How to Dispose of Kerosene: 4 Simple Ways

Kerosene is a common fuel used in lamps and heaters. Despite its convenience, kerosene can be highly harmful to our health. Though it is efficient, it can harm the environment if not disposed of properly.

Kerosene contains several toxic chemicals known to irritate the skin and respiratory system, as well as nausea and dizziness. It is highly flammable and produces high levels of air pollution when burned, which can negatively affect humans and animals.

While it may be tempting, kerosene should be considered a dangerous substance that should be avoided whenever possible. This article will discuss how to dispose of kerosene safely and why it is important.

What is Kerosene?

Kerosene is a clear, colorless liquid that is derived from petroleum. Kerosene is a liquid hydrocarbon fuel that is derived from petroleum. Its name derives from the Greek keros meaning wax; this was the original name of this product before it became a trademark in 1854 by a Canadian geologist. It has many uses, including fuel for lanterns, torches, and stoves.

Kerosene is also occasionally used as fuel for small engines and camping stoves. Due to its high flash point, kerosene is also commonly used as a cleaning solvent and fuel for jet engines.

Kerosene is generally safe to use and handle but can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. Kerosene fumes can also be explosive, so it is important to use kerosene products in well-ventilated areas.

How to Dispose of Kerosene?

kerosene disposal
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1. Local Recycling Center

The best way to dispose of kerosene is to take it to a local recycling center that accepts hazardous materials. Pour the kerosene into a large container, such as a drum, and seal it up tightly. You can then take the sealed container to a recycling center.

If you can’t find a recycling center that accepts kerosene, you can also contact your local waste management company to see if they have any recommendations.

2. Drain it

You can also dilute the kerosene with water and pour it down the drain. However, you should only do this if you are sure that your local sewer system can handle the amount of kerosene being disposed of. You should also never pour kerosene directly into a storm drain, as this can contaminate local waterways.

3. Dump it

If you must dispose of kerosene on your own, you can pour it into a container such as a coffee can and then bury it in the ground. Be sure to mark the burial site’s location so that you can find it later and remove the kerosene safely.

4. Ignite it

If you have kerosene that you need to dispose of, you can also pour it into a fire pit and light it on fire. Caution! Be sure to do this in an open area where there is no danger of the fire spreading. But the recommendation is not to dispose of kerosene in this way.

Importance to Dispose of Kerosene 

While it is relatively safe for home chores, kerosene is highly flammable and can cause fires if not handled carefully. If you must dispose of kerosene, it is important to do so in a way that minimizes the risk of harming yourself.

Improper disposal of kerosene can lead to contamination of soil and water supplies. In addition, kerosene fumes can harm the respiratory system, and improper ventilation can lead to fires. For these reasons, it is important to dispose of kerosene properly. 

Tips for Safely Handling and Storing Kerosene

  • The ideal storage temperature for kerosene is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Kerosene should not be stored near heat sources, such as furnaces, fireplaces, or heaters, as this could cause the fuel to ignite. The storage container should also be kept cool and dry to prevent the fuel from spoiling.
  • Kerosene quickly evaporates if left unsealed, so it is important to keep the container tightly closed when not in use. This will help keep the fuel fresh and prevent it from evaporating completely.
  • It is important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using kerosene lamps or heaters. This will help ensure the safe and proper operation of the device. Improper use of these devices can result in fire or injury.
  • Never leave an open flame burning when you are done using kerosene. Make sure to extinguish all flames before leaving the area. This will help prevent accidental fires from starting.

Kerosene is a dangerous substance that should be avoided whenever possible. Though it has some uses, it is important to handle and store kerosene carefully to avoid accidents or environmental contamination.


Now that you know all the information on how to dispose of kerosene, so follow these steps next time you need to get rid of any kerosene. Please let us know in the comment section below if you have any questions!


Can you burn old kerosene?

Yes, you can burn old kerosene. Old kerosene can be burned but may not burn as efficiently as fresh kerosene.

What is the shelf life of kerosene?

Kerosene has a relatively long shelf life and does not degrade significantly over time. However, it can eventually become murky if not stored correctly. It should also be stored in airtight containers to prevent evaporation. Kerosene can last for years without significant degradation if it is stored properly.

How long is spilled kerosene flammable?

When kerosene spills, it can pose a serious fire hazard. The length of time that spilled kerosene remains flammable depends on several factors, including the temperature and humidity of the environment. In general, kerosene will remain flammable for several hours after a spill.

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