How to store gasoline

With gas prices soaring, many drivers are trying to maximize their gas mileage. Some even stockpile extra gasoline to avoid future price hikes. While hoarding gasoline is a bad idea, it's important to know how to store your spare gasoline efficiently.

How to store gasoline at home?

Gasoline is a volatile liquid and degrades quickly. To store gasoline safely and efficiently for the long term, you should choose a stable type of gas that does not contain ethanol. You must use a container that does not dissolve, usually metal. Finally, you will need to mix in a fuel stabilizer.

You can buy a plastic gas can at a gas station and then fill it with standard pump gas. If you throw it in your trunk, you'll have a supply of gasoline handy, but not for long.

Gasoline will instantly begin to degrade. The plastic from the gasoline storage container will also leach into the fuel. It will lose some of its octane every day. In a few months, it can lose all combustibility.

The most important thing you can do for long-term gasoline storage is to add a fuel stabilizer additive with the gasoline. You can buy a bottle of fuel stabilizer at most gas stations. Gasoline mixed with this stabilizer will last much longer.

To ensure that your fuel lasts as long as possible, you also need to pay attention to the type of gasoline and the type of storage container you choose.

What is the best container for long-term gasoline storage?

Metal containers are the most stable solution for long-term gasoline storage. Plastic gas cans release chemicals into stored gasoline and degrade the fuel over time.

An old metal gas can, its paint peeling off.

A plastic gas can from a gas station is a great short-term storage solution. But that's not a good long-term solution.

If you prefer plastic canisters, opt for military-grade plastic gas canisters. These gas cans have thicker walls and degrade less than cheap plastic gas cans. One brand that makes military-grade plastic cans is Spectre.

Metal gas cans are even better than thick plastic cans. Although metal gas containers eventually rust, they will still last much longer than their plastic counterparts. Forbes recommends the Eagle Galvanized Steel Gas Can. Another option is a military surplus gas can, usually a 5 gallon square container nicknamed a "Jerry" can.

Make sure your container seals properly. If you are concerned about air and gas fumes escaping from the top of your gas can, you can create a secondary seal by laying a plastic bag over the opening of the can and then screwing its cap on this bag.

How long can gasoline be stored?

All gasolines will lose their octane rating over time. According to JD Power, ethanol-blended gasoline can lose its combustibility in just one to three months. Regular gasoline will lose its combustibility in three to six months. With a fuel stabilizer, gasoline can last two years.

A plastic jerrycan full of gasoline, sitting on a barrel in a shed.

Are you worried about the life of gasoline in your tank or in a gas can? First, you can choose a higher octane gasoline. Premium 93 octane gasoline can last 2-3 times longer than regular 87 octane gasoline.

Second, you can choose gasoline with no added ethanol. Ethanol is an organic-based type of fuel, often made from corn. Gasoline containing 10% or 15% ethanol may be cheaper, but it is more volatile. Therefore, it will degrade faster.

Finally, add a fuel stabilizer. A fuel stabilizer is a liquid that you buy by the bottle and pour in with your gasoline. You can pour it into your gas tank or into a gas can. The mixture will last much longer than gasoline.

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