Here’s How to Dispose of Old Gasoline


Updated on

Having a hard time trying to find out how to dispose of old gasoline that has been sitting in your old gas tank for ages?

Or are you wondering if your gas is too old?

Maybe you want to know if you can repurpose your old gas instead of just dumping it down the drain.

Rest assured, you’re not alone on this. When your gas is left unused for a while, it will naturally degrade and lose its combustibility because of oxidation in due time.

Old gasoline can be a massive headache since you can’t just dispose of it anywhere at your own will, it is considered a hazardous waste.

Here are a few things that you may want to look into that might just be what you’re looking for.

old gasoline cans in old shed to be disposed


Gasoline is considered a “hard to dispose” hazardous waste item, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually hard to dispose of it properly.

Top methods of disposing of old gasoline

Start by looking for a waste disposal site at your own locality or the nearest one you can find.

If you’re living in the cities, most of them will have a hazardous waste disposal center where you can dispose of your old gas. If that’s convenient enough for you, go ahead.

You could also contact your nearby fire department and ask for guidelines about where to bring the old gas. Fire departments will usually be willing to take the old gas for you. They could either dispose of it for you or repurpose it given the state of the gas.

Some cities hold hazardous household events throughout the year, so be on the lookout for any in your city or county.

Pro-Tip: Always Call Ahead, not all centers are open to the public or they might have specific hours for drop offs. 

How Does a Waste Disposal Site Work?

They are a location that is designation as a safe space to dispose of waste, and for some they can dispose of hazardous waste.

After locating a waste disposal site near you, give them a call.

You’ll want to ask:

  • Are they open to the public?
  • When do they accept drop-offs?
  • What containers do they prefer?
  • Largest quantity they’ll accept?
  • Is there a fee? Card and/or cash?

After asking a few questions you will be able to suss out if this location is an option for you.


It is quite surprising for some when they find out that gasoline goes bad or too old to use.

But, it does get bad and too old to be effective after a while.

Often old gas may have been sitting in your car that’s be unused for awhile or in the forgotten gas can in the back of the shed.

If you are unsure as to whether your gas is too old to use, here’s a quick run-by of how long gas can usually last.

  • Gasoline that has been stored correctly in a sealed can or a metal tank can usually last for a period of 3 to 6 months.
  • Gasoline containing ethanol has a higher oxidization speed because of the blended ethanol in the gas and can last up to 3 months.
  • Pure gasoline will usually last for a minimum of 6 months due to the slow process of oxidization.
  • Gasoline with fuel stabilizers can have a storage span of one to three years, depending on the product.

One thing you could do to find out if your gas has become old is by comparing your stored gas to freshly pumped gas.

Get two plastic cups and pour older gasoline into one cup, and fresh gas into another. Compare the colors.

If your stored gas color is darker than the fresh one and has a somewhat sour smell, it has probably gone bad and old.

Fresh gas will typically have a yellowish tint. If you notice that your gas has turned orange, you may be looking at old gas.


  • Dumping of gas is considered illegal. Depending on where you live, you may have to pay a fine to get yourself off the hook or even serve jail time.
  • If you’re thinking of how to dispose of old gas and sending it down the drain is what you have in mind, think again. You might end up damaging your pipes and contaminating the local water. This will endanger the lives of both yourself and the people who live near you.
  • Similarly, if you dump it on your land you will pollute your soil, and your dumped gas can seep into local water sources which endangers the people, animals, and vegetation in your community.

Most people probably never thought this through, but dumped gas comes with its fair share of risks.

Your old gas is better off being dumped safely and legally. It might prove somewhat inconvenient, but it’s not worth the risks when disposing of it properly is fairly easy really.


You may be asking yourself if you can repurpose old gas, and technically yes you can.

There are a couple of things you can use your old gas for, but realize it won’t have as “umph” and fresh gasoline.

For instance, you can use your old gas in your lawnmower or a snowblower. But keep in mind that old gas is usable up to a certain extent, but contaminated gas is not ideal for repurposing.

Using your old gas in smaller machines with an engine is one thing, but don’t try to use it in a vehicle.

Often some of the places that are willing to take your old gasoline will repurpose it if you are worried about it going unused.

How to Repurpose Old Gasoline

If you are really interested in trying to repurpose your old gasoline, here is how you can do just that.

Warning: Gasoline is a hazardous and flammable, there is a risk of contaminating your property or starting a fire. Consider this with strong caution, and do it at your own risk. Essentially, be careful.

What you’ll need:

  • Glass jar [i.e. mason jar]
  • Funnel
  • Small Red Gasoline Container

How to Determine if Old Gasoline Can Be Repurposed

Total Time: 2 minutes

Pour Sample into Glass Jar

Using the funnel if needed, pour a small amount of old gasoline into a glass jar (such as a mason jar).

Examine Color & Any Sediment

Make sure it is not a super dark color, and see if there is any sediment that falls to bottom of glass jar.

Check for Odor

Does the old gasoline have strong odor? If so, then it is not able to be repurposed.

Filter into Red Gas Container

If you determined the fuel is clean, follow the video guide below of EPA approved method of filtering and repurposing old gasoline.


  1. Inspect whether the gas is old or contaminated. If it is old, it will turn darker than its usual color. But if it has rust, dirt or is starting to lose color, it is contaminated and not safe for use.
  2. Get rid of gasoline spills. If you spilled gas over your clothes, clean yourself up instantly otherwise gasoline can cause combustion.
  3. Inhaling of gasoline is harmful; avoid it as much as possible
  4. If you get gasoline on your skin, wash it off properly with cool water
  5. If you accidentally swallow gas, drink milk immediately and call the poison helpline or consult a doctor.

Last Thoughts…

The best course of action is to be cautious and use up all the gasoline in your tank. Though, if you end up with old gasoline always remember safety first.

If gas gets old, it won’t burn properly inside the engine (NEVER use in a car engine).

It will also contaminate the environment if you dump it without thinking about the environment, and potentially lead to a large fine if you’re caught.

Therefore, it is recommendable that you purchase only the amount of gas you need to use to avoid it going to waste. Don’t store it for “potential use”.