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Author Topic: What does Kerosene smell like?  (Read 12116 times)

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Offline Osric

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What does Kerosene smell like?
« on: December 17, 2008, 07:03:39 pm »
Went to break out the torpedo heater in the garage the other day and naturally, it didn't have any kerosene in it.  I go over to the container I thought for sure I used for Kerosene last year and opened it up (I just used a gas container exclusively for kerosene...I ain't spendin' $12 on a new container when I have one that I can use for this....)  anyways....I open it up and smell it.  I sure did smell like gasoline, so I figured that either I had the wrong container, or I re-used it last year and forgot about it, or that Kerosene and Gasoline smell the same.  I've used it so little in the past few years (10 years) that I really can't remember what kerosene smells like.

I'm not going to put this stuff in the torpedo heater, but I hate to throw it out if it actually is gas.  Do these smell similar or not?  Any easy way of testing which is which?

Offline stonebroke

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 07:10:58 pm »
Yeah Put it in the heater  drag it out into an uninhabited area and plug it in. If it blows up its gasoline. Seriously if you have any doubt do not try to burn it in the heater. safety first. Kerosene smells much more like diesel or home heating oil it is not nearly as crisp a smell as gas.

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Offline bck

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 07:12:45 pm »
To me they smell different.  The kerosene around here is red ?  
As for testing ??? soak a rag with it and put it in the open, tie another rag to the end of a long stick and light it and use that to light the first rag from a distance. BOOM is gas

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 07:14:24 pm »
They don't smell the same to me.  Kerosene is a first cousin to diesel fuel.  A little better cousin.  If you put gas in a kerosene heater, you'll be the first to know.  DON'T DO IT.  Tim
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Offline cheyenne

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 08:12:30 pm »
Why take the chance. Use it for cleaning parts or whatever. Spend the 12 bucks for a new container & you won't have to wonder. Eliminate the guess work, mark the container or paint it yellow....Cheyenne
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 08:33:28 pm »
Why take the chance. Use it for cleaning parts or whatever. Spend the 12 bucks for a new container & you won't have to wonder. Eliminate the guess work, mark the container or paint it yellow....Cheyenne

most Kero containers are BLUE, the YELLOW ones are for diesel fuel... 
smell of Kero is lighter than diesel fuel, and usually crystal clear around my parts....   red around here is off road diesel fuel...

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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 08:38:14 pm »
buy the right container, it keeps things easier. 

Actually, an attendant isn't supposed to turn the pumps on if you are putting kerosene into a red can, or gas into a blue can.... 

they do smell different, but it's not worth the risk.
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Offline Handy Andy

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 09:22:45 pm »
  You don't have to waste the stuff you thought might be kerosene.  Just pour it in your truck.  Will just add a little lube if it is kero, and if it's gas you didn't waste anything.  Gas has benzene to make it explode, kero does not.  Most places are just selling #1  diesel fuel for kerosene.  It did kind of have it's own odor.
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Offline Tom

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 09:55:53 pm »
Pour some out on a log and put a match to it.  You will practically have to make diesel or Kerosene burn. when it lights, it creeps along the surface.

Gasoline will go Ka wumph!

Kerosene feels oily between your fingers
Gasoline has a dry feeling.
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Offline Radar67

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 09:58:11 pm »
Okay, nobody else is saying it, so here goes...it smells like kerosene  ;D :D

Sorry, just had to.
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Offline Polly

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 10:30:10 pm »
a lady i know bought what she thought was kerosene took home put in her heater and blew up her house man at store put gasolene in her can true story  ::) 8)

Offline rebocardo

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2008, 12:21:37 pm »
Don't put whatever it is into any vehicle, if it has sat around that long, it might have collected water just from the air and hot/cold cycles sitting on the floor or ground. Bad gas can smell like diesel when it gets ripe and may not burn with a match if it has collected enough water. I know that from fixing old cars and lawn mowers.

imo, Best thing is to burn it, get the proper can, and start again.

FWIW: Gas weighs a lot less then diesel. About 6.3 pounds a gallon (?), if you had a digital scale that would be one way to tell.

As for the smell, the gasoline smell will never leave a container, it is possible you put kerosene in there and the previous gas is still smelling up the container.


Offline easymoney

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2008, 08:01:21 pm »
kerocene smells a lot like coal oil. i rember the old timers using the term coal oil.

Offline bmill

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Re: What does Kerosene smell like?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2008, 08:46:13 pm »
 I second what rebocardo said, old gas may not smell like gas, rather it will smell like varnish which could be confused for kerosene. Buy the blue container, it might save your life. I used to do what you did and darn near killed myself. Had a bad cold, picked up the wrong red can, smelled it, and filled my torpedo heater with gas.  :o :o Luckily my wife was there and said she smelled gas, I did the match check with a paper towel dipped into the heater and got the WHOOSH. Hate to think what would have happened if I'd plugged it in. Be safe
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