Should I clean kerosene spilled on a hard outdoor surface?
December 23, 2007 9:06 PM   Subscribe

Should I clean kerosene spilled on a hard outdoor surface?

I spilled about a cup of kerosene on the stone surface outside of my front door; it also landed in the door frame of my outdoor storage and onto the cloth gloves I was wearing while I was filling my gas heater container.

I was just going to let it sit there and evaporate, but should I actually clean it up instead? The storage shed contains plastic bags filled with bottles and cans and my bike. If I clean it, should I get rid of the rags? Should I toss the gloves I spilled kerosene on? Any recommendations for getting the smell off my hands?

Thanks for your advice.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Just leave it be, it'll evaporate on it's own.
posted by ZaneJ. at 9:26 PM on December 23, 2007

Kerosene is not very volatile, and fairly hard to clean. It's probably safer in the open air on a hard surface than it is on rags in a trash bin. The only problem will be the smell, which will last long past the time when all the visible liquid has evaporated. If the stone surface is near a water hose, you might try spraying the area. This will not "clean" the kerosene, as water does not dissolve oil, but it will spread it out over a larger area so that it might evaporate faster.

I wouldn't worry about the gloves either — just let them air out until the kerosene evaporates. Kerosene was the first chemical to be used for dry cleaning, so essentially you will be just dry cleaning your gloves.
posted by ubiquity at 9:30 PM on December 23, 2007

or, you could just run a propane torch over the spill area. this will eliminate the hydrocarbon residue from the stone, but it will not help you minimize your carbon footprint.
posted by bruce at 9:34 PM on December 23, 2007

Ignore it... let things air out, no big deal. (spent youth filling up Kerosene space heater tanks with many a spill...). Outside, 1 cup, some smelly gloves... don't fret....
posted by zengargoyle at 11:11 PM on December 23, 2007

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