How To Clean Rust Out Of A Motorbike Gas Tank

How to Clean Rust Out of a Motorcycle Gas Tank” and will discuss about it in detail within the article. A motorbike gas tank should actually be kept clean at all times. But, it can develop rust and at the same time gradually start to cause issues. With the present fuel formulations, rust formation is inevitable. To maintain a smooth ride, avoid replacing your fuel filters, or avoid cleaning your carbs and engine frequently, you should learn the basics of cleaning the tank.

The process of clearing rust formation isn’t easy. Fortunately, with a touch determination, you’ll be ready to save your gas tank and secure the well-being of the complete motorcycle. There are multiple reasons why your tank might develop rust. Before commencing the cleaning process, assess the condition and identify the reason behind the rust development. This way, it’ll be easier for you to actually clean the tank and avoid going through a similar problem in the future.

Drain And Remove The Gas Tank

This 1st step is to assess the condition of the tank and choose whether to clean it or replace it. The final thing you would like to do is to spend plenty of time trying to save a tank that’s beyond saving. Also, all tanks have a varying degree of rust, and therefore the cleaning process varies from one tank to another. By removing the tank from the bike, you’ll see all the angles and determine how much rust your tank has developed.

Furthermore, depending on the level of tank degradation, there are critical steps to follow as well as solve the problem. If your tank has excess rust development, the easiest option is to find a replacement instead of spending too much time and effort trying to reverse the damage. However, before choosing this solution, first you need to understand the make of your bike’s tank.

You can also work closely with a dealer or mechanic to see if they can find a replacement tank that is in good condition. Note: It is better to spend $100 or $200 for a replacement tank than spend too much time and too many resources on a rusty one.

Choose A Rust Abatement Method

This simply means diminishing or reducing the rust that’s formed inside the gas tank. At this point, there are three methods that you simply can choose, and they all provide the same results. The three methods are:
Manual Abatement. This method uses abrasive materials to get rid of rust deposits. The material may be anything from nuts and bolts to gravel.Chemical Abatement. This method uses chemicals, mostly mild acid, to fret the rust deposits and take away heavy rust formation.A Mixture Of Both. This is a mixture of both manual and chemical abatement. However, when you mix both, ensure to swish the tank around to achieve the expected results.
Whichever method you choose, you should receive professional results as long as you follow the directions correctly. However, depending on the rust buildup, you may have to spend a lot of time on a particular method or even repeat the same process several times.

Prep The Tank

The first step in gas tank preparation is removing and emptying the fuel. Then you need to seal all the holes to avoid spilling the chemical or solution you utilize. Depending on the sort of tank, you must seal the holes using either vacuum caps or silicone plugs. Some tanks have crossover tubes, while others have petcock outlets and filler cap. Choose the most appropriate seal for your tank. If you’re cleaning the tank for the 1st time, don’t worry about making mistakes and selecting the incorrect seal. It’s a learning process, and eventually you will get it right.
Work Outside

Your safety should always come first. During the abatement process, it is actually quite essential to remember that some chemical fumes can be really harmful. Therefore, before you start working on the tank, find a well-ventilated location where you will do the job. We advise doing this in an open or ventilated area. Also, wear appropriate gear that will keep you safe from any harm that may come from using chemicals. Failing to work in a secure area while cleaning the tank can cause headaches, unconsciousness, nausea and other health risks. When you are actually working outside, you minimize exposing other items to dangerous chemical fumes quite a lot.

Check Volatility

Before you begin performing on any chemicals to wash the tank, you must first check the volatility. The volatility is the chemical reaction of the agitator and also the cleaner. Checking on the volatility helps to keep you safe and also minimizes any health risks that may result. To actually check the volatility, you must simply place the chemical as well as agitator in a bowl, and then allow them to sit for a few minutes. If there is no any sort of vigorous reaction or nothing happens, then you can actually proceed to the next step.

The Process

Once your solution has passed the volatility test, you’ll begin the abatement process. There are five steps that you simply must follow precisely to thoroughly clean the gas tank. You must follow each step so as to get the expected results.

Add Acid

Adding acid is the very first thing you would like to do. Remember that some acids are often dangerous to your bike and also cause health risks. Therefore, choose an acid that will work best in removing rust but will still be gentle to both you and the bike. The most common acid that is safe and works well is white vinegar. After adding the acid you need to give it a few days to settle before proceeding to the next step.

Add Agitator

Once you have allowed your acid sufficient time to work, it’s time to add the agitator (some nuts or bolts will do the job efficiently). Whatever you choose to use as your abrasive material should be manageable and scratch rust away without damaging the tank. At this point, no matter how much abrasive material you have, only use a handful or two to allow sufficient space for the material to move freely and scratch every area of the tank with ease.


After adding both acid and agitator to the tank, you would like to shake the mixture together for it to work and clean the tank thoroughly. The shaking process might take a few of days before you’ll see the bare metal inside the tank. Shake as long as well as hard as possible, and at the same time take breaks between shakes. It is up to you to choose how many times you wish to shake per day till you see the bare metal. The more times as well as the harder you shake, the faster the results. Also, if you are not prepared to go through the manual shaking process, you can use a clothes dryer to achieve the same results. However, this might damage your tank as it gets tough to monitor abrasive material movement using electrical techniques.


This simply means you must remove the content from the inside of the tank and rinse it with running water for a couple of minutes. Then neutralize the acid with some dish detergent, fill the tank with hot water, empty it, and let it dry thoroughly.


The finishing process involves using a sealer to stop rust and corrosion from occurring. Some people like using commercial tank sealers, but they’re not always the most effective option for the safety of your carbs. If you plan to use your tank immediately after cleaning off the rust, the most effective and most practical sealer is one that’s fuel-soluble. Moreover, a good finish will safeguard your tank from actually developing additional rust after cleaning. Also, it helps prolong the gas tank’s life, saving you money. If you intend to keep your tank on the shelf for a little while before use, then choose a sealer that is slightly thicker, such as motor oil.

Using Stronger Acid as an Alternative

If you don’t have time to wait for vinegar to clean your tank, you can use a stronger acid that works within minutes. In less than 30 minutes you can clean your tank and remove all the rust buildup regardless of how intense it is . However, with other acids you must use a different way to seal the fillers because it can damage the caps. Also, fuel caps are vented, and the acid can easily escape through the vents and cause unexpected damage on paint, clothes, or even your flesh. Therefore, you need to be extra careful while using muriatic acid.


Once you’ve gone through the cleaning process, it’s probably not something you’d want to go through again. Therefore, it’s essential to care for your bike and make sure that your tank doesn’t develop rust again. An easy way to do that is by keeping a full tank and using the gas frequently.