10 Uses for Old Gasoline: Practical Ideas to Put It to Work

During any emergency, the first two things to run out are water and fuel. That’s why every serious prepper has at least a small amount of extra gas stored somewhere, especially in a rural area or one prone to natural disasters.

Unfortunately, given its short shelf life, old gas is not always suitable for your best transportation. However, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s not useful. 

Old gasoline can be repurposed in many useful ways.

1. Bug or Weed Killer

Dandelions in field

It might not be the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of bugs and weeds, but it can’t be any worse than the toxic petroleum-based herbicides and pesticides already in use. 

Herbicides and pesticides are quite expensive, so repurposing your old gas could save you a few bucks. 

Spray a little gas over an ant pile and it’ll be gone in no time. You don’t even have to light it. You can also spray it along the cracks in your sidewalk where those pesky weeds grow.

Of course, gasoline is flammable until it evaporates. So please exercise caution and a little common sense. 


2. Fire Starter

Old gasoline might not be suitable for your vehicle, but it’s great for getting a fire going in a pinch. This is quite useful when clearing land to dispose of brush, undergrowth, and tree stumps. 

It can also be useful for lighting wood or debris in wet or windy conditions. Old gasoline can help keep the wood burning while simultaneously drying it out. 


3. Mix With Good Fuel

Some preppers collect petroleum-based fuels, filter them, and then mix them with diesel fuel at a 1:10 ratio. This mixed fuel can then be used with diesel engines. 

Likewise, some opt to mix their old gas with new gas at a ratio of one gallon of old fuel to twenty gallons of fresh fuel. Follow that up with some fuel cleaner and then repurpose it into your engine. 

Alternatively, others suggest using a quart of old fuel with each full tank of gas. 

Some preppers only repurpose their fuel with smaller 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines. But in a desperate situation, it might be just what you need to get the heck out of Dodge.


4. Multi-Fuel Stoves and Lanterns

You can use your old gasoline as a fuel source for multi-fuel camping stoves and lanterns. Use it for cooking and lighting campsites or even during power outages. 

Take caution though. The additives used in fuel to improve engine performance eat away at your fuel reservoir over time. It’s useful in an emergency but not something you want to do all the time. 


5. Benghazi Burner

During an SHTF scenario, you can even make a Benghazi burner for heat like the Allies did in World War II. Fill a large metal container with sand, douse it with your old gas, and strike a match. 

This can provide a good source of heat and even gets hot enough to cook on. In dire straits, you’ll be more focused on where your next meal comes from long before you worry about the hydrocarbons released onto your food.


6. Degreaser

In past decades, gasoline was commonly used in households across the country as a degreaser. I even remember using it on bicycle chains as a kid. 

When it comes to solubility like dissolves like. Since gas, oil, and grease are all hydrocarbons with varying lengths of chains, old gas used to be a cheap and easy method for cleaning and degreasing all your tools after working in the shop all day. 


7. Waste Oil Heater

If you happen to have a waste oil heater, some people opt to mix small amounts of their old gasoline with their waste oil to run through their heaters. However, doing so very likely voids your warranty. 


8. Make Pure Gasoline

Depending on how old your gasoline is, you can rejuvenate it or purify it. It’s possible to eliminate the ethanol from your gasoline altogether. Place your fuel in a semi-opaque container that has a petcock at the bottom. Then add a gallon of distilled water to your fuel. 

The water helps separate the ethanol and gasoline, which will settle to the bottom. Once settled, drain the ethanol and water and you’re left with pure gasoline. 

Add some fuel stabilizer, and you’re all set. 


9. Molotov Cocktail

When armageddon arrives and all the bullets have run out, don’t fret. You can still make up a few Molotov cocktails with your old gasoline. Just make sure to use a good bottle that breaks easily on impact. 

Rumor has it cheap wine bottles work the best. 


10. Burn Human Waste

No kidding. Scat detail is a real thing employed by armed forces across the globe. Troops in the field don’t have the luxury of a lavatory. So to dispose of their waste, they burn it. Because no one wants to volunteer for the job, it’s often used as a form of punishment for those that don’t mind their p’s and q’s. 

Of course, I know from first-hand experience just how hazardous this can be to your health, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless it’s just an absolute must. Burning human feces, or anything else for that matter, results in all kinds of irritants caused by smoke inhalation:

  • Eye, throat, and skin irritation
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Lung and respiratory issues
  • Coughing and chest pain
  • Headache and nausea

However, during a crisis when the entire infrastructure has failed, it may be one of only a few options for controlling human waste, which is essential for avoiding disease. Gasoline is often mixed with diesel to accomplish this dirty duty. 

So don’t dispose of your old, stale gas. You might find it super handy in the future.


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