How do you dispose of old and bad gasoline?

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How do you dispose of old and bad gasoline?

Have you ever left a gas can sitting in the shed for a few months too many?

We have all been there. 

But what do you do with bad/old gas when the time comes?

Short of using it as a weed killer or fire starter, below you will find the RIGHT WAY to handle bad gasoline. 

Below you will learn:

  1. How To Identify Bad Gasoline
  2. How to Properly Dispose of Bad Gasoline
  3. Unconventional Methods for Disposing of Bad Gasoline
  4. How to Start an Engine that Has Been Exposed to Bad Gasoline


1. How to Identify Bad Gasoline

Gasoline typically lasts for about 6 months in a container. 

Here's the deal, overtime gasoline oxidizes and loses it’s volatility which can cause issues in lawn mowers or other small machinery. 

While you could identify bad gasoline by trying it in your small engine. If you are like most people, you would rather know beforehand.

These are the signs that your gas may be bad:

  • It will lose its smell, or smell differently,

  • It has become discolored or has debris in it,

  • Water may be present.

Pro Tip! Use a gasoline stabilizing product if you anticipate storing gas for extended periods of time as long as 12 months. 


2. What is the proper way to dispose of bad gasoline?

So when you have determined you have bad gas, and it’s not the kind caused by too many beans. What is the proper way to dispose of the gas?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but starting the weekend bonfire is NOT the proper way to get rid of bad gasoline. 

The proper way to dispose of gasoline is as simple as a few simple steps:

  1. Put the gasoline in a government approved container,

  2. Find a local disposal site by calling your county or city waste management,

  3. Dispose of the bad gasoline at an approved disposal site.

But, if you don’t feel like going through all that trouble, there are a few alternatives you may want to consider. 

3. Alternative Methods For Disposal

So, there are other ways that you can get rid of gas that don’t involve a trip to the local waste management facility. 

Method #1:  Mix it with Good Gasoline  

Let’s face it, at nearly $3 a gallon, you want to use the gas if you can. 

And there is one method that may work for you.

In general, you can mix 50% of good gas with 50% of bad gasoline and use it in your small engine.

Cars are also better at burning bad gasoline than small engines. So adding bad gasoline to your cars tank is also an option.

However, you want to be sure that no water or debris makes it into the mixture. Or you could have bigger issues. 

Method #2: Using Bad Gasoline as Weed Killer?

Look, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

But some have suggested to us that they may use bad gasoline to kill weeds at their home. 

While this may be effective, it is certainly frowned upon, if not outright illegal. 

Instead Consider: If you are looking for eco-friendly alternatives for weed-killer, consider using a weed killing torch. Not only is it a fun way to kill weeds, it is actually highly effective!

Method #3: Just Leave the Top Off

Again, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

Some people have reported to us that they simply leave the cap off of the tank with bad gasoline. 

Eventually it will simply evaporate away

Be aware that gas fumes can be harmful or dangerous in a closed space.


4. Starting a Small Engine that has Bad Gasoline

Well what if you already put bad gasoline in a small engine? 

What next?

Heres what you need to know. Assuming you have been maintaining your lawn mower, and you are sure bad gas is the cause of the issue. Here are a few easy steps to follow to get the engine running again. 

Step #1: Drain the Old Gas

Drain the old gasoline by detaching the gas line below the fuel tank.

Allow the old gasoline to drain into a gas storage tank. This may take a moment. 

Step #2: Drain the Carburetor

If your small engine has a carburetor that is easily accessible, be sure to drain that of bad gasoline as well. 

Additionally, you want to be sure there is no water inside and clean the carburetor with good gasoline or rubbing alcohol. 

Step #3: Add Good Gasoline

Put the carburetor back on, and attach the fuel line. And add a small amount of good gasoline.

Do not add too much gas, as you may need to continue troubleshooting, and may have to drain it again. 

Step #4: Add Rubbing Alcohol to the Tank

If your small engine still won’t start, add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the fuel

Rubbing alcohol can raise the volatility of the gasoline making it easier to ignite, and it can also counter any water that may still be left in the line. 

If it still won't run, and you are sure the cause is bad gasoline, repeat the process. 


Getting Rid of Bad Gas

While disposing of bad gasoline may be a bit of a pain, it’s much simpler, and less embarrassing than getting rid of the other sort of "bad gas". 

Be sure to follow your local state laws and regulations, and ensure that you are getting rid of expired gasoline properly. If you don’t feel like dealing with bad gasoline in your small engine, consider these battery operated lawn care tools

A much better option than getting rid of it at the next bonfire you attend when no one is looking.

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