There are very few universal human experiences, but peeing is one of them. It’s a moment of relief even on the hardest of days. We all produce up to 2 liters of urine each day and it has to be expelled or it turns into pain. But is that pee flammable and are we creating some sort of fire hazard when we allow our bladders that moment of freedom to let go?
Urine is not flammable due to its high water content. However, it is possible to light a fire with your urine under the right conditions.
While this sounds counterintuitive, it will make more sense below. This is what you need to know.
Also read: What Makes Something Flammable?
Table of Contents
- What Is Urine/Pee?
- Is Urine Hazardous?
- Why Do Pee Bottles Explode?
- Is Drinking Urine Good For You?
What Is Urine/Pee?
Urine is a byproduct of the metabolism of human beings and a lot of animals too.
It is a pungent liquid that is passed through the kidneys for filtering before ending up in the bladder waiting to be excreted from the body.
The main chemical content of urine is nitrogen compounds which include uric acid, creatinine, and urea.
While urine is not good for us, that’s why we expel it, it’s pretty good for nature and the nitrogen compounds in most forms of urine can be fixed by plants in the soil and used as a fertilizer.
Some animals have urine that has a very distinct smell and use it to spray around the edges of their territory to mark the boundaries of their domains.
Urine has been used throughout history for industrial purposes too and it’s a key ingredient in traditional gunpowder and leatherworking industries, among many others.
Fun fact, when measuring the urination habits of mammals, researchers found that all large mammals take about 21 seconds, plus or minus 13 seconds, to empty their bladders!
Whereas small mammals cannot produce a stream of urine that lasts and instead excrete little droplets near constantly, instead.
In human beings, it’s normal to urinate between 6 and 8 times a day, assuming that you are healthy, well-hydrated, and of a normal weight and activity level.
Why Is It Called Pee?
Pee comes from the French word “pisser” which is also where English gets its cruder and ruder term for urinating from.
This was derived from the Latin “pissiare” which was meant to sound like somebody urinating.
Is Urine Flammable?
Urine, as it is excreted, is not flammable.
That’s because it is mainly water and water does not burn.
While some of the chemicals in urine could, in theory, be burned, the sheer volume of water present ensures that any flame is instantly extinguished.
Thus, if you were to pee on a campfire, you would, normally, put out the fire rather than see it burn more.
Can You Use Urine To Start A Fire?
Yes, you can use urine to start a fire but, it’s not because there’s a way to make your urine flammable.
The trick is, assuming you have no other way of starting a fire that’s less revolting, to take a plastic water bottle and fill it up with your pee (the pee must be ordinary pee and not dark dehydrated urine), then put the cap back on securely.
Turn the bottle upside down and hold it in the sun’s rays.
Aim the light refracted out of the bottle at tinder or a piece of paper and keep it still and if you have a lot of patience, this will, eventually, catch the light.
In short, this is a trick where you substitute a bottle of urine for a magnifying glass with near-identical results.
We would note, though, that this trick works just as well with water, so if the bottle’s full, don’t pour it out to pee in it, use it to set a fire, and then drink the water.
Take a look here:
Is Urine Hazardous?
Urine is not particularly hazardous, while it does contain human waste products, none of them are particularly toxic.
However, it’s worth noting that these products can irritate your eyes or your skin, so you probably don’t want to go swimming in it.
Is It Good For Burns?
Indian folklore and traditional medicine hold that if you urinate on a wound or a burn, it will heal faster.
We confess we were very skeptical of this claim, given that it sounds like a lot of traditional medicine – completely made up.
However, in 2010, four brave scholars from Indian universities decided to test this theory scientifically.
They gave rats deliberate wounds and then covered these wounds in urine to see if they healed better.
They concluded that they did and that human urine has properties that can help to heal wounds and burns.
We still think that we’d like to see more research in this area before recommending people pee on themselves when they get burned.
Why Do Pee Bottles Explode?
If you’ve ever been to a festival in summer, you will know that some folks can’t be bothered to use the toilet facilities and instead, relieve themselves into bottles.
These bottles can expand in the summer heat (thanks to that magnifying lens trick) and if they expand enough, they explode.
This is deeply unpleasant for any festival clean-up crew nearby.
So, please don’t pee in bottles.
Is It Normal To Pee In Bottles?
On that subject, no, it’s not normal to pee in a bottle to save yourself from having to get out of bed to have a pee in the middle of the night.
Yes, we know that there are some people online who suggest that it is, it’s not.
Do Amazon Employees Have To Pee In Bottles?
We don’t work for Amazon, so, this is a hard thing to pin down.
Some Amazon workers, after leaving the company, say that the company is so mean with toilet breaks that their workers have to pee in bottles while working in the warehouse and carry the bottles with them.
Amazon management, on the other hand, denies this completely.
Well, they would even if were true, wouldn’t they?
So, without any firsthand experience of this job and the hardships it entails, we can’t know for sure.
Is Drinking Urine Good For You?
Yes, we know that some people insist that drinking urine has health benefits.
Sadly, for them, there is no evidence whatsoever that this is true.
In fact, as urine is a waste product, it’s entirely possible that it will make you sick by pushing toxins back into the body and potentially bacteria too.
Drinking urine can also damage your kidneys.
Is Drinking Cow Urine Good For You?
There is a lot of folk belief in India that drinking cow urine is good for you and, indeed, even during the Covid epidemic some Indians were positive that cow pee could cure their ills.
Or, at least, there is absolutely no evidence that it can, and for us, that’s the same thing.
Don’t drink cow pee, please.
Is Pee Good For Your Skin?
Oddly, the answer here may well be, “yes”.
Medical Daily suggests that applying urine onto your skin with a clean, damp cloth can make acne and eczema disappear.
Though we have no experience with this.
How Is Urine Sterile?
It isn’t sterile. (According to Healthline.com)
This is a strange rumor.
It is true that as soon as urine leaves the body, it has a very low amount (but not zero) of bacteria, but it takes very little time for these bacteria to multiply.
Urine simply isn’t sterile.