To operate lawnmowers, chainsaws, tillers, emergency refuel vehicles, or for other necessaries in housework we sometimes put or store gasoline somewhere. So, it should be known to all that gasoline is highly volatile, and can result in fire or explosion if it is not stored consciously. 

So let’s get to know more about gasoline storage for a safer life. 

Can you put gas in a milk jug?

Milk jugs are not an approved container for gasoline as the plastic of the milk jugs can’t hold its high pressure. It can dissolve the milk jugs and cause fire. Besides, the milk jugs can’t be properly sealed. So, if it gets mixed with air, it might result in an explosion and destroy everything.

Milk jugs or any antifreeze jugs are not approved containers to put any fuel or gas. Actually, they are not made strongly enough that can hold the expansion pressure or contraction of gasoline when temperature changes. 

Gasoline is a very volatile liquid and can be ignited by any flammable object. It has to be stored in any sealed container. If it’s not stored properly and gets mixed with air, it can cause fire or an explosion and also serious injury or death.

Gasoline has the power to dissolve any brittle or weak plastics day by day. But if you’re bound to refuel your car with a milk jug, you can use it consciously only for a short time. But don’t think about storing gasoline in a milk jug for more than twenty days.

Unconsciously handling or storing gas can cause serious damage. One cup of gasoline has the similar explosive power to five pounds of dynamite. So, it’s better not to put gas in milk jugs to avoid any inconvenience.

What are milk jugs made of? 

Milk jugs are made from paperboard coated plastics. The main material in milk jugs is high density polyethylene (HDPE). It is a waterproof plastic that ensures zero wear or any breakage to the product and easy transport.

In the milk jug manufacturing process Low density polyethylene (LDPE), and polyester (PET) are mixed for its durability. Several chemicals are also added for its strength. Oxygenated chlorine bleaches the wood pulp. Hydrocarbon bond helps to hold the plastic shape stronger.

Though it’s manufactured from the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), it is very thin walled. So it doesn’t survive very well for a long time. Normally it becomes brittle after a month.

You can use it for storing any light liquid. But they are not made for storing fuels or gas. Also storing fuels, gas in these types of jugs is totally prohibited and against the law because it can be harmful.

Why can’t you store or carry gas in a milk jug?

As gasoline is a mixture of hundreds of chemicals, it has a huge explosive power. One cup of gasoline has the similar explosive power to five pounds of dynamite. 

Also, gasoline is very inflammable. It can result in fire easily. If the milk jug is handled unconsciously, it can result in huge damage and people can even die.

While storing gasoline, one has to be very careful and the container has to be very strong enough to handle its pressure. Milk jugs are not suitable for storing gasoline. It may be very dangerous if you store it for more than a month.

Here are the reasons why you can’t store gas in milk jug:

Flammable liquid gasoline:

Hundreds of different hydrocarbon’s mixture is Gasoline. Gasoline is a very volatile liquid and can be ignited very easily by any flammable object. 

Dissolves the plastic of milk jug:

When the hydrocarbon interaction becomes incompetent between gasoline and the plastic than the hydrocarbon bond of plastic, gasoline dissolves the plastic of milk jug which can cause fire.

Weak infrastructure of milk jug:

Milk jugs are not made strongly enough so that it can hold the expansion pressure or contraction of gasoline when temperature changes. Also, they become very weak within a few days. 

Not enough airtight container:

Gasoline has to be stored in any sealed container. But milk jugs are not perfectly airtight. From milk jug, gasoline can get mixed with air. If it happens by any chance, it can cause fire or an explosion, and also serious injury or even death.

What plastic can hold gasoline?

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is a good option that can hold gasoline for some time. But storing gasoline for a longer period in HDPE (milk jug) will start leaking permeate and break down the plastic.

140° F or less low flash points chemicals should not store in polyethylene for a long time. Here are some plastics that are more beneficial and safer:

Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP):

This chemical storage is a safer storage option to hold gasoline. It’s properly grounded and chemicals like gasoline do not leak easily in any temperature.

Petrochemical plastics:

Volatile chemicals like gasoline are safely stored in petrochemical plastics. It’s totally safe because it’s air resistant and chemicals can’t leak either.

PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene):

This plastic, a broad chemical resistance and can be safe at much higher temperatures. It limits all the risk and serious hazards. Chemicals like gasoline can be stored safely for a long time.

Can you put gas in a milk jug temporarily?

Yes, if it’s for any temporary purpose, you can use a milk jug. Gasoline has the dissolving power, and it will dissolve the plastic of milk jug day by day. 

Moreover, the plastic of the milk jug is made thin walled and so it will become brittle and weak day by day. It will not be able to hold the expansion pressure of gasoline for a long time. It’s better not to put gas in a milk jug for many days to avoid any danger. 

How long will gas last in a milk jug?

If you’re only bound for any emergency, then you can use a milk jug to put gas in. But you have to remember that you can’t put gas in the milk jug for a long time. It will not be beneficial for you.

As gasoline can dissolve plastic in the milk jug and the plastic becomes weak day by day you should change the container as soon as possible. You shouldn’t store it more than 25-30 days. Or else, it might result in danger.

Is it illegal to put gas in a milk jug?

Yes, it is illegal to put gas in a milk jug. Actually, milk jugs or any antifreeze jugs are not approved containers to put any fuel or gas in. 

The reason is, they are not made strongly enough that can hold the expansion pressure or contraction of gasoline when temperature changes also, it gets dissolved by gasoline. It’s a serious issue because many people died because of their unconsciousness.

What can I put gas in beside a gas can?

Without gas cans, it is totally prohibited by OAHS to store gas anywhere. But if it’s really emergency you can put gas for few days with precautions in:

Any metal container:

Gas doesn’t leak more from metal containers like from plastics. If the metal container is airtight and fairly cool, it can be used but not for a longer period.

 Drums:

If you have plastic drums that are made with High density polyethylene (HDPE) you can use it for a few days. But steel drums are safer.

Steel bottles:

Steel bottles that are airtight and not leaky also sunlight can’t enter, can be used. 

These can be used to put gas outside of home, in a garage or well-ventilated, fairly cool area where sunlight can’t reach also where children can’t go. But it’s better not to put yourself or anyone in danger using any other containers rather than gas cans.

Are plastic gas cans safe?

Plastic gas cans that are made from high density polyethylene are not safe for storing gas for more than a month. Though metal cans are safest and durable, gas cans made from Fiberglass reinforced plastic, Petrochemical plastics, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) are safer options.

Plastic gas cans are very light from the metal gas, and it’s not expensive. That’s why it’s very popular among people. It’s good for a period of time but not for too long.

Over time, the materials of plastic cans become weaker and can break down. But it will not cause any explosion, rather it will just melt out. So, if you are using plastic gas cans it’ll be better to follow the instructions and not to use it for too long.

Final Thoughts

Milk jugs are not strong enough to hold the expansion pressure of gasoline. Also, plastics of milk jug are thin-skinned, can be dissolved and cause fire. They are not airtight containers and so that it can get mixed with air and cause serious damage. So, you can’t put gas in a milk jug.

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