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How to get rid of propane smell

How to get rid of propane smell

Ever wondered How to get rid of propane smell? Propane is a truly handy source of fuel and is used to run many appliances in homes, workshops, garages, and other environments.

Nevertheless, even though propane is very stable and safe if handled properly, it does have an unpleasant, distinctively pungent smell- an additive Ethyl Mercaptan (smells like rotten eggs/rotten cabbage) is usually added to propane gas to alert you of a leak.

And so if propane is accidentally spilled/leaked out, it may lead to a super strong odor, particularly if the spill/leak occurred in an enclosed area such as your house.

If this has just happened to you and you’re catching the horrendous rotten egg scent everywhere you turn, here is how to get rid of propane smell once and for all.

How to get rid of propane smell – practical tips and ideas

Admittedly, there are not that very many ways to remove the sometimes skunk’s spray or dead animal stench associated with propane once it has saturated the area.

The following tips, however, work great on the nasty sulfur-like smell in most cases:

1.     How to get rid of propane smell from the tank

If you want to reuse the propane tank for other applications (building a smoker, for example), try the following procedures to discard the nauseating stink- remember the smell can last for years in the tank if no attempts are made to clear it:

Option 1: Burn the smell out

The first idea you can test is burning the tank.

Simply stuff the propane tank with leftover 2X4 lumber pieces, logs, tree branches, or any other wood (even old newspapers) then light a strong fire in the tank.

Let it burn to a char before cleaning the black soot- you can scrub it out real quick.

This should help eliminate the offensive smell.

Quick Tip: Be careful if you’re to take this approach as a fire that is too big can easily warp the tank.

Option 2: Wash the tank

Perhaps the safest way to kill the smell is by washing the residual propane off the tank.

Here you have a couple of options:

1.      Use a mixture of dish soap and water

First, you can fill it with soap (Dawn dish soap works brilliantly) and water.

The exact quantities to use will depend on the size of your tank. For instance, for 150gal to 250gal propane tanks, you may put about a 1/2 cup of the dish soap followed by 6in of water or so in the tank.

Next, slosh the mixture around the tank extensively.

You should then let the propane tank sit -for at least 2 hot days- in the sun.

Finally, drain out the soapy water and sludge.

2.      Use common laundry bleach instead of dish washing liquid 

As an alternative, you can give the tank a comprehensive slosh with a solution of common household bleach and water.

Next, you drain then rinse with water a couple times until it stops stinking.

3.      Use Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

There is one more remedy you can try: a solution of water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.

The procedure is the same as above except for the measurements- check the documentation for the accurate measurements to use when preparing the combination.

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How to get rid of propane smell from fireplace

A fireplace that reeks of propane is never a good sign and the very first step you should take is having a licensed technician inspect the entire setup for a possible leak. Your tank may also be running low. 

That said, it is normal to catch a whiff of propane scent from a fireplace due to the use of fireplace logs.

However, there are instances when the smell becomes quite strong and you may want to counter it (assuming that nothing dangerous was noticed).

Here are several hacks that can do the trick:

  • Allow the unit enough time to “burn off” the smell- the smell tends to reduce and go away completely after the fireplaces burns for between 8hrs – 30 hours in some cases. This information should be indicated in your owner’s manual.
  • Run a portable air condition near your fireplace to freshen the air.
  • Spray vinegar around the fireplace area to conceal the smell.

How to get rid of propane smell on hands

If your hands reek of propane/rotten eggs, hydrogen peroxide could save you too!

Here is how to get rid of propane smell from your hands using hydrogen peroxide:

Combine a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a ½ cup baking soda, and one teaspoon of your favorite dishwashing detergent in a plastic bowl.

Soak then scrub your hands in this mixture- you may require to soak and rub yourself a number of times before the dreadful odor is gone.

If the foul smell persists, apply some heavy hand lotion all around your hands then let it soak for between 15 – 20 minutes.

The final step involves washing your hands off with a degreasing type hand cleaner.

Note that you may need to do this several times for the odor to disappear.

How to get propane smell out of clothes

To deodorize fabrics, mix one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide preferably with 6 parts water (don’t exceed this ratio as hydrogen peroxide could damage textile fibers if too strong).

Next, soak your fabrics in this powerful solution for between one to two hours.

After that, rinse the clothing meticulously with cold water before washing them in your machine (select a cold setting).

Voila! The skunk stink should now be gone.

How to get rid of propane smell – bonus tips

  • Try bleach- You may spray a bleach solution (in a spray bottle/can) on contaminated propane tanks and hoses to battle the odor.
  • Work your ventilation- In addition to fighting the odor using various strategies, improving the ventilation (airflow) could go a long way in keeping the smell at bay. Open the windows, turn on fans, use air filters, etc.
  • Seek help from your local propane supplier- Your propane company may have specialized chemical propane smell neutralizing sprays on sale.

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Wrapping it up

Of course, precaution is always better than cure and it is important to take measures to prevent propane leaks/spills.

That being so, make a point of checking for leaks (and then repairing the affected areas) before using the gas on every occasion.

The other important step is having an authorized service technician examine your propane system (and propane appliances) periodically-all propane equipment must be routinely inspected to operate safely, correctly, and efficiently.

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