How to Get Lighter Fluid Out of Clothing

by Kim Olson ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can safely remove lighter fluid spills from clothing.

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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.

Small Spot

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.

Large Spill

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.

Tips

  • 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.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Kim Olson began her writing career in 1994. She specializes in consumer finance, health and wellness topics. Olson graduated with a B.S. in special and elementary education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.