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Author Topic: Removing gasoline smell from clothes washer?  (Read 1971 times)

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HelloAll

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Removing gasoline smell from clothes washer?
« on: October 26, 2012, 02:17:16 PM »

Hi all,
We have an unfortunate situation, where someone put a gasoline-soaked item in our home clothes washer.
The washer now smells a lot like toxic paint, which I assume is the toluene part.
Can anyone suggest a good way to break down the remaining gasoline residue that is in the washer?

We have tried:
- Borax
- Vinegar and baking soda
- Vinegar alone
- Washing machine cleaner, which is sodium perchlorate (seems like a bad idea).

What actually breaks down chemicals like toluene and the rest of what's in gasoline?
Thanks.

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Arkcon

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Re: Removing gasoline smell from clothes washer?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 01:58:56 AM »

You're able to detect vanishingly small traces of gasoline with your nose.  Whenever an odor lingers, that's because the source has soaked into everywhere -- walls, flooring materials, porous tiles, the pore of non-porous materials (yeah, I know, but nothing is completely non-porus,) etc.  So yeah, odors liner.  That just happens.

Problem is, gasoline is non-polar, and will have adsorbed onto rubber and other non-polar elastomers used in the washing machine.  All your choices are polar, and are just skimming the surface of various components, and only if the water lever reaches the surface.

Quote
What actually breaks down chemicals like toluene and the rest of what's in gasoline?
Thanks.

Fire.  Ok, I'm kidding, but any other reagent won't be kind enough to the rubber components or even the metal components of the machine.  Your cleaning agents might work, if you use a sponge to wipe, repeatedly, the areas where the water level doesn't reach.  Failing that, the odor will fade with time.
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That all depends on how reasonable we're all willing to be.  I just want my friends back, except for Cartman, you can keep him.

curiouscat

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Re: Removing gasoline smell from clothes washer?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 08:41:09 AM »

Try a spin with water mixed with a lot of surfactant. A detergent might do for a start but maybe lay your hands on something stronger than that...

Another option is to mask the smell with something stronger yet more acceptable (bleach?  ;D).

I'd also try a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution assuming it is not damaging your finish

Some odor absorbing molecule might help but this is getting into the realm of speculation now..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-cyclodextrin

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vmelkon

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Re: Removing gasoline smell from clothes washer?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 01:16:34 AM »

I have used methanol to get rid of the gasoline smell. It doesn't totally get rid of it.

The smell isn't from toluene since it evaporates away quickly. The smell probably comes from some solid gummy stuff they add to gasoline.
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