10 Items You Should Always Avoid Leaving Inside a Hot Car

By Krystal Brown

During blistering summer days, the intense heat from the powerful sun can lead to soaring temperatures inside enclosed spaces, with parked vehicles in open and unshaded areas being particularly susceptible. Beyond safeguarding your children and pets, refrain from leaving these items in your car, as they may pose potential risks to your health and safety.


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Electronics – be it mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, or flash drives – should not be left inside hot vehicles. If stored in places with a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (⩾90 °F), that can damage their mechanisms, battery, or worse, explode.


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Lithium-ion batteries, which can be found in most of your electronic gadgets should never be exposed to high temperatures as that can increase the heat and temperature of the batteries themselves, leading to their destruction. In some cases, you sure heard news of fires caused by battery explosions. Not only will this be a potential harm to you but to other properties in your surroundings. 

The same goes for all other batteries; they are not heat-resistant. These batteries contain corrosive materials and strong acids, which are hazardous to your health if breathed in. You may notice your battery secreting some liquid chemicals after leaving it in a hot car. Never touch it with your bare hands, as the acid can burn your skin.

Aerosol Cans

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Perhaps you want to keep your hair spray just within your reach everywhere you go, so you plan to store one in your car. But before you think about doing that, you should be aware that these aerosol cans that contain your hair spray or deodorant can expand when exposed to extreme temperature and pressure and result in a boom! In one instance, a car’s windshield was severely damaged after a tin of aerosol spray exploded inside a heated car.

Cosmetic Products and Sunscreen

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It has been your habit to retouch once you get into your car, so you plan to leave your makeup kit there. The next time you come back after parking in an unshaded space, you notice your lipstick has melted. Not only will excessive heat ruin your makeup, but it will also destroy its consistency and texture.

While sunscreens can protect you from the sun, exposing them can damage the products’ effectiveness. Extreme heat may also put much pressure on its canister, causing it to explode.


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You came to the grocery and were not able to resist the sight of some beautiful greens in the plant section. You then bought live plants, but instead of heading home, you dropped by another shop, leaving your car parked in an open space. Plants inside a hot vehicle can experience stress and dehydration. All these can impact their growth and even cause them to wilt and die. 

Disposable Lighters

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Like all other items, heat can cause much pressure on the lighter, leading to a potential explosion. You may be too lax on cold days, but when the season changes, never miss to remove your lighter before it is too late.

Water bottles

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Indeed, it is vital to keep yourself hydrated at all times so you never miss taking a water bottle with you, but you must never leave it in your car if it is going to be exposed to the sun. Plastic bottles contain chemicals that are released into the water as the temperature rises. Drinking the water after its bottle has been exposed to heat can pose hazards to your health. 

Aside from that, there were reports of burned vehicles after the water bottles acted as lenses and refracted sunlight.

Food Supplies

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As a caveat, food items such as eggs, milk, fish, and meat should never be left in a hot car or stored in areas with temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (⩾90 °F). Exposure to extreme heat speeds up the decomposition process, which can cause spoilage and put you at risk of contracting food-borne diseases.


Tablets from bottle
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Because most of these medicines are combinations of many chemicals, it is highly recommended (as indicated in the packaging) that you store them at room temperature. Their effectiveness can perish when exposed to excessive heat. Besides, these medications, especially those needed for your maintenance and in emergency cases,  should be beside you or in your pockets in case you need them, not anywhere else.

Art Supplies

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You probably know how soft pastels and crayons can get when exposed to heat. They can melt quickly, spill out of their boxes or containers, and in some instances, mess up your car seats. Other art supplies like spray paints are usually kept in aerosol containers which, as previously mentioned, can potentially explode as increased heat increases pressure on the containers.

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