How to Dispose of Kerosene: 8 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.

8 Simple Ways 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.

5. Recycle Kerosene

Recycling kerosene is an excellent option for disposing of unused or leftover kerosene. Kerosene can be recycled at a recycling center or hazardous waste disposal facility. Many communities offer such facilities to help residents properly dispose of dangerous materials, including kerosene.

When recycling kerosene, it must be in a tightly sealed container and labeled clearly. Some recycling centers may require you to schedule an appointment or follow specific instructions for unloading the kerosene.

Be sure to follow all guidelines to ensure safe and proper disposal. Do not pour the kerosene down the drain or into the trash, which can lead to environmental contamination.

6. Use a Burner

Another safe way to dispose of kerosene is by using a burner. This method works by burning off the kerosene in a controlled environment, ensuring no hazardous fumes are released into the air.

To use a burner, place the kerosene in a specialized container designed for burning. These containers are made of metal and have a tight-fitting lid to prevent leaks or spills. The container should be placed on a fire-resistant surface and away from flammable materials.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the burner to ensure safe disposal. The burner should have a lid to control the flame and a vent to release fumes. After the kerosene has been burned off, let the container cool before disposing of it in the trash.

7. Contact Your Local Government

Your local government may have specific regulations on how to dispose of kerosene. You can ask your city or county government about their kerosene disposal policies. They may offer a pickup service or provide you with a list of licensed waste haulers to dispose of the kerosene safely.

If your local government offers a pickup service, they typically provide you with a container to place the kerosene in. The container must be labeled clearly and left outside for the pickup crew. Follow any guidelines your local government provides to ensure safe and proper disposal.

8. Donate Kerosene

If you have a small amount of new kerosene in good condition, consider donating it to someone who can use it. You can contact friends, neighbors, or local charities to see if they need kerosene for heating or cooking. Donating kerosene is an eco-friendly way of disposal, and you will be helping someone in need.

When donating kerosene, place it in a tightly sealed container and label it clearly. You can also include instructions on using the kerosene safely, such as using it in a well-ventilated area and keeping it away from flames or heat sources.

Benefits of Disposing of the Kerosene

Disposing of kerosene properly has several benefits, including:

  1. Protecting the environment: Kerosene is a hazardous material that can harm the environment if not disposed of correctly. Proper disposal prevents environmental contamination and protects the soil, water, and air from pollution.
  2. Promoting safety: Kerosene is a flammable liquid and can pose safety risks if not handled and disposed of properly. By using safe disposal methods, such as recycling, burning, or contacting your local government, you reduce the risk of accidents and protect yourself and others.
  3. Saving money: Recycling kerosene or donating it to someone in need can save you on disposal fees. Some communities charge a fee for hazardous waste disposal, so you can avoid these costs using safe disposal methods.
  4. Helping others: Donating unused kerosene to someone in need is a great way to help others while promoting eco-friendly practices. This is especially important during winter when heating bills can be high, and many families struggle to afford heating fuel.
  5. Compliance with regulations: Properly disposing of kerosene is required by law in many jurisdictions. You comply with these regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties by following safe disposal methods.

Disposing of kerosene properly is essential to protect the environment, promote safety, save money, help others, and comply with regulations. Following the safe disposal methods outlined in this article, you can dispose of kerosene safely and responsibly.

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.

What do you do with kerosene?

Kerosene can be used for cooking, lighting, and heating in households. It can also be used to power certain appliances, such as refrigerators.

However, due to its high cost, kerosene heating is not commonly used in temperate or highland areas of developing countries.

Can kerosene evaporate?

Yes, kerosene can evaporate. The evaporation rate depends on the surrounding environment’s temperature and pressure. At higher temperatures and lower pressures, kerosene evaporates more quickly.

However, the evaporation rate may reach a maximum and decrease at extremely high temperatures.

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