How To Dispose Of Old Gasoline Properly (Household Hazardous Waste)

How To Dispose Of Old Gasoline Properly

Do you know how to dispose of old gasoline properly or what to do with leftover gasoline?  these are the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Gasoline doesn’t last forever.

If you have old canisters of gas sitting around for a few months, then you are going to need to dispose of them properly.

Thankfully, this isn’t too difficult to do.

So, how to dispose of old gasoline properly? To dispose of old gasoline properly, you need to follow the steps below:

Step #1: Check the gasoline is old

Step #2: Contact your local recycling center

Step #3: put the old gasoline into a proper bottle

Step #4: take the gasoline to the recycling center

Contact your local recycling center

Some recycling centers will allow you to dispose of old gasoline there. You will need to ensure that you bring the gasoline along in a proper container.

They will have instructions on their website. Normally, they just require that the container has been sealed properly. This cuts the risk of a fire.

Let’s run you through the steps that you need to do this properly.

Step 1: check the gasoline is old

Your first step is to work out whether you actually have bad gas. We are sure that you don’t want to be disposing of something that you can actually use.

The first sign that you have bad gasoline is if it no longer has a smell. This means that the gasoline has evaporated away. What you have is just water. Well, water with a small amount of gasoline mixed into it.

You may also notice that the color of the gasoline has changed a little bit. It may become clearer because, once again, it is really just some water.

Finally, you may have residue e.g. dirt or debris inside the gasoline. Obviously, you don’t want to be putting that in your engine.

Step 2: Check your local recycling center

Once you know that you have some bad gasoline, then check out the recycling center in your local area. They will be able to tell you whether they can deal with it.

If the local recycling center website doesn’t, then look at your local government’s website. Chances are that they will have a small section where you can recycle things like gasoline.

Step 3: put the old gasoline into a proper bottle

Once you have located where to send your gasoline, you can bottle it up. Make sure that you use an actual gas container for this. If you don’t, then the recycling center may not accept it.

Step 4: take the gasoline to the recycling center

The final step is to head to your local recycling center and do whatever they instruct you to do.

Some will ask you to hand over the bottle. Others may ask you to pour the old gasoline into a special reservoir. 

Gasoline recycling and reuse >> Check out the video below:

Other things you can do with old gasoline

Of course, there are a few things that you can do with the old gasoline if you don’t want to drive to a recycling center.

 Or, perhaps, if you don’t have one in your local area.

Use it

Yes. You can use old gasoline. Although, don’t just take it straight from the bottle and pour into your motor. That is the quickest way to ruin your motor.

Instead, you are going to need to filter out any debris in the gasoline. 

You will then want to mix it with new gasoline. Most people go for a 50/50 split.

Now, you are probably going to find that the old gasoline is not going to be as efficient as the new gasoline.

But, you should be able to get some use out of it. So, at least you aren’t just throwing money away.

Use it to clear land

If you have a brush that you need to burn through, then old gasoline can make a good accelerant. Obviously, make sure that you take a lot of care when you are doing this.

You will also want to ensure that you do not get any gasoline on the soil. If you do, then you are essentially killing that soil.

Nothing will be able to grow there again.

Use it in an oil heater

You can also use old gasoline in an oil heater. You will need to mix it with oil, but it should burn pretty well. 

Read also: How to Burn Old Gas (Safely Dispose of Gasoline + More!)

Things you shouldn’t do

During the research for this article, we saw a few ideas that you should probably avoid with your gasoline.

The one that a lot of people seem to mention is allowing the gasoline to just evaporate away. This means leaving the lid off of the storage container.

Now, we are not going to deny that gasoline is fantastic at just evaporating. It may take a couple of weeks to go, but it will eventually disappear.

The problem is that you now have an open gasoline container in your home/garage. It is sending gasoline up into the air. 

That enclosed space now has gasoline floating about. It is a health risk. You breathe it in, and you are going to run into problems. You light a match, you are going to run into problems.

If you absolutely must let your gasoline evaporate away, then leave it outside.

You also shouldn’t use gasoline to kill weeds. Yes. It is going to kill the weeds. However, you will not be able to grow anything in that area for years.

So, this could be great if you are trying to clear away weeds from a paved area. However, it won’t be so great if you are looking to plant some crops in the soil. 

Can You Still Use Old Gasoline?

Before you throw away any old gasoline you might have, it is worth making sure that it has actually gone bad and is no longer useable.

Depending on the quality of the gasoline and how well it has been stored, it can last for between 3 and 6 months, and adding fuel stabilizers can keep it useable for up to a year.

The gasoline that is inside the tank of your car, however, will start degrading within around a month. In the gas tank, gasoline will be exposed to the air and will start to undergo the process of oxidation, changing its structure and reducing its efficiency and viability.

The ethanol inside gasoline also attracts water molecules from the air which will dilute the gas over time, causing it to expire.

Once gasoline has expired and deteriorated, it will start to solidify and become more viscous. This doesn’t just make it less efficient as a fuel source, it can also clog up the interior of an engine and damage the internal components.

Using old gasoline is a significant risk that can end up costing you a lot of money in repairs.

How Can You Tell if Gasoline Has Gone Bad?

It can be hard to know how long your gasoline has been sitting around, and it doesn’t always degrade at the same rate, so it’s important to be able to tell when it’s gone bad.

Expired gas is usually darker in colour, with a muddy appearance.

It also tends to smell quite sour or unpleasant in a way that is very different from normal gasoline.

Can You Throw Gasoline in the Trash or Pour it Down the Drain?

It is illegal in most places to dump your old gasoline and its disposal is highly regulated so you can’t just toss it away, no matter what container it may be in.

Gasoline that has been discarded in the trash or poured down the drain poses a serious risk to the environment and to public health, and you can face large fines or even jail time if you are caught.

How Do You Transport Gasoline Safely?

To get rid of your old gasoline, you will need to make sure that it is in an appropriate container so that you can transport it safely. Using the wrong container leaves you vulnerable to dangerous spills, and most disposal facilities will refuse to accept it. Gasoline can melt through some plastics and other materials, so even a well-sealed container is not a guarantee of safety.

There are many different cans or canisters that are perfectly safe to transport your gas in, you just need to make sure that they have a stamp of approval either from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). This way you can be sure that it is safe to be stored and moved around.

Even when your gasoline is inside an approved container, you should place it in a plastic tub of some kind while it is being transported, to reduce the danger of any unexpected spills.

Where Do You Take Old Gasoline?

There are many different places that will happily accept and even recycle old gasoline for you, depending on the facilities that are available in your area.

You can contact your local recycling authority to ask about the options that are available to you, search for a hazardous waste disposal center nearby, or get in touch with the local fire department to get some guidance.

Many auto parts shops or auto repair shops will also be happy to take old gasoline off your hands, so it’s worth asking around.

Can Old Gasoline Be Collected?

There are a lot of services available that allow you to pay somebody to come and collect your unwanted gasoline for you.

Private hazardous waste disposal companies may cost a bit extra, so you should always ask for a quote upfront, but they will often come right to your door and do a lot of the hard work for you.

A lot of cities also hold community collection events to help people get rid of hazardous waste and encourage them to dispose of things safely.

Finding one of these in your city may be easier than traveling to a disposal site yourself.

Can Gasoline be Recycled?

There are ways to recondition your old gasoline, and it can sometimes become useable again when mixed together with some fresh gas. Attempting any sort of work with gasoline is inherently dangerous and should only be carried out with extreme caution.

There is also a risk that the gasoline could still cause damage to an engine, so it is not recommended for use on new or valuable vehicles.

There are some people who claim alternative uses for old gasoline, like pouring it onto your lawn as weed killer or using it to burn brush, but it is a highly toxic and flammable substance that is simply dangerous when applied for any purpose besides its intended use.


Getting rid of old gasoline isn’t easy. You can’t just pour it away. It will have a detrimental impact on the environment.

Luckily, most towns and cities in the US should have a waste disposal or recycling center that will allow you to bring your old gasoline along.

If they don’t, then you could potentially reuse the old gas, or perhaps burn it away.

Although, most people will probably only be doing the latter as a last resort.

Here are some of my favorite tools & equipment´s

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it helps you find the most recent and accurate technical and repair information for your car. Here are some tools that I use as an automotive technician and hope you´ll also find helpful.

There are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I´ll earn a small commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family. (NO CRAP)

To see all my of most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource that I made for you!



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.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!