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Thread: Whats the best way to clean up spilled gas?

  1. #1
    Speedster Member
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    Whats the best way to clean up spilled gas?

    Accidentally spilled a couple gallons on gas on my concrete floor.
    First I covered it with absorbant stuff for garage floors, like kitty litter. After I cleaned that up, I used some industrial type clean on the area. There is still a large stain, and some fumes.

    Does anyone know of a trick to leach the gas up out of the concrete, or is there something I can use to dissolve the gas completely?

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member
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    Most of the volatile components will evaporate within a couple of days. Lacquer thinner on a rag will wipe up any sticky residue. But concrete is porous -- you're gonna be smelling it for a while.

    Skip Lackie
    Washington DC

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member JDP's Avatar
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    You are trting to get it off concrete, and I use it as a cleaner when I get a spill. Once it lifts up the grease, I wipe it off with old rags, open up the garage doors and let it evaporate. If I dump a lot on the floor, I hose it out the door so I don't blow up the garage.

    JDP/Maryland

  4. #4
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    I was working on a lawnmower in my dads shop years ago and a bunch of gas ran out of it onto the floor. I pushed the lawnower outside and saw that the gas was draining towards the floor drain so I quick lit it on fire! Lucky that the ceiling was 12 feet high as the visible flames were about 5 feet high! It smoked black for a few minutes and then it was done. Nothing damaged and no gasoline residue left. However, I don't recommend anyone doing this. [8D]


    Brent's rootbeer racer.
    MN iron ore...it does your body good.

  5. #5
    President Member
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    You are trting to get it off concrete, and I use it as a cleaner when I get a spill. Once it lifts up the grease, I wipe it off with old rags, open up the garage doors and let it evaporate. If I dump a lot on the floor, I hose it out the door so I don't blow up the garage.

    JDP/Maryland

    JP that would create an environmental hazard! washing raw gas out into the soil! What would th "environmental czar" think of that?

    Jim

  6. #6
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    Clean up the floor, and coat with H & C Silicone Acrylic Concrete stain (available at Sherwin-Williams), nothing sticks to it. Everything cleans up easily. Good stuff.

  7. #7
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    Sorry to bring this thread back around...Just my two cents...

    As a guy who spent close to thirty years in the tile and stone business, including selling stone restoration products, I can tell you from experience that removing stains from stone is an exercise in patience. Concrete stain removal methods are very similar. Chance are, it will take multiple attempts to remove the stain completely, but it usually can be done.

    Those who mentioned kitty litter and absorbents like these types https://mechanicguides.com/best-garage-floor-cleaner/ are on the right track. Using a poultice is a matter of redissolving the stain with (depending on the stain) a detergent or solvent, and then pulling it back out with the absorbent media. Cat litter, baking soda, powdered hobby clay, and talcum powder are the most commonly used media. Cat litter does work better if it is crushed up, you really want something close to a powder.

    You can start with a detergent and some water, scrub it in to the stain, and leave it just surface damp; don't leave any standing water. Sprinkle a generous layer of absorbent over the water, enough so you can't see the moisture on the concrete. Then tape a sheet of plastic over the whole thing, at least 3 inches outside of the edge of the stain. Neatness counts when spreading the media, the tape won't stick to any stray powder. When the plastic is all taped down securely, leave it.

    Come back in a day or two and if the powder looks dry, or feels crusty if you poke it with a finger under the plastic sheeting, you can peel back the plastic and sweep up the powder. If it still feels soft and punky, leave it until it dries.

    Now look at your stain. If it looks lighter, the poultice is working. You can go at it again with the same treatment. If it looks no different, try again, this time with a stronger concentration of cleaner or move on to a solvent. Use fresh absorbent every time. I've seen pieces of stone poulticed 6 times and more to get a stain out.

    Xylene (xylol) is a good solvent to try, it's good at dissolving a wide range of oils and greases. Mineral spirits is also a good choice. These solvents don't flash off (vaporize) nearly as fast as something like naphtha or lacquer thinner, and they usually won't eat the plastic.

    Remember, poulticing a small area in something like a slab is akin to creating a stain by removing a stain. The poulticed area will often be considerably cleaner than the surrounding area.

    Just some suggestions and one good video from Youtube, that I hope will help.


  8. #8
    President Member
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    I've had good luck using kitty litter to remove as much as possible. Sweep that up, then sprinkle the area with granular lime, walk it in for a few days, then flush with water. The lime will saponify much of the hydrocarbons left, essentially turning them into soaps which can be washed away.

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