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    2KME's Avatar
    2KME Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 20, 2015, 09:44 PM
    Help! Gum Spirits/Turpentine used to clean house and fumes not dissipating.
    About a week ago I used a solution of mostly water mixed with equal parts gum spirits and dish soap (1/4 cup each) to clean all surfaces in my home and office. At first, I was thrilled with how well this cleaned everything, but as the days have gone by, the fumes seem to be building up and not dissipating and worse, seem to be infiltrating everything... Clothes, dishes, and other things not cleaned with this stuff. The fumes are so bad despite all the doors and windows being opened for days that I am staying in a hotel. I stopped using this mix, but can't get rid of the smell using just soap and water and I am not able to breathe after about 10 minutes of being near my house and get very dizzy.
    Also, all of my clothes seem to have gotten the fumes in them and I can't get the turpentine out of them not matter what I try. Please help!
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Oct 21, 2015, 10:02 AM
    Short of cleaning all the surfaces again with something like Murphys oil soap or something similar that might remove any remaining residue causing the stink, its going to take time. Even after cleaning them again with another cleaning product.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Oct 21, 2015, 10:54 AM
    Some materials may have soaked up the turpentine and you aren't going to get it out. Put whatever you can outside, preferably in the sun, and fill a spray bottle with bleach. Bleach whatever you think won't be ruined. Some may discolor, but so what.
    Take all your clothes to a dry cleaner.
    I doubt that dishes and things not cleaned with the mixture have actually absorbed fumes. You are smelling cabinets and counters and floors and curtains and walls...

    I would even spray bleach the walls, counters, cabinets, and floors.
    Do this is batches so that you can leave for a while to breathe.
    2KME's Avatar
    2KME Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Oct 21, 2015, 02:52 PM
    Thank you so much for your replies! My life has been turned upside down because of this.

    What about baking soda? Would that work?

    I thought that bleach reacts adversely with gum spirits, the same that ammonia would. Is this accurate? I'm afraid of mixing chemicals as I have no idea how they will react with each other.

    So what you are saying is that my things have absorbed the turpentine? This is what I have sensed. Can the fumes/vapors penetrate not only porous items but get into drawers and cabinets? Does the turpentine continue to release vapors and if so for how long? Getting it wet seems to make the turpentine fume up again and again.. it just won't die! Also I know I am absorbing it through my skin as I can smell it on me and my breath if exposed for too long.

    I'm guessing I'm going to have to get rid of a lot of things if I don't die first!
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #5

    Oct 21, 2015, 04:30 PM
    While it's true that you don't mix turpentine and bleach, you have washed off all but what sank in. Try a small piece of furniture, outside.
    You still haven't said whether or not you have a yard. You need sunlight on what you put out there, especially if you apply bleach.

    As for porous, even things you may not think are porous really are to some extent.

    You aren't going to die. I worked around turpentine and paint thinners for many years of my life, as have many people.
    (I haven't bought turpentine in decades, and only use odorless thinner. Buy some of that to apply to a few small items outside too. I'm not so sure about the helpfulness of baking soda. Turpentine is derived from pine tar, and you need something that attacks the oiliness. But try whatever you want. I might make a paste of baking soda and water and put it on the fridge and other kitchen items, as a first attempt. Leave it for a day and wipe it down later.)

    I'm curious about what prompted you to clean with the mix you used. Why turpentine and soap?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #6

    Oct 21, 2015, 10:37 PM
    For most of it, just wash it off with water, and use fresh water often. But it is going to take being out in the air. As noted if you can sit things outside even better. Or fans in the house. (lots of them) blowing the house air outside.

    This will have soaked into many porous surfaces and can take a long time with constant air flow.

    You are very lucky you have not hurt your health using this

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