How to Dispose of Gasoline?

It's not an uncommon story to have certain volumes of gasoline still left somewhere in one's garage. Those containers may contain dirty gasoline or unused gasoline.

However, with the amount of time that has spanned, is it still usable or now disposable? We will discuss as to how to dispose of gasoline in several ways.

About Gasoline

If it's not electricity, one way or another, our machines are powered by gasoline. It's used to power from vehicles to generators which convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Gasoline is the most used automobile fuel because it easily blends with air in a carburetor. The production of gasoline is indeed one of the most complicated processes in the chemical and petroleum industry. 

Gasoline is produced from the fractional distillation of crude oil. Other names of this volatile liquid are petrol and the shorter term which is just gas.

Risks and Hazards of Gasoline

The hazards in gasoline mainly come from its content and attributes. As you know, one of the main characteristics of a hazardous its flammability.

In this case, the gasoline is a volatile liquid that has a low flash point. It's not hard to figure out that gasoline poses a serious fire risk if left opened or left alone. Also, the fumes of gasoline can mix with air and may cause explosive reactions.

It also contains at least 15 hazardous chemicals that have the typical attributes like toxicity, reactivity, ignitability, and corrosivity. Some of them are benzene, toluene, etc...

Gasoline is also considered as a carcinogen due to its fumes. If possible avoid skin contact, eye contact, and inhaling of the liquid.

The longer the gasoline is kept stagnant, the higher its risk ofbeing contaminated in the course of time. It's also susceptible to degradation of its quality. Aged gasoline may not be enough to power your equipment as it has lost some of its combustibility.

Furthermore, if you kept the state of the liquid as it is and fire into the vehicle, it could likely cause engine damage. This is due to the lack of proper action of the fuel in the engine's fuel injection system.

The vehicle's onboard computer system may become overloaded in an attempt to compensate the lack of combustibility of the degraded gasoline. The first symptoms will be the poor engine performance and the engine may be hard to start up.

Disposing Gasoline

Gasoline is included in the list of hazardous wastes that needto be regulated. It must also undergo correct processes before its final disposal. It must be highly noted that you shouldn't illegally dispose of gasoline.

The prohibition includes land, water bodies, or sewers. Not only you would affect the citizens in a wide radius but also heavily damage the environment.

Moreover, you will subject yourself to heavy fines and penalties and even criminal case. It's not that difficult to dispose of gasoline. To know how to do it, follow these steps:

1. Determine if the gasoline is old or contaminated

In this step, you will need a freshly-obtained gasoline for comparison. Pour the contents into a clean and transparent container and the gasoline in scrutiny in the other. In this test, you will use both your smelling and visual senses.

The gasoline in question should be darker and smells sour than the new gasoline. A gasoline will retain its maximum state in at least six months. If it sits more than that, the components will start to break down.

You can use this gasoline within a year before it can cause damage. It should be able to fire up the engine without too much trouble. However, one condition that applies to this is that the fuel must be clear with no floating materials as this might clog the fuel lines and carburetors of the vehicle.

On the other hand, if the gasoline has particulates like rust and dirt, and has some discoloration, it is a good judgment that you don't use it. This type is a contaminated fuel.

A contaminated fuel has a brown appearance due to the solid deposits and other impurities.This also smells foul.

Other contaminated gasoline containing more than two types of fuel should be disposed of properly. They are never to be used or you'll risk engine damage and increase in hazardous waste attributes.

2. Look for hazardous waste storage facilities near the area

Contaminated fuel must be turned over to the folks who accept it. First, know if your neighborhood materials recovery facility or transfer station accept hazardous wastes like gasoline.

This information is available from your local fire department or Yellow Pages under Environmental and Ecological Services and Oils, Waste. Those may be your go-to places when the landfill with an attached hazardous storage facility is far from your home.

Some storage and recycling facilities have strict collecting days like once a week to twice a month. Check out the schedule first before you finally dispose of the gasoline.

On their end, they recycle the gasoline in refineries to make other oil-related products or use it fire up waste oil furnaces.

3. Final disposal of the gasoline

The best container of hazardous wastes such as gasoline is the HDPE or high-density polyethylene plastics. One example is a jerry can.

The container of the gasoline should have a tight lid so that the vapors will not easily evaporate which may cause fume or leaking problems.

Some areas require that you store gasoline in less than 5 gallons per 5-gallon container or roughly 95 percent. Gasoline should be given room for expansion during storage.

If you’re going to drive with those containers, the best case scenario is to drive carefully and avoid doing anything that may trigger the reactivity of the gasoline in case there are leaks and fumes.

However, if you don't like driving long distances, you may opt to call for a nearby waste hauler to dispose of your bad gasoline for you. This is at the expense of paying them some dollars though.

Recycling is Better

Sometimes, leftover gasoline can be a pain to dispose of. You may recycle the old gasoline if it's not contaminated. Recycling is indeed highly encouraged among many communities to lessen the disposal of gasoline.

1. Dilute with freshly made fuel

An old, unused fuel can still be used to fire up the engine. The way to do it is by diluting with a right portion of the new gasoline in a gas tank.

a. Into vehicles

For vehicles with small gas tanks like 10 gallons, pour a half gallon of the old gasoline into the tank already containing at least 3/4 of the whole container.

It's important that the new gasoline should overwhelm the old gasoline in volume so that there would be little changes in the combustibility of the mixed gasoline. Use a jerry can to transfer the liquid safely without spilling some onto the ground. 

On another note, it's best that the engines have oil filters to filter out like particulates that may be present on the gasoline that might not be present on the naked eye.

Filters are fairly cheap and the easy to replace. Furthermore, they save you more time than cleaning carburetors. 

If you're unsure as to the ratios between the old and fresh gasoline or whether to add fuel additives like stabilizers, ask your nearest automotive shop for more details. They are more expert on cars and gasoline than you are.

b. Into gardening tools

This is an alternative course if you're more confident to use the old gasoline into small machines like lawnmower rather than your prized car. The ratio of 1:1 is the right way to do it as it would be diluted enough to start the motor of the lawn mower.

2. Add fuel stabilizer

This is applicable for gasoline that wasn't properly stored and already became stale fuel. A stale fuel is a condition when there are gums and solids developing on the surface.

Gasoline that contains alcohol is the most vulnerable in this case. This is more common on gardening machines like lawnmowers that aren't always used.

As you know, there aren't a lot of instances that one can get to use these tools to clean the garden. These are bad accumulators of stale fuel.

A fuel stabilizer is one good solution for small engines. Using fuel stabilizers extends the life of the fuel that was improperly stored.

Examples include isopropyl alcohol and mineral spirits. You should run the engine for about ten minutes. This is in order to circulate the stabilizer from storage to the engine. Next, run the engine at differing intervals to purge the bad fuel from the carburetor.

However, if you can help it, empty the gas of the lawn mowers before you store it in your shed for long time periods. This is an excellent way in preserving the condition of your equipment.


Surely, there are many ways as to how to dispose of gasoline that you don't use anymore. Now it's up to you which of them suit your liking best. Either you can use it to fire up you handy mower or donate it to your neighbor. Next time, buy only the amount you will need so that disposal won't be a pain on your end.

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