, it can reek and also stain your carpet something awful. So, what can you do if you’re faced with a kerosene spill?

Mix ¼ tablespoon of dish soap with up to 1 quart of hot water and soak a rag in the solution. Rub the kerosene stain with the soapy rag, and alternate with a towel that is damp with water. Continue to blot the stain with the solution and water until it is no longer visible, then allow it to dry.

A kerosene spill is not something anyone wants to have to deal with, especially not on a floor that has carpeting on it. Even on garage floors, it can be a pain to remove. This guide will help you avoid the tears that could come with a ruined carpet.

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Before You Do Anything: Safety First

Kerosene is not like spilling ketchup, salsa, or marshmallows on your carpet. It’s a legitimately toxic substance and it releases fumes that can get you and your pets seriously ill. It also happens to be incredibly flammable. This means you need to take precautions when you clean your carpet. Here’s what to do:

  • Get any pets or children out of the room, and open the windows. Make sure you get as much ventilation as possible.
  • Get rid of anything that could spark a fire near the spill. This includes frayed electrical wires as well as candles.
  • Grab towels and place them in a circle around the spill. This creates a barrier and prevents the carpet’s stain from spreading to other areas.

Does Kerosene Evaporate?

Despite the fumes being strong as heck, kerosene does not evaporate. This means that you need to clean it up in order for the smell and the stain to dissipate. Due to the dangers that the fumes can pose, it’s in your best interest to clean the kerosene up immediately. Besides, it won’t go away otherwise.

How Difficult Is Kerosene To Remove?

Kerosene is one of the worst spills you can have, simply because it can instantly ruin certain carpet fibers. This means that permanent damage is a very possible outcome. Removing a large portion of the kerosene that dropped on your carpet is very realistic, but getting rid of all of it? Highly unlikely.

There are a lot of people who, rather than try to completely eliminate the stain, choose to cut out that portion of the carpeting and replace it with an identical swatch. If you can do this, you might want to consider it. Chances are that it’s the only way to make sure that your home doesn’t stink like kerosene for ages.

Should You Call Professional Cleaners For A Kerosene Carpet Stain?

Honestly? It’s not a bad idea. While you can potentially get most of the kerosene out of the carpet on your own, professionals might have a better shot at getting rid of almost all of it. Moreover, they might be able to remove some discoloration and maybe even tone down the odor to a more tolerable point.

How To Safely Remove Kerosene From Your Carpet

Knowing that you’re dealing with a majorly dangerous chemical means that you need to be aware of how to properly dispose of it and soak it up. The key thing here is to follow these directions carefully and closely:

  • Start by blotting up as much of the kerosene as you can with a dry towel. You are not going to be able to clean all the kerosene in your carpet with cleaning solvents. To prevent extensive damage, you need to remove as much of it as you physically can. Keep blotting! Place used rags in a trash bag and discard them.
  • Grab baking soda, baby powder, or cornstarch and cover the stain. Make sure you cover it with a thick layer. Wait for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes, so that the powder can absorb most of the kerosene.
  • Use a vacuum to sweep up the powder. This will not harm your vacuum, just so you know.
  • Pour a quarter-sized dollop of dry cleaning solvent onto a dry rag, then blot at the stain. This will lift up the stain even further, and also help you get rid of any discoloration you have. When you’re done with one side of the rag, turn it over and re-use it to remove even more kerosene. To get the best results, work from the outside in.
  • Drop a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of dish soap into two cups of water. Stir gently, then use this to blot up the stain. Rinse the sponge and re-wet it in the soapy water to maintain its soaking ability.
  • Once you’ve gotten the bulk of the kerosene out, rinse the area with a wet sponge. This should be a water-only rinse, by the way.
  • Blot dry with a dry cloth. It’s best not to let this air dry. Besides, blotting will get out most of the stain.

How Long Does Kerosene Smell Last?

Kerosene smells will last as long as there is some form of kerosene in your carpet. If you are truly desperate to get rid of the odor, then you are going to have to work on both getting rid of the kerosene and covering up any lingering fumes that may be there. It’s not unheard of for people to get a whiff of kerosene years after a spill occurs.

How Do You Get The Smell Of Kerosene Out Of A Carpet?

There’s some pretty bad news when it comes to this. Even if you clean your carpet, there’s a good chance that you will have a lasting odor in your room for weeks, or even longer. Thankfully, there is some good news to add to the mix. If you are willing to do a little work, you can drastically reduce the smell. These tips can help:

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Baking soda, or even some type of carpeting powder with a heavy scent, can help sop up the oil and also double-duty as an odor killer.
  • Don’t be afraid to spray essential oils on it. Cinnamon oil and other strongly-scented goodies can usually help.
  • When in doubt, ask a professional for cleaning help. It’s best to make sure that you don’t end up having your home reek for ages.

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Related Questions

How should you store kerosene?

Kerosene should be stored away from sunlight, in a container that is not red. Clean your storage container before you use it, and make sure that it is airtight. Kerosene, if left out in the open, can rot. Only place kerosene in the heater when you’re ready to use it since kerosene can grow moldy if left in lamps or furnaces for more than three months.

Can you use kerosene indoors?

Most fuels can be used indoors, but kerosene is not indoor-friendly. Kerosene, while highly efficient at generating heat, has fumes that can cause dizziness and illness in large quantities. If you use it indoors for too long of a time, there is a chance you could suffer from CO poisoning and have serious side effects.To use kerosene safely, keep things outdoors. Even a well-ventilated area can pose a potential risk.

How long does kerosene last in storage?

If you have a fuel stabilizer and place the kerosene in optimal storage conditions, it’s possible to have kerosene last for as long as you need it to. However, under more realistic conditions, kerosene will have an expiration date. For most situations, you should expect your kerosene to last for one to two years as long as it’s properly stored.If you placed the kerosene in a lantern or heater, make sure that you use that fuel within three months. Otherwise, you may be unable to safely light your lantern or you may get mold in there.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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