How to dispose of old kerosene: Q&A

How to dispose of old kerosene? Kerosene can be widely used in everyday life – as fuel in commercial jet engines, for cooking and lighting, and as heating fuel. Maybe you still have kerosene lamps or oil lamps somewhere in the house that gives you that magical atmosphere.

Whatever the reason, storing kerosene is only half of the challenge – kerosene needs to be disposed of correctly.

Here are several ways of what to do with kerosene that’s no longer needed:

how to dispose of old kerosene
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Offer it to others

Kerosene doesn’t have an “expiry” date as we think about it – but it can still get worse in a certain way. After a few months in the cupboard, kerosene would start losing its properties.

Thus, whilst it is still “fresh”, try to call your friends, family, or local charity whether they would like some unused kerosene for their activities.

Usually, local charities such as Scouts or The American Legion will put it to good use.

This will help you not only get rid of leftover kerosene safely and in a cost-efficient way but also allow you to be in other’s good books.

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Find the nearest waste collection facility

The fastest way to find out where to dispose of kerosene is to Google for local household hazardous waste collection (HHW) site provided by your local waste district. You can find it on the Earth911 website.

As the name suggests, a hazardous waste collection site (typically sponsored by local government) has only one task – to manage hazardous household waste and look after proper disposal of highly acidic or alkali substances.

Local waste district sets up those facilities to reduce toxic waste and prevent the release of toxic fumes into the atmosphere thus protecting the population and the environment, reducing air pollution.

Always give the hazardous household waste facility a call first and double-check that they accept kerosene and whether you need to register your vehicle before attending or put unwanted kerosene in a marked container.

Tip: If you also need to get rid of any old fuel for the car or other flammable liquid, this is the best way to properly dispose of everything.

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Bring it to the local fire department

In some states, especially if you can argue that the closest hazardous waste collection site is far away, you can “donate” unwanted kerosene to local service stations (such as fire stations and police stations).

Usually, public gas stations accept kerosene if it isn’t used or mixed with any other type of fuel and is delivered in an approved container.

Call your local service stations (i.e., fire station) to double-check that they accept kerosene as well as to find out about local regulations and guidance, as marking rules for kerosene containers differ from state to state.

Make use of collection days

The Department of Environmental Services, Recycling office holds semi-annual spring and fall collection days.

Those collection days are for household hazardous waste.

From around April to November, the programs are running all across the country. Search online to find the details about it, drop-off locations, and any other guidance to dispose of kerosene safely.

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Give a call to disposal companies

If you can’t drive or the nearest hazardous waste collection site is too far, give a call to a disposal company.

During the call, it is important to ask about 3 things:

  • Whether they accept kerosene and other hazardous waste.
  • If any pick-up services are available (and if so, how much is the pick-up fee), or will you have to drop the excess kerosene off?
  • Potentially there may be an additional disposal fee for toxic waste materials (such as kerosene) – thus it is better to know about it beforehand.
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Use it all up!

If you still haven’t found a preferred way, maybe you should focus on using all of the kerosene instead. You can use leftover kerosene in everyday life in several ways, so you don’t have to deal with hazardous materials disposal.

Tip: don’t try to use it for removing grease on your stove or to get rid of the stains on your clothes. Apart from not being effective, it is straightaway dangerous due to its properties and the fact it is not water-soluble.

Clean wooden floors

Don’t forget to open all windows and doors whilst doing it, but unwanted kerosene can be of great help in cleaning. Put no more than 2 teaspoons of kerosene on a cloth and wipe the floors with it. Then take a clean cloth and scrub the floors until the kerosene gets into the wood and the floor dries up.

Use it as a bicycle chain cleaner

This method needs to be done with caution and outdoors, but the results are amazing. You can return a fresh look to your bike and dispose of kerosene simultaneously.

If you have excess kerosene and the bike’s gear cassette is dirty, use kerosene to return a nice shiny look and remove excess oil.

For this, put 2 tablespoons of kerosene into a suitable dish and dip the toothbrush into the mixture. Rub gently the cassette using the toothbrush, and don’t forget to clean it at the end.

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How do you dispose of spilled kerosene?

If you spill kerosene, try to find some kitchen roll or any other high-absorption material (such as cat litter granules or baking soda) to soak as much kerosene as possible.

You can also try to dilute the kerosene with water and rinse it away, or an even better way would be to use a detergent to break down the kerosene and scrub it away.

Can you scrap kerosene heaters?

Some local recycling centers accept hazardous materials such as kerosene – this way you can ensure the dispose of kerosene correctly.

You can also take the heater to a hazardous waste collection site or donate the kerosene heater to a local charity.

Can kerosene be reused?

As kerosene is a flammable substance, once the energy is produced there is not much left to be reused once burned out.

If you have some kerosene in a container after using some of it, then sure, you can use the leftovers for other purposes.

How do I dispose of old gasoline in Cleveland Ohio?

To safely dispose of old gasoline, find a local recycling center or a facility in your area that accepts hazardous waste by searching online or checking the Yellow Pages.

You can ask for additional advice and a datasheet card from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District by calling (216)443-3749.

Conclusion: How to dispose of old kerosene

Household hazardous waste needs not to only be stored correctly – but disposed of as well. Otherwise, releasing hazardous fumes into the atmosphere can not only affect the planet but health and safety of the people working on pipe maintenance, bin men, and other service workers.

Don’t throw kerosene in the trash or put it down the drain. Pouring the kerosene down the drain, apart from health risks, can lead to pipe blockages. Properly disposing of kerosene is a responsibility you need to comply with.

But the easiest solution is just not to buy a massive gallon of it – just get small quantities of kerosene, and then you don’t have to dispose of it as you would use everything you have!

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