Lighter fluid is a solvent that can often be used to get stains out of clothes. However, the lighter fluid that remains on the clothing leaves an unpleasant smell and can be flammable. Lighter fluid pretreatments and spills should be removed from clothing as soon as possible.
Items you will need
- Laundry pretreatment product
- Baking soda
- Warm water
- Laundry detergent
- Washing machine
Pretreat the stain with laundry stain remover.
Let the garment sit for half an hour before laundering.
Launder the garment as usual, following garment label instructions.
Repeat the pretreatment and laundering steps if any stain remains.
Air dry the garment once laundering is finished. Exposure to air and sunlight will help any residual traces of lighter fluid evaporate. Do not dry the garment in the dryer.
Soak the stained garment in 1 gallon warm water with 1/2 cup each of baking soda and borax added. Soak for an hour or more, depending on the severity of the spill.
Launder the garments following the directions on the clothing label, with laundry detergent. Launder garments soiled with lighter fluid by themselves. Do not add other clothing to the load.
Check for any remaining residue after laundering, and repeat presoak and laundering steps as necessary.
Air dry the garments once laundering is finished. Exposure to air and sunlight will help any residual traces of lighter fluid evaporate. Do not dry the garment in the dryer.
Lighter fluid evaporates over time with exposure to air. Once the garment has been thoroughly laundered and air dried completely, it should be safe to wear and launder as usual so long as there is no lighter fluid smell or residue remaining.
Don’t dry the garment in a dryer after its first laundering. Even if the garment doesn't smell like lighter fluid, there could be some residual fluid left on the garment. This could be flammable in the hot dryer. Instead, let the garment air dry.
Although lighter fluid evaporates, don't simply leave the garment "as is" if you spill lighter fluid on it. This is dangerous, as lighter fluid is flammable. Instead, pretreat and launder as specified.
Lighter fluid is damaging to fibers and can leave holes in clothes even if treated. Pretreat and launder clothes one or more times to remove the lighter fluid, and then let them air dry. Some fabric damage may occur even with treatment.
If a lighter fluid smell remains in the garment even after cleaning has been attempted, discard the garment, to be safe.