1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

Dos And Donts Of Aerosol Cans

It is dangerous to store, puncture, throw into an open fire, or otherwise dispose of aerosol cans, which can contain anything from starter fluid to hand cleaners. Certain paints can cause death if they are sprayed into or on the body in large enough doses or with enough force. 

The risk of fire from these materials must also be taken into consideration because when atomized, a flammable liquid transforms into an explosive mixture. Due to the compressed gas used as the propellant, all aerosol cans are dangerous. 

If the container is punctured, the contents may be released with enough force to cause harm. Additionally, pressurized delivery containers to a landfill raise issues with safety during compacting. Aerosol cans have some dos and don’ts; know some security tips before knowing them.

Tips For Working With Aerosol Cans

Workers who handle aerosol cans must be aware of the general risks and the risks related to the specific ingredients. They should adhere to proper disposal and storage practices, which include:

  • Aerosol cans are actually pressurized containers. Never store aerosol cans at temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), as high temperatures can cause the pressure inside a can to build up to the point of explosion.
  • Avoid exposing cans to open flames or potential hazards like a space heater, radiator, stove, or fireplace.
  • Cans can become the equivalent of an unguided missile after being punctured because of the sudden pressure release.
  • Even when a can is empty, burning poses a risk of explosion.
  • A warning label must be present on aerosol cans that contain dangerous ingredients. Ingredients are deemed dangerous if they exhibit one or more of the following traits:
  • Flammable
  • Toxic
  • Caustic
  • Irritant
  • Sensitizer
  • Carcinogen
  • a neurotoxin
  • harmful to reproduction.

Other typical warnings on aerosol cans include skin and eye irritation, accidental swallowing, incineration or puncture, and flammability.


  • Do finish the contents of a spray can before beginning a new one. Before throwing the can away, make sure it is empty.
  • Do return broken spray bottles (for example, the tip breaks off).
  • When possible, use refillable mechanical spray cans.
  • Do implement a distribution management system to control the use of aerosol cleaners.
  • Do think about gradually ceasing to use spray cans in your shop.
  • Do keep aerosol cans away from the sun and in a cool, dry location. The heat significantly raises the pressure inside the can, which could lead to a rupture.


  • Never spray or throw away aerosol cans next to or on fire. They can still have the potential to explode or injure even when it is empty.
  • Do not pierce a hole in it because the can may still be pressurized.
  • Do NOT spray near, in, or between other solvents. Possible outcome: hazardous contamination.
  • Do NOT throw partially empty spray cans in the trash.
  • Don’t keep Aerosol can in vehicles because temperatures can rise quickly, even in the winter. Keep them in the boot, please.
  • Don’t ever smoke while using an aerosol, or even just after.

Bottom Line 

Although it may seem obvious, sometimes we all need a reminder. Be sure to read all safety precautions and warnings before using an aerosol product. Before using an aerosol can, always be aware of the rules.