How to clean motorcycle gas tank in 7 Simple Steps

If you’re like most bikers, you’ve probably never considered cleaning your bike’s fuel tank. You probably don’t even think about it. But, in a world of dirty bikers, why not take a little time to clean motorcycle gas tank? It’s actually not that hard to do, and it’s a really valuable skill to have.

Is rust in motorcycle gas tanks bad?

Yes! A rusty tank can lead to fuel contamination and damage to your fuel system. Thus, the focus of this post is on the condition of the gas tank, and how to determine if it is safe to ride.

How To Clean Motorcycle Gas Tank In 7 Simple Steps
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The problem of rust in motorcycle gas tanks is relatively common, and a frequent complaint by riders. Because of the high pressure in a gas tank, the water inside it is pushed into the gas tank, and corrosion takes place. This is particularly pronounced in the low-pressure area of the gas tank (just above the gas cap o-ring), where the water is pushed into the tank. As you may know, gasoline is a petroleum derivative made from crude oil. It is an extremely valuable chemical compound that is used to heat our homes, power our cars, and run our businesses.

Unfortunately, gasoline is not as reliable as we have come to believe. Over time, gasoline in our vehicles can corrode. This corrosion causes the gas to become contaminated and can cause failures in the valves and pistons of our motorbikes. This is bad for our motorbikes because it can cause gas tank rust. It is a problem that all gas tanks face to one extent or another. The larger the tank, the more likely you are to get rust since there is more opportunity for moisture to enter the tank. However, smaller gas tanks can rust too, as the bike is ridden more and exposed to rain and humidity.

What is the best fuel tank cleaner to clean motorcycle gas tank?

The best fuel tank cleaner is the one that is the most compatible with your motorcycle which can keep your fuel tank clean of all types of dirt and grime. There can be many factors that influence which fuel tank cleaner is best, including the type of motorcycle, the fuel tank cleaning fluids of choice, or even the type of fuel in the tank. Some cleaners are alcohol-based and can be harmful to sensitive fuel tanks, while other cleaners are made with ingredients that are corrosive and may damage the metal in the tank.

The best fuel tank cleaners on the market will prevent the formation of mold and other bacteria, as well as remove any oil that may have accumulated in the fuel tank. (Please check out this review article to have the best cleaner for your tank.)

How to clean A motorcycle gas tank: rust removal & repair?

If you own a motorcycle, then chances are you’ve had to clean your bike’s gas tank at some point. Additionally, there are many other areas of your bike that can rust, and those are more likely the problem of the day. Assessing the rust level is very important before beginning to work on the removal and repair process. It will help us to determine which abrasive material or tool we should use before starting the rust removal process. For mild rusting, we can just use a brush and water but for heavy rust deposits, we might need strong acids.

To clean a motorcycle gas tank, remove the gas tank from the motorcycle. Get the tank in a well-ventilated space. First, drain the gas tank by opening the petcock or draining the fuel line. Next, wash the gas tank with a mixture of one part water and two parts acetone. Then use a wire brush to scrub the inside of the gas tank to remove the rust and dirt.

You may also consider using mild acid (like white vinegar) for the cleaning process. Fill the tank with the acid, capped the tank, and rest it for a day which will dissolve most of the rust. Keep the vinegar for extended periods of time or try to use stronger acid if rust still remains or keep. While using acid please use gloves and be extra careful.

There is some popular tank rust removal product which helps you to remove the nasty rust and clean the tank. (we can provide a review article link here)

Thoroughly wash the tank with hot water to remove the dust and wipe down the gas tank with a clean rag and set it out in the sun to dry. Then apply a rust preventive spray or coat the inside of the gas tank with a rust-inhibiting paint, such as WD-40. You can use a rust-inhibiting primer, such as POR-15. Make sure that the tank is completely dry, including the inside, before using.

If there is serious rust in your gas tank try using a blaster or pressure washer. Also, you may go to the workshop to have professional help.

7 simple steps to cleaning your fuel tank

  • The first step is to remove the fuel tank. The fuel tank of a motorcycle is located under the seat. Before removing the fuel tank, make sure to drain the fuel first. You can drain the fuel from the tank by turning the fuel tap off. You should first loosen the seat’s screws, then remove the seat and side covers of the tank. Then you must disconnect any gas lines and release any cables, and then unscrew the bolts that hold the tank and remove the tank.  This should be actually a simple step that can be done with the use of a few tools, but sometimes it could be difficult depending on the bike types. After the removal process, check the tank for the holes, and if found any fix it before continuing the next process.
  • Use a brush to agitate the sediment and dirt below the fuel line and in the gas tank
  • Use a siphon to siphon the fuel
  • Use a shop vacuum to remove the fuel and dirt
  • Protect your gas tank from rust and corrosion using a chemical cleaner
  • The fuel tank should be dry before you put it back on
  • Finally, re-install the fuel lines

How do you clean your motorcycle gas tank with vinegar?

From the vast information available about motorcycle maintenance, the vinegar to clean motorcycle gas tank has been a practice that has been proven to work. The thickest dirt in your motorcycle gas tank is typically the result of unused fuel solidifying and drying. Most motorcycle gas tanks are made out of aluminum and can be easily cleaned with white vinegar. You can spray the vinegar directly in the tank and wipe it clean afterward. To prevent corrosion, you can fill the tank with a mixture of water and vinegar.

First, empty the tank and disassemble it (or you can empty it after the disassemble whatever suits you). After this step, you can fill it with vinegar and water and leave it for at least a day. To get the clean tank you should wash it thoroughly at least three times to make sure there is no vinegar residue.

Check out this video on how to clean the tank with vinegar easily

How do you clean out a rusty gas tank?

To clean out a rusty gas tank, first, remove any sediment from the tank, and then flush the tank with clean, fresh fuel. When cleaning out a tank, you should first make sure you have safety and protective gear. You can clean using an acid or acid solution, or use a media blasting with rock or slurry.

There are lots of products out there that might help you to do this pretty well or you can use a homemade solution that also helps to remove rust pretty well. One of the solutions is to use a mixture of vinegar and water. Mixing proportions depends on how rusty it is. Fill the tank with the mixture and wait for a day. After a day, rinse it through with baking soda water first, then with normal water until there will be no residue of vinegar or baking soda exists. Let it dry naturally or you can use a dryer before putting it back on your bike.

How do you clean out my gas tank without removing it?

Cleaning a gas tank can be a tough job because of the shape of the tank. It can be hard to get to all of the corners and crevices of the tank. You can clean out your gas tank without removing it. To do so, remove the fuel cap and fuel filter. You’ll need to take off the fuel and drain it. Next, use a siphon to draw the gas out. Using a large syringe, put in a tube and remove the gas from the tank. Then use a hose, a long brush, and liquid soap to thoroughly clean the inside of the tank. However, it is advised that you do not use a power washer or a strong or hot detergent to clean your gas tank.

Can you clean a motorcycle gas tank with water?

Water poured into your fuel tank will not clean your fuel tank. The water can only remove dirt from the surface of the tank. You can use a hose with a tiny bit of soap to clean the tank. Also, you should dry your motorcycle gas tank after cleaning with water since it is made of metal otherwise it will rust. There are products out there if you want to clean the tank. You should use a product that is specifically designed to clean the tank and remove the varnish and other residues.

How do you get rid of bad gasoline?

Running with bad gasoline can degrade your engine performance. But, how can we get rid of it? Should we just pump it out and throw it into the trash can? Absolutely not! Let’s get it done by a step-by-step process.

Safety first. Working with gasoline can be very dangerous and messy. So, you have to be extra careful while working on this task. Use safety glasses, gloves, and choose an open place.

Now, let’s start pumping out the bad gas out of your tank. Put this on an authorized disposable gas can. Keep some rags, towels, or paper towels nearby to clean your hand after pumping out the gas. If your hand is smelly try rubbing alcohol and lemon in your hand. After the smell is gone, clean your hand with soap and water.

Find your local toxic/contaminated or recycling center where you can dispose of this gas. It may cost you if you choose a private recycling center. Before driving to the nearest zone, make sure you capped the disposable gas can properly and pack it well so that it does not spill on the road.

Final Words

It is easy to forget to clean your motorcycle tank from time to time, especially if you are not extremely careful about keeping it clean. Before starting to clean, you need to check how bad it is right now. If it’s too much for you to handle you should consider going to a workshop and let the professionals handle it for you. Also, you have to be careful with acid substances if you are using them to clean the tank. Also, check the tank after cleaning if it creates any holes. A small hole can be fixed with putty. But for the bigger hole which leads you to buy a replacement.

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