How Long Does Kerosene Last?

Are you asking yourself, how long does kerosene last? If so, you are probably thinking about your doomsday prep. As you put the items in your preparedness room, it is important for you to think about kerosene shelf life. Even though storing kerosene long-term can be a good idea, you need to store it properly if you want it to last as long as possible. How long can kerosene be stored? Kerosene is one of the most important tools in a prepper’s toolbox, so make sure you store it correctly. 

What Is Kerosene, is it like propane?

Kerosene is a flammable and combustible hydrocarbon that comes from petroleum. Kerosene is produced through a process called fractional distillation. During this process, crude oil is heated. Then, the individual compounds are separated. 

The ultimate result of this process produces a liquid that is less dense but also incredibly versatile. The process has been streamlined over the years to be faster, less expensive, and more useful. Learn more about the fractional distillation process that is used to produce kerosene by watching this.

Uses for Kerosene

There are a number of ways that kerosene fuel can be used. A lot of people think of aviation fuel in rocket engines or fuel in space heaters or stoves when they think of kerosene. However, there are ways the fuel can be useful for preppers as well.

Some of the most common uses of kerosene include:

Light: If a disaster takes place, you may not know if you will have electricity. Therefore, you need to have another source of light, such as kerosene. One of the classic uses of kerosene is as fuel for an oil lamp.

Heat: Of course, you also have to have a heat source. Kerosene is a flammable liquid so you need to use caution to make sure the fire does not get out of control, but you can use the DIY kerosene heater to stay warm in the event of a disaster.

Even though you probably have a lot of non-perishable food, you may have items that need to be cooked. You can use kerosene as cooking fuel to feed yourself following a disaster. Take a look at this to learn more about how you can use kerosene to cook your food.

These are just a few of the most common applications of kerosene. Because it is such a versatile DIY fuel source, you should have plenty of it available. Many preppers don’t buy kerosene in small quantities. At the same time, you might be wondering how long is kerosene good for and what are the proper long-term storage methods for fresh kerosene?

Does kerosene go bad? The shelf life of kerosene is 5 years

When you purchase kerosene, you always need to know when it was made. This is going to play a role in its shelf-life, and you should always check to see how long it will last.

In general, kerosene has a shelf life of approximately five years. This shelf life is from the point of manufacture, not from the point of purchase. Kerosene goes bad when condensation takes place. This can add water to the kerosene, causing mold and bacteria to grow.

As this organic material proliferates, it degrades your fuel source. Furthermore, it can clog the combustion process, making it very difficult for you to use kerosene effectively.

Even though kerosene typically has a shelf life of approximately five years, it can last longer as long as you store it properly. You might even double the shelf life if you store it properly. An airtight container is a must for ensuring kerosene stays fresh  

On the other hand, you should be aware of the risks. If you do not store kerosene properly and you try to burn it with a bunch of organic material, it can destroy your equipment. 

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How To Store Kerosene

You must understand how to store kerosene properly if you want it to last as long as possible. A few key points to know about the long term storage of kerosene:

Always store kerosene in a container that has been designed for fuel storage, such as an airtight container. Many people keep kerosene in lamps and heaters for easier access; however, these containers and devices have not been designed to store kerosene, just burn it.

Therefore, your kerosene will spoil more quickly if you leave it in the lamp or heater. Make sure kerosene is stored in a cool room, away from direct sunlight.

You don’t want kerosene to get too hot as this could encourage the proliferation of organic material, causing it to spoil more quickly. You should also make sure the room is dry. If the room is wet, bacteria and mold can grow more quickly. Humidity leads to the proliferation of organic material, which will cause kerosene to spoil faster.

Finally, you should not worry about storing kerosene in a room that is too cold. The freezing point of kerosene is -40 degrees Fahrenheit so it is highly unlikely that you will ever store kerosene in a room that is that cold.

Bulk Buying Kerosene

If you would like to save money on your kerosene purchases, you may want to buy them in bulk. In general, gas stations, hardware stores, and sometimes amazon sell kerosene in five, 15, or 20-gallon quantities.

These metal containers are heavy, so you will probably be better off storing kerosene in a smaller airtight container or jugs where you can access the fuel easily. You can use the smaller canisters without having to pull the large, original container, out of storage.

Make sure you have smaller canisters ready to receive your kerosene. Keep in mind that the canisters should be opaque and designed to store fuel safely. You should not store kerosene in plastic containers. You’ll also need a siphon to get the fuel out of the larger storage container and into the smaller one.

A siphon works using pressure differences between two points. You can learn more about how to properly create a siphon from this.

Final Thoughts

Remember that kerosene has a relatively short shelf-life; however, it can last longer if you understand how to purchase kerosene, how to store it, and how to take care of it. There are a lot of risks that come with using old kerosene, so make sure you store it properly.

Always store kerosene in a cool, dry, dark room in fuel-specific storage containers if you want your kerosene to last as long as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions people ask about storing kerosene for preparedness include:

Is it okay to use old fuel?

As long as you have stored your kerosene properly, you should be able to use it. Make sure there are no additives or organic material present. Remember that kerosene has an average shelf life of five years.

How long does k1 kerosene last?

It typically lasts five years, but it may last longer if you store it properly. 

Can I store kerosene in my garage?

As long as your garage is cool and dry, you can store it there. Most garages are not insulated, so you should probably move your kerosene when it gets hot during the summer. 

How long will five gallons of kerosene last in a kerosene heater? 

If you are actively burning five gallons of kerosene in a heater, you should expect this to last up to a day. It depends on how cold it is and how hot you are burning your heater.

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