Spilling gasoline on any surface poses major safety hazards, which is why you should know exactly what to do when fuel spills on your car.
When fuel spills on your car, you need to neutralize the fuel so that it’s not flammable. If you are at a gas station, notify an employee ASAP for assistance. If you are at home, neutralize the gas with kitty litter, sand, sawdust, or a baking soda/vinegar solution.
After extensively researching fire safety protocols, I have gathered enough information to determine what to do when gas spills on your car. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the procedure you should follow to neutralize gas spills to eliminate potential fire hazards.
What to Do If Gas Spills on Your Car?
It’s easy to underestimate just how dangerous gas spills can be. No matter how big or small the gas spill is, you need to approach the situation cautiously to ensure that there is no chance of combustion.
The most important thing you need to do is guarantee the safety of yourself and those around you by neutralizing the gasoline so that it’s no longer flammable. While the procedure can vary depending on the circumstances of the spill, these are the steps that you should follow when gas spills on your car:
- Turn off the gas pump (if fuel is still flowing)
- Use a neutralizing solution such as a baking soda/vinegar mixture
- Cover any surface with the neutralizing solution
- Do not turn on your car (starting the ignition can trigger combustion)
- Back away from the area of the spill
- Wait for 30 minutes until the gasoline is neutralized
- Observe the area so that no one approaches the gas spill
Although this should really be a no-brainer, make sure that there is no open flame anywhere near the spill. If gasoline got onto you or your clothes, remove the clothes immediately and wash your hands with non-abrasive soap.
What to Do If Gas Spills on Your Car at the Gas Station
The gas station is the most common place where fuel spills happen. Sometimes it’s just a couple of drops that accidentally escape the pump, whereas, in other situations, it could be a massive spill.
The good news is that spills at gas stations are very common, and staff are trained to deal with these situations professionally. If you spill gas at a gas station, the first thing that you should do is notify the staff immediately.
Given how frequently gas station employees have to neutralize spills, it’s best to trust them to handle the matter appropriately and not take any chances.
What to Do If Gas Spills on Your Car in the Garage
If you spilled gas on your car at home, you need to approach the situation even more cautiously than at a pump given that there is no one to offer immediate assistance.
If the spill is minor and does not pose a serious threat, use a neutralizing solution to eliminate the chance of combustion. Apply a solution such as a baking soda/vinegar solution to the affected area and wait for 30 minutes until the fuel is no longer flammable.
For large spills, call 9-1-1 and ask for immediate assistance to resolve the spill professionally.
How to Neutralize a Gas Spill
As dangerous as gas spills are, they are also quite common. Given how frequently we visit the pump, spills are bound to happen sooner or later.
While there is a lot that can be done to prevent spills, it’s important to understand how to neutralize them when they occur so that the fuel is not flammable. There are a number of household products that are perfect for neutralizing gasoline and you probably already have them at home.
Make sure that none of the neutralizing solutions get inside your car’s gas tank. This can severely damage your car, so close the gas cap before applying.
Use a Baking Soda/Vinegar Solution
Baking soda is a very reliable product for neutralizing gasoline when it spills. You can pour baking soda over the spill, and the area should be safe in about 30 minutes.
However, if you have vinegar available as well, you can make a baking soda/vinegar solution for enhanced results. I find this is the best option for neutralizing gas spilled on a car. Follow these instructions to make a baking soda/vinegar solution:
- Add 1 cup of baking soda to a bowl
- Add 1 cup of vinegar to a bowl
- Add 1 cup of water to a bowl
- Mix the solution
- Apply the solution to the spill
Use Clay-based Kitty Litter
If you own a cat, odds are you’ve got some kitty litter laying around. This is one of the most reliable products you can use to neutralize gas , espcially for ground spills.
Experts recommend using a clay-based kittle litter to neutralize for the best results. Simply pour a half-inch thick layer of kitty litter over the gasoline spill, and wait for 30 minutes until the fuel is neutralized.
Use Sand or Sawdust
Many homeowners have sand or sawdust in their garages, both are excellent solutions for neutralizing gas spills.
Much like with kitty litter, all you need to do is apply a thick layer of sand or sawdust to the gasoline spill.
How Long is Gas Falamable After it Spills?
Gasoline will be highly flammable for the first 15 minutes after it spills. With that said, the duration that the fuel stays flammable can vary depending on the amount of gas that was spilled.
Naturally, this implies that if a lot of gas was spilled, it will be flammable for a longer period. I recommend sticking to a 30-minute rule for safety reasons, as it’s best not to take chances when it comes to gas spills.
A safety tip to keep in mind is if it still smells like gas, it’s still flammable.
- When fuel spills on your car, you need to neutralize the fuel so that it’s not flammable.
- If you are at a gas station, notify an employee ASAP.
- If you are at home, neutralize the gas with kitty litter, sand, sawdust, or a baking soda/vinegar solution.
- Under no circumstance should an open flame be anywhere near the gas spill.