With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rising fuel costs and uncertainty, lots of people will be thinking about stockpiling some gasoline. Storing gasoline isn’t as straightforward as you might think though. In fact, did you know that gasoline can deteriorate and start to break down in as little as 30 days… Read on and find out how to store and keep gasoline fresh for up to two years.
If you simply buy gasoline and store it in a sealed container, it has a shelf-life of around six months if stored at 20 degrees centigrade. This drops to just three months if kept at 30 degrees centigrade. Basically, the higher the ambient temperature the more quickly gasoline will go deteriorate and become unusable.
How to Keep Gasoline Fresh for Longer
You can increase the shelf-life and keep gasoline fresh for up to two years by adding a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers are additives that you add to your gasoline that dramatically increase its shelf-life. STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer claims to keep gasoline fresh and usable for 24-months. There are other fuel stabilizers available, but STA-BIL is the market leader and is highly recommended.
Adding a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL is far and away, the single best thing that you can do to increase the shelf-life of stored gasoline. STA-BIL is not just for stored gasoline, it can also be used directly in infrequently used generators and vehicles to keep their fuel fresh for longer.
As well as using a fuel stabilizer, you want to store your gasoline somewhere cool, ventilated, out of direct sunlight and away from any ignitions sources. The storage location should be secure, out of reach from kids and ideally be away from your house. Outbuilding and sheds are obvious choices. Never store gasoline outside. It’s not safe or advisable for a number of reasons.
When storing gasoline for the long-term, rotation is key! As you use it, don’t forget to rotate your gasoline, using the oldest first and so on…
What Should I Store Gasoline in?
If you are only storing a small amount of gasoline, 1-gallon or less, small plastic gas cans are sufficient. They are very cheap and are considered fine for small quantities of gasoline.
If you are looking to store more gasoline, I think 5-gallon gas cans are ideal. I know that the plastic ones are much cheaper, but it is much safer to invest in some high-quality 5-gallon steel gas cans. It’s just not worth the risk to store larger quantities of gasoline in lower quality, cheap plastic containers. When buying steel canisters, please make sure that they are designed specifically for storing gasoline.
IMPORTANT — No matter whether you are storing gasoline in a 1-gallon or 5-gallon canister, it is recommended to only fill the canister to approximately 95% capacity to allow for expansion.
How Much Gasoline to Store?
How much gasoline to store is the subject of another post. It will boil down to your individual needs and for what, and how long you are preparing for. One thing I would say is – depending on where you live, there may be local restrictions on how to store gasoline and how much you are allowed to store. Check locally to find out if there are any restrictions.
Some Further Tips & Guidelines
Here are some API (American Petroleum Institute) gasoline storage guidelines for safe handling and storage. Also, here is a great post from the Art of Manliness about storing gasoline at home for DIY purposes. The post isn’t covering the storage of large quantities of gasoline, but the advice is still relevant.