What plastic can hold gasoline?

Lovely, here’s another chance to mention HDPE in every other sentence! What’s HDPE? Alright, it seems we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. If you’re wondering what the mysterious acronym stands for… Yes, that’s right, it’s a special type of plastic we’ll talk about today!

Okay, so now you have a certain notion of what this text’s all about! How did we come to the idea we’ll write on the subject? Well, many folks are asking Google whether plastic containers can hold gasoline. Or here’s another one: if they can, are we talking about any type of plastic? To find out what type of plastic can hold gasoline, keep on readin’!

Not every type of plastic can hold gasoline. Most types of plastic will eventually end up dissolved by the liquid. However, there’s one type of plastic called HDPE. It’s from this material that the approved gasoline containers are made. It’s your safest option (not to mention: only). 

Now, that’s not even remotely close to what we’ve got prepared for you today! Don’t hesitate to check out the remaining portion of the article!

Table of Contents

Gasoline & plastic FAQ

As always, we’ve pieced together an intro FAQ section. We’ll consider the most interesting questions about the relationship between gasoline and plastic. Our main question’s also one of ’em. But, we’ve reserved a bigger portion of the article for it, so… Yeah, it won’t feel neglected or somethin’. Okay, let’s begin!

Can you keep gasoline in plastic?

The answer depends on what you consider plastic. Both milk jugs and proper fuel containers are made out of this or that type of plastic. However, if you’re thinking of storing gasoline inside milk jugs, well… Just stop thinking about it! It’s way too dangerous.

Keep gasoline in approved containers only; milk jugs don’t quite fit the description. Neither do the anti-freeze jugs nor plastic bags or similar “DIY containers”.

What does gasoline do to plastic?

You’ll wanna know that it will dissolve most plastic containers. That way, it’ll be easier for it to release fumes. In other words: you’ll be putting your whole surroundings at risk. By storing gasoline in unapproved containers, that is!

Wait, will gasoline dissolve milk jugs?

Here’s the simplest answer: yes, it absolutely will! Gasoline has a similar structure (in chemical terms) to plastic. And you know how trendy chemists say: like dissolves like. There are, of course, certain types of plastic that gasoline can’t dissolve. More about ’em later on!

Want more info on this subject? We’ve published an article concerned with the process.

Can you store gas in a 55-gallon plastic drum?

Some folks think it’s alright to store gasoline inside plastic drums. Needless to say, that would be way too irresponsible behavior. You’ll wanna know that most plastic drums aren’t meant to contain gasoline.

Are metal gas cans better than plastic?

Now, one might wonder: are metal cans better than plastic containers? There are experts that say they are. However, it only stands for long-term fuel storage. They also add that metal is able to rust, but will still last longer than plastic.

How long can I store gasoline in a plastic container?

Let’s rephrase the last part:…in an approved plastic container? Now that we’ve underlined that, let’s see the answer. How long will stored gasoline keep its quality depends on the type of substance. Let’s see the differentiation:

  • Regular (unleaded) gasoline. In proper conditions, it’ll last you anywhere from three to six months.
  • Ethanol-blended gasoline. In proper conditions, it’ll last you anywhere from two to three months.
  • Fuel-stabilized gasoline. In proper conditions, it’ll last you anywhere from one to three years.

For more info on this topic, follow this link. Also, there’s a syntagm here that seems to be repeating itself. We’re talking about you, proper conditions.

What are the proper conditions for gasoline storage?

We’ve said this a hundred times, but it’s really never enough. Okay, so how does one go about proper gas storage? You’ll wanna make sure that your gasoline is stored:

  • inside an object outside your home (a shed or separate garage). You shouldn’t be living in the same building as stored gasoline.
  • away from children’s reach; make sure they know not to go near it. You don’t want kids anywhere near your gasoline storage.
  • away from any heating sources (both inside and outside). Make sure containers are out of the path of direct sunlight.
  • in accordance with your local laws and regulations. Also, check your homeowner’s insurance policy on fuel storage.
  • in approved containers (not milk jugs). We’ve already explained this bit.

For some info on proper gas can usage, click right here.

Why’s this so important?

Here’s the reason behind the importance of proper storage: gasoline is highly flammable. That means it can easily create a catastrophe of massive proportions. If gasoline’s not held in proper containers, it will release flammable fumes. In improper conditions, these fumes could easily be set on fire!

Okay, so that’s it for the exciting relationship between gasoline and plastic. It’s time to check out what’s the deal with plastic that can hold gasoline! What’s the magical four-letter acronym we’ve mentioned earlier? Find out in the section below!

Various plastic containers in different colors.

What plastic can hold gasoline?

Okay, so we’re finally gonna tell you what HDPE stands for. Does high-density Polyethylene ring a bell? The mystery’s solved! So, what’s so special about it? Let’s have a look!

HDPE is the approved type of plastic in gasoline container production. As we’ve already said, gasoline will dissolve other types of plastic. Now, it won’t happen right before your eyes as soon as you sip it. Nope. The process might take a while, but still, it’s a serious health hazard. Here’s why!

Gasoline reacts to temperature changes; everyone one of ’em is followed by contractions. HDPE containers are made to withstand these contractions. It’s not like we can say the same about other plastic containers. Lookin’ at you, milk jugs!

Wait a minute, some milk jugs are made from HDPE…

That’s right! However, the material’s too thin to withhold a substance such as gasoline. Oh, and by the way, nice try, milk jugs!

Anything else?

As a matter of fact, yes. HDPE plastic also protects gasoline from heat. That way, it’ll guarantee your gasoline’s safe and sound while stored. You won’t have to worry about it being a threat to your family’s safety or something.

That’s about it on the what-plastic-can-hold-gasoline topic! Now we’ll reward your patience with a bonus round of info! If you’ve ever wondered why are there 3 different types of gasoline, here’s the answer.

Bonus round: Why are there 3 different types of gasoline?

Even the birds in the trees know that there are three gasoline types. We’re talking: regular, midgrade, and premium gasoline. However, it’s good to know why things are the way they are. In other words: where do the three of these “disagree”? They differ in octane levels:

  • Regular gasoline usually has an 87 octane level. Most cars require you to use this type of fuel.
  • Midgrade gasoline usually has an 89-90 octane level. Only about seven percent of vehicles require this type.
  • Premium gasoline usually has a 91-93 octane level. The most expensive of the bunch; ten percent of cars use it.

Keep in mind that these might differ from state to state. Or: country to country. To know which one you need to use, check your owner’s manual. Also, many folks wonder if you should use premium gas with regular vehicles. Let’s see the answer!

Can you use premium gas with a regular vehicle?

To tell you the truth: you can, but don’t expect your car to run better. Your car’s performance will stay the same. You’ll only spend more money on gasoline.

What about using regular gas with a premium car? We’re right on it!

Can you use regular gas with a premium vehicle?

The situation’s a bit different here. We’ve already said nothing will happen if you put premium gas in a regular vehicle. However, putting regular gas inside a premium car isn’t recommended. In other words: it’s not like only nothing will happen. Such user behavior will have an effect on the warranty.

Using regular gas with a premium vehicle will result in so-called detonations. Needless to mention, they can do some harm to certain parts of your car’s engine.

For more interesting info on the topic, check out this article we’ve written about mixin’ the two types. And this brings us closer to the end of today’s text.

Parting thoughts

That’s about it on the topic of plastic that can withstand gasoline storage and other info. Hopefully, you’ve learned something new today! Next time you think about storing gasoline in milk jugs… Yeah, one could get the idea we’ve got something against milk jugs in general. Trust us – that’s not the case!

For more tips on gasoline use and storage, visit our blog page with lots of interesting articles!