How to clean sulfuric acid tanks

Updated April 17, 2017

Sulphuric acid is the most-produced chemical by the United States by volume. Sulphuric acid removes hydrogen and water from many materials. It can melt off your skin within a few seconds. Extreme caution must be used when cleaning sulphuric acid tanks. While it is a dangerous process, sulphuric acid tanks must be cleaned to maintain their security. The tanks are made from carbon steel, which does not react to the acid.

Fill a commercial liquid tank with two parts of ammonia solution and three parts distilled water.

Spray the interior surface of the sulphuric acid tank.

Let the ammonia solution soak for two hours. The ammonia solution neutralises the pH of the sulphuric acid.

Test the pH of the sulphuric acid tank. Wipe a piece of litmus paper on the side of the tank. Litmus paper turns blue when contacted with acid, and turns red when contacted with a base.

Repeat Step 2 and 3 until the litmus paper does not react.

Drain the excess solution from the sulphuric acid tank. Leave the tank open to dry.


Sulphuric acid is highly corrosive. You must wear protective clothing, goggles, mask and gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia solution .166 mol/L
  • High-pressure spray nozzle
  • Commercial liquid tank
  • Litmus paper
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