Restoring stale gasoline


Has anybody here had any good success or bad experiences with any particular gasoline restorer?
I have a can of old lawnmower gasoline that’s clearly going stale and would like to restore it, but there’s so many false claims out there for additives that I thought I’d seek some experiences.


Much of todays gasoline is not “natural” gasoline, a straight run distillate derived from crude oil which is very stable and can be stored a long time…Today, refineries make gasoline by “Cat-Cracking” heavier base oils, all the way down to asphalt…They can create gasoline out of almost any petroleum product…The problem is, this “cracked” gasoline is somewhat unstable and over time it breaks down into various heavier products that can be almost varnish like. Once this breakdown begins, there is no additive product that can “restore” it back to usable form. Most gasoline will stay usable for at least a year if stored in a sealed container and kept reasonably cool…You can prevent this breakdown by using a stabilizer when the gas is fresh but you can’t restore it once it has started to break down…The color of the gasoline changes from almost clear to a dull orange color…Disposing of “Hazardous Waste” such as this can be difficult.


Now that you mention disposal, I think I’ll ask the guys at the town dump if they can use it in their boiler. They have a system designed to burn used motor oil. I’ve never checked, but perhaps it has a wide tolerance for petroleum based fuels.


A can? Like a gallon can? You want to try to restore a gallon ($4 worth) of gas? Drive to the gas station, empty it into your car, add 20 gallons to fill the tank, pump a fresh gallon in the can, and be done with it.


Yup, a gallon can. Good suggestion ase, but I’d rather either restore it to use in my lawnmower (if possible) or get rid of it. There are additives that say they can do this, but I don’t have any confidence in their label claims without at least some anecdotal evidence from an uninvested third party or two to back the claims up. I get picky about my car.


Given the cost of replacing the gallon of gas, I’d just stop by my neighborhood garage and dump it in their waste oil.

Just out of curiosity, how much would an additive cost to restore a gallon of gas? Since gas is such a cheap commodity (really, when you think about it), I can’t see how anyone could make money restoring it.


Some people can find ways to make money out of anything. You can even buy an additive to solidify unused paint, since dumps won’t take it anymore. Regulations have gotten to the point now where nobody can get rid of anything anymore, even at the dump. My greatest fear is that people will start dumping things in the woods like they did many decades ago. It’s another case of overregulation and the “law of unintended consequences”.

Unless I find some additive that will restore it, I’ll probably just take it to the dump. If they won’t take it, and they probably won’t, I’ll just dump it in the woods. (just kidding guys, I would never do that).


Very carefully incinerate it,I sometimes get rid of things like this ,by using them to accelerate a brush or rubbish pile(no plastics please) we are still permitted to burn things like tree limbs and dry organic materials at the appropiate times-Kevin( a waste oil burner will handle it also-if adjusted properly)


A can of old gasoline and would like to “restore it”. How cheap can we get ? Dispose of it properly as the hazardous waste it is and don’t think about dumping this crap into anything other then an appropriate container. Think of gasoline as food for your motor. You might as well try to restore garbage that has spoiled for your own consumption. Btw, there is a big difference between gasoline stability and ethanol contamination and each is treated differently. The ethanol problem can happen much more quickly depending on the environment. I treat both the same way…proper disposal and fresh gas with appropriate additives.


Really, just take it to your local service station with a garage or your independent garage and give it to them. What could be easier?


Yes, dag, I’m horribly, terribly, brutally cheap. And old, broken down, grumpy curmudgeon of a man. A mere shell of my younger self. I give whole new depth to the meaning of the word “cheap”. It is definitely my cheap nature that is the basis behind my question. Fortunately, I have your wise guidance to help me in the right direction.

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps I’d like to try something to restore it just out of curiosity? I see additives that claim to do so and if there actually is one it’d be good to know. My knowledge tells me it’s all BS, but on the other hand I have an enquiring mind.
So, dag, do you have any recommendations regarding the original question?

Kevin, that’s an excellent suggestion, but I lack a safe place to burn it off. I have only a tiny piece of property surrounded by trees and houses. Thanks for the idea, though.

Ase, I’ll probably just end up taking it to the dump rather than adding it to the hazardous waste problem that the local garage/service station already has to cope with. I’m hoping the dump can burn it in their boiler. Besides, they’re only about 4 miles from the house anyway. But first I’m curious to learn of there actually is an additive that lives up to its claims. Caddyman gave an excellent technical description of the problem (sincere thanks), but my mind still wonders.


Dumping gasoline, even stale gasoline, in a container meant for waste oil is a BIG No-no…

If it’s not too nasty yeah, diluting it into a full tank of fresh fuel might be okay…

Regulations have gotten to the point now where nobody can get rid of anything anymore, even at the dump. My greatest fear is that people will start dumping things in the woods like they did many decades ago. It's another case of overregulation and the "law of unintended consequences".

Funny you should say that…about two years ago, the “Covered Device Recycling Act” took effect in PA. Now, TVs and computer CRTs aren’t acceptable as regular trash. You’re supposed to take it to a designated drop-off site, OR drop it off when you buy a brand-new TV. (Assuming you’re well-off enough not to buy second-hand, the new seller has to take the old one.)

What actually happens is that the TV gets set out like usual, and the trash man doesn’t come pick it up. Scavangers soon take the yoke and degaussing cable for scrap, breaking the glass vacuum tube and scattering leaded glass everywhere. No exaggeration, I know of where six televisions are lying within two city blocks of my house. I’m at the “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” stage…at least going to talk to my elected representative.

(The infuriating thing is that, in the rich communities–i.e. where the lawmakers live–their boros can afford to pay extra to the trash co.s and life goes on, seemingly as usual. Also, obviously rich people don’t have too many vacuum-tubes left to be throwing out.)

When I got rid of my TV, I saw NO legal options to get rid of it under $20. I ultimately had to rip out all the copper, smash the tube down to glass pebbles (and toss in the garbage), and set the plastic hull out as recyclables.


Meanjoe, I too am at the “I’m, mad as hell” stage.

As to devices containing CRTs (old TVs and monitors), I’ve noticed there are piles of them dropped off at the Goodwill store. People are dumping them there. I personally have come up with the only means I have to rid myself of that long list of things the dump guys will no longer pick up or accept; I have a leaf bag in my plastic trash bag in the trash barrel in my garage (so that things won’t poke through), and I put nothing in there that has my name and address on it. I leave no paper trail. I use it to put anything I need to get rid of but is on their “prohibited” list. I then put it out to the street with my regular trash bag. Let them figure out how to deal with it. I even chopped a wooden door and a storm door into pieces and disposed of them in these bags.

The refusal of theirs to pick up so many categories of trash, and their growing list of charges to drop items off, makes me wonder what my tax dollars are going for. I always thought I was paying for trash pickup. It appears I’m paying for yet another town-level political department.


Yep we had a recycle electronic day and lo and behold my excitment bottomed out when I found out no CRTs,theres got to be something to do with these things(I wouldnt mind paying a small recycle fee,to dispose of these things properly)-Kevin


I don’t like paying a recycle fee to dispose of CRTs simply because I’m already paying taxes to have a place to dispose of unwanted things.

Another and more important reason is that it creates an incentive for people to cheat and do things like throw them in the woods, or dump them at Goodwill. At some point, when we the taxpayers are no longer able to go to the dump to dispose of the things that the rubbish guys will no longer pick up without bringing our checkbooks, the system is going to collapse; people will find ways to cheat. And everyone involved in the system will close their eyes to the problems and pretend everything is wonderful. It’s already happening.

Regulations routinely get enacted with absolutely no input or visibility to the taxpayers, no debate, and no consideration of cost or consequences. And everyone just shrugs their shoulders, pulls out their checkbooks, and goes on with their day. Everyone is resigned to there being nothing anyone can do about it unless they’re willing and able to run for office and can afford to. Most cannot. Most have families to support.


@TSMB: Hear hear!

And even if YOU “do the right thing,” the problem still exists, because they’ve created a perverse incentive to litter. You’d think, in this day and age, lawmakers would know better! At any event, it’s WRONG that children in my neighborhood have to play amongst broken glass and stuff supposedly too nasty for a garbage dump! (At the least, allow a “good Samaritan” loophole to get the derelict TVs dealt with on the basis that “in the dump is less lousy that IMBY!”)


Agree,but its the system we are stuck with in this “free” country-unelected bureaucrats tell us what to do and have the authority to strip away our hard earned treasure[ had a man from Russia of all places,ask me why people in America work all the the time,where He came from He could make it on 2-3 days a week,maybe the average American wants too much and doesnt consider the cost of having so much]-Kevin


"At any event, it’s WRONG that children in my neighborhood have to play amongst broken glass and stuff supposedly too nasty for a garbage dump"

C’mon now. Even a dog won’t poop where he sleeps! Blaming glass on the ground where children play on restrictive recycling rules is going a bit too far on the “we are victims” scale don’t you think? That’s just lazy, self centered, morons who don’t care. It doesn’t matter where you live, it can be kept clean if people aren’t slobs.

I don't like paying a recycle fee to dispose of CRTs simply because I'm already paying taxes to have a place to dispose of unwanted things.

Our town has no town sponsored trash pickup. You either buy a dump sticker or you pay a private firm. And for things like an old TV or monitor you need to get special permit which costs $10.