How to Clean Outside Plastic Gas Tanks

Written by sarah coennen
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Gas tanks that sit outside for an extended period must be thoroughly cleaned to be used again. A dirty tank may contain old gas that can't burn, rust and other debris. Using dirty, old gas can damage a vehicle.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rust remover or cleaning agent for gas tanks
  • Hot soapy water

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  1. 1

    Empty the gas tank. Old gas can be taken to a burn pit, recycling center or hazardous waste facility. Call you local waste disposal authority for details.

  2. 2

    Flush the gas tank thoroughly with water.

  3. 3

    Add the rust remover or cleaning agent and agitate the liquid around the inside the gas tank. For best results, follow the instructions on the cleanser's label.

  4. 4

    Dispose of the cleaning agent as recommended. If there are no instructions, simply pour the liquid back into the original container, seal tightly and throw away.

  5. 5

    Pour hot, soapy water into the gas tank and shake. Pour out and repeat several times.

  6. 6

    Allow the tank to dry completely before filling with gas or reattaching to a vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • You can find gas tank cleaning agents at your local auto parts store.
  • Gas is highly flammable. Exercise caution and do not strike any fire. Also beware of cleaning agents that typically are poisonous.

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