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What Do You Do With Old Gas In A Gas Can (How To Dispose of Old Gasoline)

old gas in gas can

We all have them. Gas cans that have been sitting around for god knows how long. And in the bottom of that gas can is a salvagable amount of gasoline. 

But then you realize just how old that gas is and come to terms with the fact that your just going to have to get rid of it. But what do you do with old gas in a gas can? 

In this article, I’m going to lay out a few different things you can do to properly dispose of that old gasoline. 

What Do You Do With Old Gas In A Gas Can

If you think that the old gas you’ve got stored in that gas can is beyond rejuvenating, and it is too old to mix with new gasoline, you need to dispose of it.

And as you know, even old gasoline is highly combustible and can be very dangerous to you and to the environment. So you need to dispose of the gas safely. 

Here’s how.

Check Local Ordinances

First, you need to check your local city ordinances and the laws of surrounding areas. These rules will let you know how (and where) to legally dispose of old gasoline.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Center

Next, you can use a site like Earth911 to find local recycling centers that might take the fuel. If a recycling center is not available, you can contact waste disposal sites, or possibly the local fire station. A garage or vehicle service center might take the gas as well. If you are having trouble finding a location, contact your local government, and they should be able to help.

Once you know where to take the old gas, you will need to put it into a proper storage container for transportation. Commercially available gas cans are safe to use as long as you make sure that they won’t spill as you drive.

Call ahead to make sure the facility is ready and able to accept old gasoline and follow any additional instructions that they require. If you are lucky, you might find a local facility that will pick up the old gas for a small fee.

Fire Department

There are some towns and fire districts throughout the country that are willing to take old gasoline and dispose of it for you or even repurpose it. Of course, this depends on the specific fire department and what their policies are. 

If your needing to do something with your old gas, it might be worth a quick phone call to your local fire department. Even if they don’t take gasoline themselves, chances are they’ll know where you can take it.

Mix to Rejuvenate

If you don’t think the gas is too old and still might have a chance at being useable, then it might be worth trying to mix it with fresh fuel to try and rejevenate it.

Simply mix the old gas with new gas from the gas station at a 1-to-3 or 1-to-4 ratio. Personally, I wouldn’t use it in my car unless it was an emergency, but you can try using this rejuvenated blend in our lawnmower or other small engine.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to add a fuel stabilizer to or other fuel additive to it as well, just as an extra precaution.

How To Know When Gas Is Old

In reality, it’s pretty difficult to know how old gas is. But there are a couple of things you can do to do to check. 


First thing you can do is check the color of the gas compared to new fuel. As gasoline ages, it tends to become darker in color. To do this, simply pour a small sample of the old gas into a mason jar. Do the same with the new gas. Now you can see the color clearly.


Sometimes the smell of gas can also be tell tale sign that it’s past it’s now old. As gasoline ages it begins to break down. This process of deterioration can sometimes give off a foul odor. If you detect a sour scent or it smells spoiled, the gas has probably gone bad. 

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