My House Smells Like Kerosene


Paraffin oil and Kero are names used internationally to refer to the fuel kerosene. Less refined than gasoline, kerosene is used commonly in the United States as a heating fuel. Kerosene has a pungent and long-lasting odor that can be very difficult to remove especially when the fuel is spilled onto an absorbent material. Removing kerosene odor can be accomplished with some basic cleaning techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Fan
  • Paper towel
  • Household cleaner
  • Running water
  • Washing machine
  • Laundry detergent
  • Alcohol
  • Wipe up kerosene spills immediately to lessen its effect. Use paper towel to mop up the spill. Rinse the paper towel under running water to rinse as much of the kerosene out as possible to avoid a fire hazard when the paper towel dries.

  • Open doors and windows to create cross ventilation and air out the house following a spill or when heavy kerosene odors persist. Hook up a fan and direct the air flow so it is pulling the kerosene odor from the house.

  • Clean a kerosene spill with household cleaners. Consider using cleaners with pine, citrus or other strong scents that can help to mask the kerosene smell.

  • Rinse rugs, cushion covers or other materials under running water to remove as much of the spilled kerosene as possible. Place the materials in a washing machine and wash as normal with laundry detergent.

  • Rinse hands that have contacted kerosene with rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol liberally to hands to break down the kerosene so it can be washed from the skin with soap and water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid touching anything, especially fabric, in a home after handling kerosene as the smell is easily transferred.

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