Storing gasoline correctly is essential since it is, first and foremost, a highly flammable and potentially dangerous substance. However, proper storage is also essential for extending the usable life of gasoline.

Some companies store large amounts of gasoline for fleets of cars, trucks, or other kinds of vehicles. Individuals store smaller amounts of gasoline for their own use. This might be for emergencies, such as when they must power a generator for days on end. Often, the gasoline needs to stay viable for months or more, so taking care to make sure that it’s stored properly is extremely important.

Regardless of the size of your storage tank or container, the same rules basically apply regarding procedures that extend the usable life of gasoline.

Tips for proper storage of small amounts of gasoline

  • Choose the right container: It is important to store gasoline in a container specifically designed for fuel storage. If you’re storing thousands of gallons, you’ve no doubt purchased the right tank from a dealer who specializes in storage of bulk liquids. However, if you’re storing smaller amounts, you may need some guidance. Plastic containers, for example, such as those used for water or other household chemicals, are not suitable for gasoline storage. They can break down and contaminate the fuel. Metal containers with an airtight seal, such as those used for gasoline at gas stations, are the best option. These containers should be clearly labeled as gasoline containers. This prevents any confusion or accidents.
  • Store in a suitable place: Gasoline should be stored in a cool, dry place. It should also be kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources. High temperatures can cause gasoline to evaporate. This reduces its shelf life and potentially creates a fire hazard. It is also important to store gasoline away from any potential ignition sources, such as cigarettes or open flames. Though this seems like common sense, fires happen every year because of accidental igniting of gasoline.
  • Avoid overfilling containers of any kind: When filling a gasoline container, be sure to leave some room at the top to allow for expansion. Overfilling a container can cause it to leak or spill, creating a dangerous scenario.
  • Rotate your gasoline supply: Gasoline has a shelf life of about 6 months to a year, depending on the formulation and storage conditions. To extend the life of your gasoline, it is important to rotate your supply regularly. This means using the oldest gasoline first and replacing it with fresh fuel on a regular basis.
  • Add a stabilizer: Gasoline can break down over time. As such, gums and varnishes form that can clog fuel lines and carburetors. To prevent this from happening, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to your gasoline. These products work by inhibiting the breakdown of gasoline. Using a stabilizer can extend the life of your gasoline by several months.
  • Keep it sealed: To prevent evaporation and contamination, it’s important to keep your gasoline containers sealed when not in use. This includes replacing any damaged or missing gaskets or seals. These can be detected during regular inspections of your gas storage containers or tanks.

How do you dispose of gasoline that’s no longer usable?

As gasoline ages, it loses some of its combustibility. That means it’s not as efficient at firing up an engine as it once was. Old gasoline not only degrades but it can also become contaminated, lessening its usable life.

If you have gasoline that is old and no longer usable, it is essential that you dispose of it safely. Do not pour it down the drain. You’ll cause severe damage to your pipes, and it’ll make its way to places where it shouldn’t be. Neither should you dump it on the ground. There’s a good chance you’ll contaminate the soil and water supply if you do. This can kill animals and harm humans as well. Call your county or city waste management agency to find out where hazardous waste disposal facilities are located in your area.

If your gasoline is merely old but not contaminated, you can dilute it with fresh gas to make it usable again. Considering the price of gasoline, this is a viable option in many instances. Ask your gasoline storage specialist how you can do this.

Consult an expert

At Western Oil Services, we’ve been handling energy for nearly seven decades! We know all there is to know about storing gasoline and how to extend its usable life. Our experts are available to answer your questions about storage, disposal, or anything pertaining to gasoline. Feel free to contact us with any questions, whether you’re an existing customer or one that’s contemplating a new relationship with Western Oil. You can reach us via the contact form on our website or by calling 604-514-4787.