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What is the Shelf Life of Gasoline

If you’re planning for emergency situations you may also need to think about storing things like gasoline especially if you need to travel without reliable access to fuel, or for powering tools and generators. Gasoline has a limited shelf life, so whilst having a store is a good idea, it’s not a long term fuel or energy solution if it can’t be replenished.

So, what is the Shelf Life of Gasoline? Gasoline that is kept in a cool, dry place is generally usable for up to three months. Diesel that is kept in a cool, dry place can generally be usable for up to twelve months, though six months is more common.  

How Should You Store Gasoline?

Gasoline needs to be stored properly, which means it needs to be kept in a cool, dry place in order to be usable. It needs to stored carefully, in proper containers as well. This ensures that the gasoline doesn’t leak and also doesn’t break down, both of which could be dangerous.

Many states and local governments have specific regulations about the storage of gasoline. They might tell you where it can and can’t be stored, such as in specific size containers or specific quantities. This is for the safety of your household and others around you.

Approved containers must be specifically designed for gasoline storage and are usually marked as such. They may be red but aren’t necessarily required to be. However, if you’re storing gasoline for home use purposes you may be required to use specific colors or markings.

Next, make sure that your gasoline is stored out of sunlight and also away from anything that gives off heat like a water heater, space heater, or even a furnace. It should also be stored away from anything that ignites, like a pilot light. Even when sealed well, vapors from the gasoline could reach any of these, causing a fire.


If any of the gasoline spills or leaks make sure that you absorb it entirely with sawdust or rags. If the spill is too large you should contact your local government to find out about hazardous waste disposal or cleanup. Even small amounts of gasoline must be disposed of carefully and in proper, marked containers. Not doing so could result in fire or contamination of water sources.

What Can I Use Gasoline For?

Gasoline can be used for a number of different types of products. It can be used for vehicles, lawn mowers, tractors, and even heaters or generators. It’s important to pay attention to what type of fuel your products use, however, as those that are intended to use kerosene or diesel should never be mixed with gasoline.

While most vehicles today still use standard gasoline, more and more are using diesel instead. Also, while some other types of machinery use gasoline, not all of them do either. You will find that many larger pieces of machinery actually use diesel fuel.

Having a good store of gasoline on hand for the items in your home that use it is a good idea, however you will likely also want to have diesel fuel on hand for the items that don’t. And make sure that these two are properly marked so that they don’t get mixed up.

What Are Some Alternatives to Gasoline?

While gasoline is still a very prevalent product and is used in a lot of vehicles and more, it’s not the only fuel source around. There are plenty of other types of fuel you can use for anything from appliances to vehicles and more.

Natural gas

Used in a lot of homes, and especially for appliances and heating. An indefinite shelf life makes this fuel type appealing, however, it’s difficult to store and refill without proper equipment. It’s fine to have this fuel type, but don’t use as your primary source.


A type of liquefied petroleum gas that burns clean and also at high energy. It’s expensive to buy vehicles that run on propane but the propane itself is quite inexpensive. The main benefit is that propane can be stored indefinitely compared to gasoline and diesel, making it a great longer term energy source.


Vegetable and other oils are also referred to as biodiesel and can provide power to current diesel vehicles. They burn clean and are safer than traditional oil forms. Similar to diesel though, they have a 6 month shelf life. The benefit of this form of fuel, is that it’s possible to make it at home. Diesel vehicles can run off biodiesel so it makes it a great replacement for diesel if you need a longer term self sustaining solution.

Solar, wind, hydro electricity

This is a long-term off-grid way to generate power, especially through solar, wind or hydro generators if you have a water source. It requires investment to install solar panels and storage batteries, but is a far better long-term solution than finite fuels. The main disadvantage is that due to their size, they are hard to transport, so if you need to move in a hurry or will be moving relatively frequently, these options won’t be suitable.

What is the Best Form of Fuel for Efficiency?

When it comes to fossil fuels, you’re going to get the biggest bang for your buck from natural gas. It produces more energy than the other types of fossil fuel and is up to 92% efficient for electricity in the home versus coal at approximately 32% efficiency.

When you’re looking at efficiency for vehicles, however, you want to consider diesel fuel, which is exceedingly better than traditional gasoline in powering your vehicle. That’s because it gets a great deal better gas mileage than your standard gasoline vehicles.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for cost efficiency, you’ll get the best results from electricity rather than gasoline of any type to power your vehicle. The cost of the energy your battery takes in to reach a full charge is far less than the cost of gasoline.

The key is deciding which of these types of fuel work best for you and then purchasing as many of the products you need with that fuel source as possible. If you want to stick to electric for energy and fuel, you’ll want to look for electric appliances and an electric car if at all possible.

What Are the Different Types of Gasoline?

When you go to the pump there are three different types of ‘standard’ gasoline available in most cases. These are defined as: regular, midgrade, and premium. But what really are those different types of gasoline? Is there a reason that you should be using one over the other?

Regular gasoline is generally labeled as 87 on the gas pump, which refers to the octane level of the gasoline. It’s the lowest octane available and it’s likely the gasoline that most people choose when pulling up to the pump if they’re looking to save money because it’s also the cheapest option.

Midgrade gasoline is generally labeled as either 89 or 90 and since it falls right in the middle it’s a popular option for those who don’t really know what type of gasoline to get. They generally choose the middle between affordability and perceived quality.

Premium gasoline is generally labeled somewhere between 91 and 94. Some vehicles state that premium gasoline is required and there are some people who choose this gasoline simply because they believe it to be better. It is called premium for a reason, however, as it’s the most expensive of the options for standard gasoline.

How Should I Transport Gasoline?

If you need to transport gasoline for any reason it’s best to do so in a sealed container that is specifically designed for gasoline storage. You want the gasoline can to be upright and secured at all times so that it can’t tip over or spill in any way. Ensure there’s room at the top for some expansion as too much gasoline can cause pressure and fire or even explosion.

Make sure also that you are putting the container as far away from others as you can. Transporting it in the bed of a truck is much better than in the backseat of your vehicle, for example. This is true even if the can is completely empty as gasoline vapors can still be in the can that can then be released into the passenger area of your vehicle. If you have a car or other smaller vehicle secure the can in the trunk of the vehicle and make sure that all of the above are also still true.

When you store the can in the back of your vehicle make sure that there are no flammable items nearby including lighters, other fuel, cigarettes, matches, or open flames. This is true if you are taking the can out of your vehicle to use as well.

How Do You Pump Gasoline into a Container Safely?

The first thing is to make sure that you ground yourself before you take the container out of your vehicle to fill it. You want to be sure you do not have any static electricity before you touch anything that may have gasoline on it.

Next, remove the can from your vehicle and place it on the ground. You want to keep the can off your vehicle and away from the vehicle while pumping gasoline into it, which is going to be the next step in the process.

When you pump the gasoline into the container make sure that you leave some space for expansion at the top of the can. You also want to make sure that you’re using the correct can for the gasoline that you’re pumping, such as a red can for standard gasoline and a yellow one for diesel fuel.

Do Most People Use Gasoline?

In general, most people use gasoline in some form for at least one thing in their household. Because gasoline is used for generators and vehicles and natural gas is used for any of these plus several appliances, it’s common for people to have something (or several somethings) that use this product.

In fact, approximately half of all petroleum products that are currently in use are gasoline. On the other hand, diesel is approximately 20% and kerosene is approximately 8%. The remainder is divided amongst other fuel sources. This means that there are a lot of people using gasoline even if they’re trying to cut back on its use.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we have to continue to use gasoline. There are plenty of other products out there that can be used in its place, like those above. The problem is that for many people switching over to products with different fuel sources can be extremely difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. It can make the process difficult and also deters a lot of people from even trying.

Also, while most people use gasoline there are some who do not. The downside is there are some who use  lot and their use tends to counter those who are doing what they can to cut down on gasoline usage. This means there is still a lot to be done if we want to reduce the amount of gasoline we use.


When it comes to gasoline and storing gasoline it is important to make sure you are careful and attentive about keeping it secure and making sure to dispose of it properly as needed. Be sure you are getting the type of gasoline you need, and storing only as much as you’ll need within a couple of months. Gasoline is not a long term fuel solution, especially in an emergency, and should be used to power your emergency generators, tools and vehicles while you source a more reliable form of electricity.

2 thoughts on “What is the Shelf Life of Gasoline”

  1. I store usually around 100 gallons of gas in 5=6 gallon plastic gas cans. Metal cans are junk and rust and don’t have breathers and are expensive. I use PRI-G stabilizer. It lasts 1 year although I have used gas 2 years old with pri-g and it was fine. Stabil is 10x more expensive per gallon to treat and lasts 6 months at best. I buy midgrade for storage (midgrade here is 87 octane). You can retreat your gas once a year with pri-g and it will last probably 5 years. I rotate my supply so about the oldest it ever gets is 2.5 years. I am looking into putting a hydrogen system on a V8 truck I own. It is cheap and easy to do and has amazing benefits. It mixes hydrogen into the intake vaccum system and add more power, better mpg, cleans your engine, only uses distilled water and baking soda, runs off the alternator it only produces when the engine is running and needs no storage tank. A complete well made system is 160 bucks on ebay. I run mobil-1 in everything, it is cheaper because it lasts 10K miles. Regular oil is 3k. And it way outperforms reg oil and makes your engines last a lot longer.


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