How Long Is Spilled Gasoline Flammable (All Concerns Covered)

If you’re in a filling station, a gasoline spill might be a common scenario. It can also happen during chemical work as well. Either way, it might be dangerous to spill gasoline. 

So, how long spilled gas is flammable?

The range starts from a few minutes to a couple of hundred years. It depends on the surface it was spilled on. To some extent, it depends on the external ambiance of the incident as well. Usually, a non-permeable surface takes more time to reduce the flammability rate.

However, there are still lots of important things to know about it. We have tried to accumulate all the information you need to know in our article. 

So, dig in to learn more.

Is Spilled Gas Flammable?

The spilled gasoline is flammable if it doesn’t evaporate. The possibility of evaporation and how long it takes to evaporate depends on many things. This includes the surface it was spilled on, the quality of the gasoline e.t.c.

Keep reading to find out about these factors.

1. The Quality Of the Gasoline

Normally, pure gasoline is hard to find and is not used frequently. The gasoline we generally use, for example, car fuel, is not pure. 

This gasoline is high in petrol carbon and other additives. These additives are flammable. So, when gasoline is mixed up with these, it is flammable.

So if you spill such gasoline, it might be dangerous.

2. The Surface It Was Spilled On

Surface matters quite a lot when it comes to spilled gasoline. This is because gasoline may not react on some surfaces due to faster evaporation. Again, it might be flammable because of the surface too.

A permeable surface can soak the gasoline quickly. This helps it to evaporate faster, so the gasoline won’t be flammable. However, some surfaces are permeable but still can be flammable, such as clothes made of fabric.

The non-permeable surface on the other hand can’t soak the gasoline. Such as steel surface or glass. These surfaces carry gasoline but can’t soak it. So there’s a high chance for spilled gasoline to be flammable on a non-permeable surface.

Lastly, porous surfaces can also be flammable, for example, wood. It has lots of internal pores which can store the gasoline. This results in high flammability. 

How Long Is Spilled Gasoline Flammable?

The flammability of gasoline depends on some external factors. So the time frame for gasoline to remain flammable may vary depending on those factors.

If gasoline is spilled on an impervious surface, such as asphalt or concrete, it’ll evaporate quickly. So no additional cleanup will be required in this case.

But if gasoline is spilled on a pervious surface, the time depends on the type of surface. It also depends on the amount spilled, and the level of the underlying groundwater.

Small spills (5 gallons or less) onto pervious surfaces will “go away” fairly quickly. The reasons can be a combination of evaporation and degradation by soil microbes like bacteria and fungi.

Larger spills will have a lower concentration due to similar mechanisms. It will simply take a much, much longer time. It could take many years or decades for a few hundred gallons of gasoline to degrade to undetectable levels. 

The natural decomposition of thousands of gallons of spilled gasoline will take decades, if not a century or more.

If the spilled gasoline finds its way into groundwater, it’s a whole different story. It will eventually “disappear” due to a process, known as natural attenuation. That includes dispersion, dilution, chemical degradation, and biological degradation. 

However, it will take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to reduce to undetectable levels. It depends on the amount spilled, geological composition, and hydrological conditions. 

How to Clean Spilled Gasoline (3 Different Methods)

You know by now that spilled gasoline can be dangerous. It is recommended to clean the spilled gasoline as soon as possible. You can use different methods to clean your mess. 

1. Using an Absorbent Material

It is best to use an absorbent material such as cat litter, sand, or baking soda. You can use this to soak up the stain if it is fresh.

If you are confused about what soda you should choose, here are our top picks:

Remove the gas or oil-soaked material with care and dispose of it in an old coffee can with a tight-fitting lid. 

2. Using Dishwasher Detergent Solution

Dishwasher detergent and water mixture can be used to remove any leftover stains. Let the paste rest for a few minutes and then rinse.

Here are some of our top picked detergents that’ll work great for this job-

3. Using Trisodium Phosphate 

You can also try a stronger solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP). Mix it with warm water and a lot of elbow grease if this doesn’t work out. 

Alternatively, you can rent a high-pressure water sprayer to get rid of the toughest messes.

In case you’re looking for a good sprayer, we have some recommendations for you-

Use any of these and your job should be done. 

That’s all about spilled gasoline and how you can clean up the mess. Be aware of these facts next time when dealing with gasoline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does water wash away gasoline?

Answer: the gasoline should not just be washed away with water.  It also should not be scrubbed with dish soap.  Gas and water are incompatible with each other. 

Question: Can I burn gasoline?

Answer: Indeed, old gasoline will still burn, but it won’t do so as efficiently as it should. Gasoline should not be burned because it is difficult to do it safely at home.

Question: Does gasoline explode in heat?

Answer: Undisturbed, sealed gasoline in a plastic container should not burst, ignite or catch fire. Unless the fumes are exposed to an external heat source such as an open fire. 

Conclusion

Now you know all about how long is spilled gasoline flammable? This is a very sensitive issue. A little mistake may cost you big time. 

We hope you will deal with it more cautiously after reading the article. And try not to spill gasoline again.

We wish you to be safe. Have a great day.

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