How Long Can You Store Diesel Fuel?

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Diesel fuel is used for a variety of different heavy equipment. Many companies and industries rely on it to power their vehicles and machines. For convenience, diesel is commonly stored outside, around equipment, or at job sites for easier access when needed. But how long can the fuel be stored until it is no longer good?

Diesel fuel will typically have a shelf life of anywhere from six to 12 months. There are a few factors that affect the storage life of diesel. These include environment, storage container, maintenance, and cleanliness.


When storing diesel fuel, it is important to keep it in the right environment. Diesel fuel can be stored for a while but only in the right scenario. The environment has a few pieces that contribute to creating the right atmosphere including:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Exposure

Your diesel is more likely to last longer if it is in the proper temperature. The ideal temperature would be 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything much colder or hotter makes the diesel more likely to degrade and become ineffective a lot more quickly. A moderate temperature is the best situation for the fuel.

When it comes to the humidity of the area, it needs to be dry. Storing your diesel fuel in a place with high humidity will cause the fuel to quickly degrade. If you live somewhere with high humidity, the best tool for you is going to be a well-insulated storage container. But in this sort of humid environment, you must also store the fuel inside.

Keeping your diesel stored securely is important to ensure that it isn’t exposed to anything it shouldn’t be. Having a good container and a temperate place to store it in is the best way to prevent unwanted bacteria exposure. It is also important that the fuel is not getting direct sun exposure since the heat will cause it to spoil more quickly. The best place to keep it is in a secure, dry, temperate, and shady area.

Storage Container

As mentioned above, having a quality storage container is very valuable when storing fuel. Diesel fuel can last up to a year but only if properly stored. For the best chance of longevity, your diesel should be stored in a well-insulated container. Options for a well-insulated container include:

  • Storage Drum
  • Stand-alone Tank
  • Portable Can
  • Aluminum, steel, or polyethylene container

These types of containers are the most capable of keeping your fuel safe from spoiling. The container should be able to lock so that unwarranted access is not possible. Without a high-quality storage vessel, the diesel might easily become botched and unusable.


Storing your diesel fuel properly is not the only thing that contributes to a long shelf life. Having a tank size that allows the fuel to be used within the shelf life is important. If you get too much diesel and aren’t able to use it all before it goes bad, it’s possible that you might leave the old fuel in the tank and refill it with new diesel. This is a problem because the fuel is then compromised and the degraded fuel will have mixed with the previously new fuel.

Keeping up with checking the oil and making sure that the fuel is still sealed and stored properly will help prevent contamination. Maintaining your tank regularly will help you Cleanliness

Treating your diesel fuel while storing it is important for elongating its life span. Adding biocides and stabilizers should help preserve the diesel for longer. Cleanliness often ties in with maintenance. When you notice things like water in the storage container, it will help to clean the vessel and ensure it has no wear holes or damage. Maintaining a clean and updated tank for your fuel can aid in withholding a longer shelf life.

Diesel Fuel Shelf Life

While the common shelf life ranges from six months to a year, many factors affect this range. Proper storage and maintenance will go a long way. If you keep your diesel fuel in a clean, high-quality tank in a dry, shady, and temperate area, you are more likely to last its full life span. Checking on your fuel frequently, keeping it in a safe space, and cleaning the container when needed will help avoid contamination. Not buying too much fuel and ensuring that all fuel is used in a timely manner will also help prevent spoiling.

Letting your fuel get exposed to anything that it shouldn’t will result in botched fuel. Diesel fuel has the potential to last a decent amount of time as long as you keep up with all of these factors. If you do everything you need to ensure the safety of your fuel it will result in the longevity of your diesel supply. Be sure to catch things like condensation or sediment buildup before it can ruin the fuel.


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