Excreting urine is a daily human activity that most of us go through without a second thought. But have you ever stopped and wondered, in the middle of doing your business, is urine flammable? Can urine start a fire? If you’re curious about the flammability of urine, then you’re about to find out.
Peeing is like second nature to us. According to Cleveland Clinic, an average healthy human urinates around six to seven times within 24 hours. And with a normal intake of fluids, you could produce between 800 to 2,000 millimeters of urine per day.
That’s a lot of urine in one day!
While peeing is normal for us, it also can’t be helped some people to wonder whether urine is flammable. After all, judging by the color and smell of urine, it surely is not pure water. But could there be something in urine that makes it catch fire? And if you ever get into a sticky situation where you need to start a fire without any fuel source, could you use urine instead?
Well, let me give it to you straight away.
Urine is not flammable. Urine contains too much water and the other substances present in urine aren’t flammable as well. However, if all else fails and you need to do everything for survival, you could actually use urine to start a fire.
What is Urine?
Urine is a liquid waste product excreted from the body of humans and animals.
Our kidneys produce urine by filtering out waste chemicals called urea and excess water from our bodies. Urine travels to our ureters, and then to our bladders. When the bladders are full, you get the urge to urinate.
Did you know that the color of your urine helps you determine if you have specific body medical issues?
For example, if your urine has a red or pinkish tinge, it means there’s blood in your pee. If urine is dark or brownish in color, you be suffering from severe dehydration or have issues with your liver. You need to drink more water if your urine is honey-colored or dark yellow.
If you have pale or almost transparent yellow-colored urine, it means you are healthy and are taking in enough water.
What’s in Urine?
Urine is made mostly of water.
There are other substances that makeup urine. Our urine also contains urea, ammonia, nitrogen, sodium, potassium, and creatinine.
Is Urine Flammable?
No, urine is not flammable.
As already mentioned, most of the urine is made up of water. And water is non-flammable. If anything, water can put out a fire instead of igniting it.
What about the other substances in your urine? Are they or are they not flammable?
The liquid urea that is present in pee is not flammable.
Nitrogen and creatinine are also not flammable.
On the other hand, urine does have some (but a tiny bit) flammable components: sodium, potassium, and ammonia.
But since these substances are diluted with too much water, the probability of urine starting or catching fire is next to zero.
Can You Start a Fire with Urine?
Although we have already said often enough that urine is not flammable, it is possible to start a fire with urine.
This is applicable when you have exhausted all means to start a fire, though. For instance, if you find yourself lost in the woods one sunny day and all you have is an empty water bottle.
So what you have to do to start a fire with urine is to pee in a plastic bottle.
Now hold the bottle up against the sun’s rays. It should act as a magnifying glass wherein the sun’s rays refract to the paper or some dry grass. You just have to be more patient though because it will take some time before you see a flame.
This technique also works with water in the bottle. But if you are in dire survival mode, it’s best to drink water from the bottle and urinate into the empty bottle later on.
Do Pee Bottles Explode?
Truck drivers who drive long distances pee in used bottles.
According to Roadside America, their crew retrieves more than 1000 urine bottles in just one month.
Although some of these bottles retain their seal, the pee bottles could expand when exposed to the sun’s heat over a period of time. At some point, the pressure would be too much to handle, until such time that these bottles explode.
These explosions can cause injury. A dog once sniffed a bottle filled with urine when the bottle suddenly exploded and injured its snout.
So while peeing in empty bottles is not against the law, it is illegal to throw a pee bottle from a moving vehicle as it could constitute improper disposal of human waste.
Does Drinking Alcohol Make Urine Flammable?
Alcohol is a flammable substance. If exposed to a heat source, alcohol will catch fire.
But what happens when you drink alcohol? Does it make your urine flammable?
No, it does not make your urine flammable.
Let us remember that when we drink anything, alcohol included, our body breaks down the components of these liquids. Our liver breaks down 90% of the alcohol that we consume. The other 10% is eliminated through our urine, breathing, and sweat.
Alcohol is only flammable if you have at least 50 proof. Even if your pee reeks of vodka or beer, it will not burn or start a fire because urine is still mostly water.
Does urine explode?
No, urine by itself, does not explode. However, when you urinate in a bottle and let it sit out in the sun for a long period of time, a chemical reaction takes place, pressure builds up and at some point, the bottle could explode. Despite this fact, urine is not flammable and does not burn or catch fire.
Can you make a fire by peeing in a bag?
Yes, you can start a fire by peeing in a bag by following the same trick as using urine in a bottle like a magnifying glass, and letting the sun’s rays refract to some dry grass, tinder, or piece of paper. If you do this long enough, you’ll start to see a flame and eventually build a fire.
Why is my pee on fire?
If you are feeling a burning sensation when you pee, it’s a sign that there’s something wrong with your body. It does not mean that your pee is burning, per see. Instead, you could have a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. Consult your health professional and get yourself checked.
Is urine flammable?
No, urine is not flammable. Even if you drink a lot of alcohol, urine is still not flammable and will not start a fire. This is because urine consists mostly of water and the other chemicals like chloride, sodium, and ammonia are too few in quantity to make urine flammable.
However, there’s a trick that many survival enthusiasts use to start a fire with urine. It works by peeing in an empty bottle or plastic bag and holding it up against the sun to burn some grass or tinder.