What happens if you put gasoline in a plastic bag?

Many of us must keep some gas around our houses. We need it to operate lawnmowers, chainsaws, and so on. Yet, if kept improperly, fire or blast could result in destroying the home. Also, it can cause rendering injury or death. Gas is a by-product that exists to fuel inner combustion engines.

It is a favorably volatile liquid. Moreover, its steam can be ignited easily by a spark, flame, or another burning object. When combined with air in the right ratios, what happens? The vapor of one cup of gas has a volatile power of about five pounds of dynamite. This is a sufficiently damaging force to destroy any home or car.

Truly, other risks can happen by the wrong handling and storage of gas.  For instance, using these materials in the wrong motor or device and poisoning. Let’s peek into some secure ways to manage and store gasoline.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that this is a very risky and absurd thing to do. Also, gasoline can dissolve in some kinds of plastic, directing to risky leakage. A sole spark could generate a life-threatening fire.

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What happens if you fill a plastic bag with gasoline?

We saw the panic caused by the short-term gasoline shortage during the pandemic, only a few months ago.

These shortages caused panic at first. Yet, it also caused silly, irrational behavior among some drivers. For example, we saw people at the gas station trying to fill plastic bags or bottles with gasoline.

Even the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that this is very perilous and absurd. Please don’t get this wrong and do not take what we are about to advise you as a wrong thing.

What have we learned from this previous pandemic crisis? Well, when fear takes over, common sense dies.

You all know what we mean. Truly, in the past two years, you have seen in action what fear does to people and how it makes them do irrational things.

Even the commission wrote on social media something similar. It may sound simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly. They take risks that can have deadly consequences. This was their warning, released through public media.

Proper containers

How many times have you seen individuals putting gasoline inside milk jugs? Also, placing it in the trunk of the vehicle or the back of the truck to take it home?

Are you wondering how they make it home without the car exploding? Or maybe how do they keep the house from burning days later when the fuel extends? Likely rupturing the jug or blowing the top off? Milk jars, anti-freeze jars, glass receptacles and many ‘gas cans’ are not suitable for transporting or storing gasoline safely.

Some plastics become crispy with age and are incompatible with gasoline. Other cans are not strong enough to resist the forces of expansion and contraction induced by temperature changes. In addition, some cans sold as gas cans usually cannot be sealed well enough to contain spilling.

There is more

The best cans for holding gasoline are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) safety containers. Safety cans are available in many sizes and have various agents for unlocking the valve to pour the gas. Funnel taps can be counted to make pouring easier and lower spills.

Yes, the cost is rather more than the cheap cans at the hardware store. Still, they are much more secure and will outlast several of the others. Both UL and FM have specific conditions which must be met before a safety can is permitted to carry their approval. The primary elements of safety cans, as required by the testing laboratories, are documented below:

  • Stability: The cans must stay steady when loaded and placed on a 30-degree slope. This goes without saying!
  • Leakage: What happens when a filled safety can is flipped? In that case, the valve cannot leak more than four drops per minute for five minutes or 10 minutes. This test must be passed before and after 5,000 (FM) or 10,000  standard opening/closing functions of the valve. What is more, the stitching and joints are looked at under pressure for leaks.
  • Strength: UL tests the body power with a hydrostatic test of 25 psi. FM tests the power of the spout and carrying handle. It does this by spreading loads from 25-125 pounds on the pouring spout. Also, from 75-250 pounds on the handle, depending on the size of the can.
  • Non-metallic materials: If the can does not consist of metal, extra test requirements must be met. The can must be compatible with different flammable liquids, impervious to gasoline and it must meet punch resistance requirements.

Hauling gasoline in vehicles

There will be times when it is required to carry a safe container of gasoline in your car or truck. Yet, try to keep it to a minimum. Carrying gasoline can be risky. When you must carry gas, lock the container. Do it so that it will not slide around or tip over if you need to make stops or turns. Empty the container as soon as you get to the location.

When you get the gas home

Keeping gas and other highly flammable liquids at home is also risky if not done properly. The best way to store gasoline is in a well-ventilated area detached from the house. The site should have no electrical tools, open flames, or other origins of ignition. Also, the location should be saved from the heat of the burning sun to keep evaporation to the lowest level.

Do not store gasoline in the cellar of your home or the utility room. Never do this! The heater, water heater, garments dryer, or any of several other items may ignite fumes that may leak from the can and cross significant distances.

What if you do not have proper storage space? In that case, think about building a cabinet outside your house for storage. Or perhaps purchasing a commercially available combustible liquid storage cabinet.

In addition, never put gasoline or any other nonfood material in a can that corresponds to a food container. Hold gasoline and other hazardous materials locked up. These techniques will stop children or pets from getting to the material and being poisoned by accident.

Never smoke when operating with gasoline. Bear in mind to never refuel a hot or running motor. Take a break if you must smoke or let the motor cool down. If fuel is spilled, wipe it up instantly. Before starting the motor, move no less than 25 feet away from the fueling site to avoid igniting gas vapors which are weightier than air and may linger for some time.

Tip: Bear in mind knowing how to start the car with a poor fuel pump. This can be rather helpful sometimes!

Can gasoline dissolve in plastic?

Yes, gasoline can dissolve in certain kinds of plastic, leading to risky leakage. A spark alone could cause a life-threatening fire. Officials recommend using only an approved container for storage. The same goes for the transport of flammable liquids.

If it dissolves plastic, why doesn’t gasoline melt a plastic gas container? After all, there are so many different types of plastic, and, not all plastics are alike, per se.

Some types of plastics will stand up to gasoline, but that doesn’t mean that all plastic containers are safe. They have to be approved by the authorized body. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for approving fuel containers.

Approved cans are also color-coded: red is for gasoline, yellow for diesel, blue for kerosene, and green for other combustibles. These liquids are different in so many ways, and should not be mixed.

Tip: Many people want to know these days what causes orange gas. Is the contamination behind this or is there something else?


What about venting and pressure?

First of all, as its name says, gasoline is a liquid that wants to be in gas form instead. Gasoline evaporates over time and much faster in hot temperatures. Also, its fumes are extremely flammable, and dangerous.

This is why you need to keep it in a cool place like a shed or a garage but have in mind to place it away from your house.

Moreover, if you want to store a large quantity of gasoline on your property, you will need a special permit. Check your local regulations. In many areas, you can’t have more than 25 gallons of gasoline in your possession.

And to resume in the end, if it comes to gasoline shortage again in close future. It probably will use a proper gas can for storage of your gasoline, don’t use a plastic bag.

Tip: There are multiple amazing tricks for saving fuel on the motorway. Make sure you learn what they are just in case!