October 17, 2023 | Mathew Burke

10 Hazardous Items You Should Never Leave in Your Car

10 Hazardous Items You Should Never Leave in Your Car

Trunk Junk and mechanic split image

We've all been there – parking our cars, rushing into a meeting, a store, or our homes, and leaving behind a few items we deem harmless.

Yet, what many of us often overlook is the potential dangers these items can pose when left in our vehicles, especially under the scorching sun or during a cold snap.

While some may just damage the interior or the items themselves, others can present significant safety hazards.

As we dive into this article, we'll unveil 10 items you should think twice about leaving in your car and the reasons why they might be more treacherous than you think.


Unlit lighterEprism Studio, Pexels

When exposed to prolonged sunlight or high temperatures, lighters can explode, posing a risk to your vehicle's interior. Not only can they cause physical damage, but they can also release harmful fumes.

Alternative: Consider using electric or rechargeable lighters.

Better Place: Keep them in a cool, dark place inside your home.

Aerosol Cans

Off-The-Wall BossesShutterstock

Products like deodorants or hairspray can explode if the pressure inside the can builds up due to high temperatures, potentially damaging your car or injuring someone.

Alternative: Use roll-ons or non-aerosol sprays.

Better Place: Store in a cool, dry place in your home.


Woman is taking medication from a pharmacist.freepik, Freepik

High temperatures can degrade the quality of medications, reducing their efficacy. This could be dangerous if you rely on them for critical health reasons.

Alternative: Use a medicine storage box with a temperature regulator.

Better Place: Keep them in a medicine cabinet away from direct sunlight.



Spoiled rottenShutterstock

Leaving devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones in your car can not only make them prone to theft but also damage their batteries or internal components due to excessive heat.

Alternative: Opt for cloud storage to access data from any device.

Better Place: Bring electronics inside with you, or store them in a protective bag.

Plastic Water Bottles

Cranky Customers FactsUnsplash

When plastic bottles are left in a hot car, they can leach harmful chemicals into the water. Plus, in direct sunlight, they might act as a magnifying glass, posing a fire risk.

Alternative: Invest in a stainless-steel or glass reusable water bottle.

Better Place: Carry the bottle with you to ensure you stay hydrated.


Betrayed By My BestieShutterstock

Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can rise dramatically, putting your beloved pets at risk of heatstroke or even death within minutes.

Alternative: Use pet-friendly establishments or apps that allow you to bring your pets inside.

Better Place: Leave your pets at home in a comfortable environment or with someone who can look after them.

Perishable Foods

Dating an idiotFlickr

Leaving foods like dairy or meat products in your car can lead to bacterial growth, making them unsafe to consume.

Alternative: Use insulated grocery bags for perishables.

Better Place: Store them in your refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can.


Travel Horror Stories factsPixabay

While it's essential to have sunscreen on hand, storing it in a hot car can degrade its active ingredients, making it less effective.

Alternative: Carry a small tube of sunscreen in your bag or purse.

Better Place: Store it in a cool, shaded spot in your home.

Disposable Batteries

Punishments Worth It FactsPunishments Worth It FactsPexels

High temperatures can cause batteries to leak or even explode, releasing harmful chemicals.

Alternative: Use rechargeable batteries that have a higher tolerance to temperature fluctuations.

Better Place: Store them in a cool, dry drawer at home.


Hand Sanitizers

Janet Jackson FactsShutterstock

Most hand sanitizers are alcohol-based, making them flammable. Exposure to sunlight or heat can cause them to leak or evaporate, reducing their effectiveness.

Alternative: Use sanitizing wipes or a non-alcohol-based sanitizer.

Better Place: Keep a small bottle in your bag or pocket for on-the-go use.

Final Thoughts

Not The Brightest Kids FactsShutterstock

In a world that moves rapidly, sometimes we need to pause and consider the potential dangers lurking in our daily routines.

By being aware and making small adjustments, you can keep yourself, your loved ones, and your possessions safe from the often-overlooked hazards of leaving items in a vehicle.