After Seeing What Can Happen if You Leave A Plastic Bottle In Your Car, I’ll Never Do It Again

Updated August 8, 2017

There are a lot of extra precautions me must take in the summer months when the weather is hotter. Applying sunblock before we go outside, making sure our pets have enough water and aren’t left in the car for too long. And, here’s another one…never leave an empty plastic water bottle in your car when it’s a scorcher outside. One Idaho man learned this lesson the hard way.

When Battery Technician, Dioni Amuchastegu was taking his lunch break in his work truck, he suddenly smelled smoke and saw it rising in the vehicle from the corner of his eye. He looked over at the passenger seat and he couldn’t believe his eyes. The light that was being refracted through the water bottle and it was so strong that it caught the seat on fire.

“Light was just shining through the driver’s side window and shone right through the water bottle and burned those two spots in the seat right there.”

The light was so strong that it left two charred holes in the passenger seat. Much like in the same way that a magnifying glass ignites a flame when the sun shines through it, the round plastic water bottle filled with a clear liquid can act as a lens that concentrates the sun’s energy on one point. This eventually creates enough heat to ignite and spark a flame.

Idaho Power Company is making it their mission to educate the public of this scary unknown fact. They’ve shared the story of their employee on Facebook and it’s being shared over and over again.

Not only does leaving water bottles in your car lead to a whole lot of clutter, but they can also cause flames. The best thing to do is to remove the bottles from your car and recycle them but if they have to be in your car for some time, make sure they aren’t in the direct sunlight.

Luckily Dioni was able to get help right away and put the fire out but this really could’ve turned into a major disaster.

“I was quite surprised,” said Dioni. “I had to do a double take and then we tested it out and it was certainly hot enough. It burned two small holes in the seat. It’s not something you really expect…having a water bottle set your chair on fire.”

It’s things like this that we do every day and don’t even think about. People want to stay hydrated in the summer months so they buy bottles of water, drink part of them and leave them in their car. It’s quite frightening that this can happen and if left unattended over a long period of time in the hot sun, a water bottle can do a ton of damage.

Luckily the power company is doing the right thing and spreading the word, hoping to prevent others from being in the same situation. Dioni’s story has been shared thousands of times and people are glad to be informed…

“Worth knowing!”

“Scary stuff. Good to know.”