Does gasoline kill grass is a question of worry, especially if it accidentally falls over it. You may have been transporting gasoline fuel for your lawn mower across the lawn one day and ended up dropping it all over the grass.

Does Gasoline Kill Grass

Find out how this spilled fuel will impact the grass and the soil, along with practical tips on controlling the situation immediately.

You will also find out how to utilize this potential of gasoline to get rid of stubborn weeds growing all over the yard.

Does Gasoline Kill Grass: It Does?

💥 Quick Answer

Yes, gasoline is a weed killer that has the ability to desiccate and burn grass immediately upon coming in contact with it. First, toxic fumes will be released, and the grass will become dehydrated, but if the spill is big, the grass will die within minutes.


The extent of grass and soil damage depends on how much gasoline was spilled on it. It also makes the soil unable to support life for several weeks afterward. Gasoline kills grass permanently within 30 minutes when it gets spilled on it accidentally. 

– Toxic Fumes

The grass blades become rapidly dry and start shriveling up before dying. What happens is that gasoline releases toxic fumes when it comes in contact with grass and plants. These fumes are highly toxic and destroy the grass on a cellular basis. The cells that make up the grass break down and lose their water content. 

– Dehydration

Within minutes the grass becomes dehydrated as if not watered for weeks, and dies. The time the gas takes to destroy grass depends on the amount spilled. 

– Death 

In case of a large spill, the grass might die within minutes, while it might take several hours if only a small amount of gas was spilled. Not only grass but any other plant or vegetation that comes under the spillage will also die after getting burnt up.

How Does Gasoline Contaminate The Soil?

Gasoline contaminates the soil by killing the beneficial bacteria that live in the soil. In addition, by blocking the air circulation in the soil. Moreover, this is how the soil would become weaker than usual, and as a result, it will eventually die. To avoid this situation, we can use soil activator.

Spilled gasoline, after killing grass, will ooze deep within the soil and contaminate it. This contamination might be even worse than killing grass because the soil is unsuitable for supporting other plant and animal life. Some soils become contaminated heavily and more quickly than others.

– Killing the Beneficial Bacteria

If the soil in your lawn is sandy, then the level of contamination will be less than in clay-like soil. A worst-case scenario is when such a large quantity of gas is spilled that it seeps deep underground and contaminates the underground water supply. All the beneficial bacteria, fungi, and insects that usually populate the soil will also get killed by gas fumes. 

Killing the Beneficial Bacteria

As the grass dies and the soil becomes contaminated after a gas spill, when this spill has touched the soil, the effects might last in the soil from several days to one whole month.

On the other hand, chances are that if the soil is sandy and well aerated, the gas will be able to evaporate easily and quickly compared to more compact soil. This is because the compact soil has a bigger chance of dying quicker, due to the fact that it has less air. 

– No More Air Circulation

These are part of the natural soil ecosystem and are important for grass growing. Take nematodes like earthworms, for example; they break down the organic matter and burrow deep to improve the air circulation in the soil. This is because they will block the airway, and the soil will no longer have space or air to breathe in.  

The bacteria killed by the gas is even more relevant because it is responsible for converting the nitrogen in the fertilizer to a form usable by grass, companion plants and succulent. Again, the contamination will last longer when the quantity of spilled gas is larger than a smaller spill.

How To Recover A Gasoline Spillover On Grass?

To recover a gasoline spillover on the grass, you must hydrate it with water, and add sand for aeration. In addition to this, make sure you would mow the dead grass, and replace the soil. As you would do so, you should start replanting and over seeding.

The good news is that the effects of spilled gasoline and spray paint on grass are not permanent because, eventually, a significant amount of the gas evaporates out of the contaminated soil. The more porous the soil, the quicker this process will be and the less effort you will have to put in.

– Hydrate With Water

If only a few tablespoons of gas have been spilled on the soil, you can try flushing it immediately with water to prevent the grass from dying. If the quantity of spillover is more than a few tablespoons, then there is no point in saving the grass, and you can proceed to keep the soil moist and bringing it to life again. 

As you hydrate, the soil will try to relinquish the toxins, as they would drain out from the spot that has been contaminated, as a result, it will establish itself, and slowly but surely, you will see the spot recover itself. 

– Add Sand

The first step is to contain the gas spread as much as possible by pouring porous substances over the area. The most effective of these that are also easily available are cat litter and sand. 

As the sand or the litter absorbs gas from the soil, use a pressurized hose to deep water that area. Take at least 10 to 20 minutes to thoroughly wash until all the sand or cat litter is washed away. Sand is a great way that you can use in order to absorb the oil that has leaked in the soil. 

– Mowing the Dead Grass

The grass in the spilled area is most likely dead by now and will turn yellow in a couple of hours. It is best to mow this dead grass down to the roots.

Mowing the Dead Grass

This is a common method, because dead grass is almost impossible to come back to life, as the roots have died, the chlorophyll has died also, which means that it is better if you do not aim to try to recover, but mow it out instead. 

– Replace The Soil

Moreover, this would also be a worry if the spill was big, which means that you must find out how deep the gasoline has run into the soil. You can insert a rod, a stick, or a pencil in the soil at various depths and smell it. If the smell stops at the three inches mark, then three inches of soil need to be replaced.

Remove the entire thickness of the soil that has been contaminated and replace it with sand and topsoil on the surface. Add fertilizer to the mix and gently moisten everything without washing the topsoil. 

– Replant and Over Seed

Within a few weeks, the soil will begin to return to normal, and you replant grass and over seed it. You should have a thriving lawn back in as little as four weeks.

It has been noticed that hardy grass varieties such as Bermuda grass, it might grow back from mild gasoline spills within only four weeks. This is one of the Bermuda grass pros. Other grass varieties that are more sensitive or have been killed severely might take longer to recover. 

If timely action is taken and the affected soil is treated properly with sand and water wash, you can expect to have your lawn back by the fourth or fifth-week post spillage. 

Can You Use Gasoline To Kill Weeds?

Yes, you can use gasoline to kill weeds, as the gas would be beneficial to you in this sense. First you must protect yourself, then, you should aim to spray it directly on the weeds, and lastly, make sure you hydrate the spot, so the oil doesn’t spread. 

Because gasoline can kill plant life, you can use it as an effective DIY weed killer. There is no doubt how this is one of the most potent substances to get rid of weeds, provided you take care not to spill gas here and there.

A word of caution before we discuss the steps of this process, though. Using gasoline to get rid of weeds in yards is illegal in certain states within the US. Before proceeding with this method, check your local laws to see that it is permissible.

You must procure gasoline from somewhere like a gas station or the fuel tank of a lawn mower. The quantity of gasoline you need depends on the size of your backyard and the number of weeds growing in it. Two to three gallons of gas should be enough in most medium to large lawns.

– Protect Yourself

Wear a pair of thick rubber gloves to protect your skin from getting accidentally in contact with this gas. It is also prudent to wear eye goggles and a face mask when handling gasoline.

Take a plastic spray bottle and clean it thoroughly before filling it with gasoline. The nozzle on this spray bottle should be very narrow so that the gasoline droplets do not spill here and there.

– Directly Spraying

Identify where the weeds are growing in the lawn and take your spray bottle there. Try to get as close to the ground as possible and spray gasoline directly on the weeds growing among the grass. 

Take great care that the gasoline spray stays limited to the weeds and does not fall on adjacent grass. Keep your spray as superficial as possible, so it does not seep deep into the ground. 

– Hydrate The Spot With Water

After you are done with spraying gasoline, gently sprinkle water on the sprayed areas and leave it at that.

Hydrate The Spot With Water

The weeds will die within a day or two, and you can easily pull them out of the ground.


The only thing left before we conclude this article is a summary regarding spilled gasoline killing grass

  • The grass is susceptible to dying after gasoline comes in contact with it because it burns and dries grass on a cellular level.
  • A medium to moderate spillage will convert the affected patch of grass to dead and yellow within four to five weeks.
  • It is a good idea to throw sand or pet litter over the spilled area so that gasoline gets absorbed.
  • Gasoline is volatile and will evaporate out of the soil by itself if it is well aerated.
  • If you want to get rid of gasoline quickly, remove the layers of the soil affected and replace them with a mixture of sand and soil.

You will inevitably have to deal with gas spoilage on the grass during lawn care. While you might lose grass that is present in that area, if you follow the guideline we gave, you will be able to bring the grass back within just one month.

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