How to use a gas can properly – Experts answer

What’s the deal with gas cans since we’re talking about them all the time? Yup, there’s been much talk concerning gas cans on this website. However, there’s never enough text about such a delicate subject. An everyday item that can cause havoc isn’t something you’d mess around with!

So, you’ve bought your first car recently? Or: you might be using gas to power your lawnmower? In any case – it’s good you’re equipped with some basic knowledge on handling gas cans! That’s one of the reasons why we’re writing this one in the first place. Anyway, read the article below to find out just how to use a gas can properly!

First of all, make sure the gas can’s on the ground before you start pouring. Remove the cap and open up the vent at the end. Put the nozzle inside and sip gas. Once you’re done, make sure you’ve closed off the cap tightly. Lastly, handle the spillage and transport the gas can(s) safely on your roof rack. 

That, of course, isn’t even 1/5 of what we’ve prepared! Keep on reading to find out exactly what’s in store for today!

Table of Contents

Gas can safety 101

Before we continue speaking about the subject of gas can usage, let’s do something else. In other words: let’s go through some tips and info on gas can (and gasoline en général) safety! As you know, it’s something of a tradition here! So, shall we start?

For how long can you keep gasoline in a gas can?

Now this one requires an answer that ain’t simple. How long can your gasoline stays stored before going bad depends on the type of gas. Also, it relies heavily on the type of container you’re using. If the latter’s not made from HDPE, you’re gonna have a bad time. Anyway, in proper conditions, gasoline can stay stored:

  • up to six months before going bad. That’s the case if we’re talking regular gasoline.
  • from two to three months before going bad. That’s the case if we’re talking ethanol-blended gasoline.
  • from one to three years. That’s the case if we’re talking gasoline with added fuel stabilizer.

Keep in mind all of this stands only if gasoline is properly stored. In other words: if it’s stored in an EPA-approved container. EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency. Even if you’re from The USA, it doesn’t really matter. There’s bound to be a differently-named state agency that bans non-HDPE containers.

What is HDPE?

In short: it’s the material gasoline containers should be made from. It’s a form of high-quality plastic. Also, its full name is High-Density Poly-Ethylene. Wherever you’ve seen gas cans appearing on this site, you’ve also seen this acronym nearby.

If you’re wondering does gasoline dissolve plastic containers, click on the highlighted words.

So, you can’t store gasoline in used milk jugs?

Nope. Don’t even think about it! Storing gasoline in unapproved containers is a most definite NO-NO. All in all: milk jugs are nowhere near approved.

Will a gas can explode if on fire?

There’s a good chance that it will! We’re repeating ourselves for the hundredth time, but gasoline fumes are very flammable. In contact with an open fire source, they can create a total mess.

All in all: a gas can won’t explode on its own. It’ll need an open fire or heating source. That’s why you should always store gasoline in an outside shed or any object outside of your home. More about it in the next paragraph!

Can gasoline be stored outside?

Okay, so we’ve figured that gasoline should be stored outside. What exactly do we mean by that? First things first, have you got an object outside your home, in the backyard? An outside shed, maybe? If so, there’s your storage area!

Gasoline should be kept in a building that’s not the one you’re living in. If you store it in your home, it will represent a serious health risk. Also, the outside shed shouldn’t have any heating systems installed. Additionally, you’ll need to store your gasoline out of the path of direct sun.

Can you leave gas in the lawnmower during winter?

It’s highly unrecommended you do that! Why? Well, because such a decision can be very harmful to your mower’s engine and tank. Here’s the thing: it’ll probably degrade and clog up your mower’s carburetor. Also, it gives a thumbs up to the rusting of the tank (enhances the process). All in all: it can make your engine downright unusable!

Now that we’ve answered all those FAQs, let’s delve deeper into the main theme. Without further ado, let’s see how one properly uses a gas can! 

A girl carrying a red gas can with some sunflowers.

How to use a gas can – Experts answer

We’re almost there! We’ll divide this main section into subsections for clarity! Let’s begin!

How to open a gas can?

The first thing you’ll wanna do is to open the gas can. How strange, right? Anyway, you’ll do this by removing the cap and opening up the went you’ll find at the top. If you’re at a gas station with your can, put the gas can cap to your side.

How to fill a gas can?

Before you do any filling, make sure the gas can’s laid on the ground. Why? Well, just because you wanna avoid filling the can on a plastic surface. The thing is: if the gas can is placed on plastic, sparks may occur. And that’s what you really don’t want at a petrol station.

Next up, pick up the gas pump. Put the nozzle into the can to ensure there’s contact with the inside of it. Squeeze the pump so you enable the gasoline flow.

Here’s the catch: don’t fill the can all the way to the top. You’ll want it to be about 95% full so spills are prevented. Also, this will guarantee that the gas can will handle volume changes. Volume changes that happen due to a change in temperature, that is.

Once the sipping’s done, remove the nozzle first. Make sure to close off the vent at the top. See that the gas can’s cap is back and seal it as tightly as you can. That’s about it!

How to use Scepter gas can?

There’s another thing folks inquire about while browsing the web. The question’s related to a specific brand of gas cans. Of course, we’re talking about Scepter gas cans! So, how do folks use ’em?

First, you’ll give the instructions that came with the can a thorough read. Next up, press & hold the tap down. Use your other hand to unscrew the cap. Now, there are two ledges on the so-called FMD a nozzle might rest on. FMD stands for Flame Mitigation Device.

Anyway, depending on which type of fuel you’re sipping, the nozzle will rest on the first or second ledge.

How to transport the full gas can back safely?

Okay, it’s not supposed to be completely full. Stick to the 95% fullness we’ve mentioned above. So, how does one transport the gas can safely?

First things first, you’ll want to make sure the gas can’s clean. Use a wet cloth to wipe the exterior of the gas can. That way, you’ll guarantee that no gasoline’s left on the outside. If you notice a good amount of gas spilled down the side of the can… Yeah, just spray it with water. Also, if you’re wondering how to clean gasoline off the concrete, click right here.

Here’s one important fact: the passenger seat’s no place to put your gas can. Even though fumes give folks a certain high, they’re extremely poisonous. Also, you’re driving the vehicle so getting high’s definitely not an option. Not to mention the fact it can make a small accident end up being a catastrophe. All in all: you’re risking too much.

Sporting a roof rack?

As you can see, the interior of your car’s not really the place. That’s why it’s best you think about the exterior. Sporting a roof rack or a flatbed truck? If so, put the can upright on the top of your car. Make sure the release valve’s not facing the front of your car.

You’ll wanna use a cable to secure the gas can nicely. It isn’t supposed to move an inch during transport. If you’re totally out of options, consider putting the can in your trunk.

With warm weather, gasoline expands. It’s as if you didn’t already know that one, right? Anyway, warm weather eventually increases the risks of unsafe gas can transport. That’s why you’ll want to transport it directly where it’s supposed to be stored. Additionally, you’ll wanna be as fast as possible (once you’re not driving, of course).

Oh, we’ve prepared a little something before you leave. Here are some additional tips on safe gasoline transport.

Final words

Okay, folks. That’s about it on this little guide on how to use a gas can! As always, we hope you’ve had fun reading the article! For more interesting tips on gasoline usage, visit our blog page!