How to Burn Old Gas (Safely – Step By Step!)

How to Burn Old Gas

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend how to burn old gas? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

If you’ve got old gas lying around that has aged for a while, you are probably thinking about how you might be able to use or get rid of it.

Burning your old gas on a fire is unsafe and potentially fatal, but there are some ways to revive it for use as fuel.

Old gasoline will degrade over time and lose its potency, making it unsafe for use in an engine, but it may still burn. Gasoline is extremely unsafe when used to start a fire as the fumes will ignite first, often in an explosive and unpredictable manner. However, old gas can still burn as fuel if it has been safely and properly reconditioned.

This article will go into detail about how you can tell whether your old gas can be brought back to life and the safe ways it can either be used or disposed of.

Can Old Gasoline Still Be Used as Fuel?

When gasoline gets old, it will oxidize and lose its volatility. This will cause it to stop functioning effectively as fuel, but it can also cause issues inside of an engine.

Old gas will be thicker and more viscous than fresh gasoline, so it can clog up the inside of any machinery with which it is used. It is also more likely to be contaminated with impurities and dirt.

If you fill up a tank with old gas it can cause serious malfunctions and end up being very costly in the long run.

burning off some stale gasoline >> Check out the video below:

How Can You Tell if Gasoline Has Gone Bad?

Most gas goes bad after around 8 weeks, but the exact shelf life can be quite hard to determine, and proper storage and treatment can greatly increase its longevity.

Before you decide what to do with your old gas it is worth checking whether or not it has started to go bad.

Signs that gasoline has gone bad:

  • An unpleasant or sour smell
  • Darker color
  • Thicker and more viscous
  • Presence of water
  • Particles like rust or dirt

Can You Revive Old Gas?

It is possible to revive old gas if it hasn’t degraded too much, as long as it has not become contaminated.

If you notice any water or particles in your gasoline, or you notice a particularly dark or brown discoloration, it may be contaminated and should be disposed of.

Contaminated gasoline is unpredictable and dangerous, and you don’t want to risk it messing up your engine.

If your gas hasn’t become contaminated, and it doesn’t seem to have aged for too long, you can try and revive and reuse it by adding in some fresh gasoline to dilute it, and a stabilizer to recondition it.

In general, clean gasoline that hasn’t aged for more than a year can still be revived if it is handled with care.

Read also: How To Dispose Of Old Gasoline Properly

How to Revive Old Gas?

If you have a small tank that is less than half full of older gasoline, topping it up with fresh gasoline and adding a stabilizer will usually be enough to get it working again.

At least a 50/50 mixture is needed to get old gasoline to combust effectively, but 5 parts new gasoline to 1 part old is much better for the engine.

A fuel stabilizer is necessary in most cases, but you will need to follow the manual of whatever product you intend to use your gas for as additives will sometimes void your warranty.

You can’t expect old gas to work as well as fresh gasoline and it can still harm an engine, so be selective about which machines you choose to top up.

Any work that you do with gasoline should be in the open air, and you should have at least one other person and a fire extinguisher present.

Handling gasoline outside of approved containers is highly dangerous and should not be attempted.

How Do You Properly Dispose of Old Gas?

If your old gasoline has become contaminated or otherwise unusable, you should be disposing of it as safely as possible.

Gasoline is considered a hazardous substance as it can be very dangerous and harmful to the environment. In the USA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) dictates how gas can be properly and legally managed.

Discarding your old gasoline in the trash, improperly storing it, or pouring it down the drain is not only dangerous but illegal in many parts of the world and can result in expensive fines or even a prison sentence.

The proper way to dispose of your unwanted old gasoline:

  1. Store it in an appropriate, government-certified container.
  2. Locate a disposal site in your area or a licensed professional that will dispose of it for you.
  3. Transport it safely for disposal.

Most recycling plants and hazardous waste disposal centers will happily take your old gas, or you can pay for a disposal service to come out and collect it for you.

Many cities also have community initiatives to help people safely dispose of hazardous waste.

How to Dispose of Old Gas >> Check out the video below:

The Verdict: How to Burn Old Gas

At the end of the day, old gas should only be used if it can successfully and safely be reconditioned with the addition of fresh gasoline.

Once it has been made viable again, it is generally wise to only use old gas in a simple engine, like that of a lawnmower, as it can still cause problems.

If you want to get rid of your old gas, burning it is simply not safe. As with any flammable substance, it is never worth taking a risk.

If you are unsure about the safety of using your old gasoline, then you should simply get rid of it.

There are rules and regulations about how you can properly dispose of old gas. You need to store your gasoline in a government-approved container and take it to a certified disposal site or pay to have a disposal service get rid of it for you.

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Jeff is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Reatta. Jeff has been creating written and video content about transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used for more than 18 years. Jeff is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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