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Author Topic: Cleaning Rust Out Of A Gas Tank With VINEGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 16427 times)

Offline GLENNWOOD55CAMEO

  • Posts: 481
I recently read here or on another site of a way to clean rust from within a gas tank for $30.00 and does not require coating. It is very simple to the point of being unbelievable but it WORKS!!!! First buy a large box of 1" long sheetrock screws, $20.00. Then buy 4 gal's of white vinegar from the grocery store, $10.00. Then simply insert all the sheetrock screws into the tank, close the cap and shake the hell out of it by hand. I shook it on and off for a day. Every time I walked past it I would shake it. This process knocks off all the loose rust within the tank. I removed the screws. Then simply filled the talk to the brim with vinegar and closed the cap.  I let it set for two days. I then poured out all but approx. 1/2 gallon of vinegar. I then added the sheetrock screws again and shook the hell out of it again. Removed the screws again and refilled the tank with the same used vinegar. Let it set another day. Drained the vinegar out and flushed the tank out with a water hose. After flushing it out, I immediately poured Coca-Cola into the tank and sloshed it around good to keep it from flash rusting. It was that simple. It took it down to bare matal......... Mine looked so good after that I didn't even have to coat it inside.     The first picture below is of the large pile of finely powered rust dust that came out of the tank when I emptied the screws out.
« Last Edit: Dec 24, 2011, 23:05:25 by GLENNWOOD55CAMEO »
#1 "I see said the blind man to the deaf man".  #2 "No matter where you go, there you are". #3 "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle".

Offline smv

  • Posts: 224
  • burn it up
sweet. i've read about the vinegar technique a few times but it's great to get pics and positive feedback. the coke trick sounds like a charm too. thanks for the pointers.

just a few questions though, did you reuse each of the emptied lot of vinegar when you refilled?
also, if you weren't, how were you getting all the screws out for both occasions? did you just empty the whole tank and get the screws out and then refill?

Offline GLENNWOOD55CAMEO

  • Posts: 481
Yes, I reused the vinegar. After filling and shaking the tank, I emptied the vinegar out as much as I could into one 5 gal plastic bucket.  I then turned the tank upside down and emptied the screws out on a large sheet of plastic on the ground by shaking the tank till all the screws fell out. Then I let the vinegar sit in the bucket till all the rust  settled to the bottom of the bucket. I then poured the vinegar into the another 5 gal bucket through a cloth filter. I did two tanks with it and still can reuse it again.............
#1 "I see said the blind man to the deaf man".  #2 "No matter where you go, there you are". #3 "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle".

Offline GR_James

  • Posts: 90
could you use anything other than sheetrock screws, like nuts?

Offline GLENNWOOD55CAMEO

  • Posts: 481
Yes you could and I have tried other media and the sheetrock screws work the best because they have the pointy and sharp ends which help break up all the rust scale inside the tank.
#1 "I see said the blind man to the deaf man".  #2 "No matter where you go, there you are". #3 "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle".

Offline crash1992

  • Posts: 8
Why Coke to stop it from flash rusting? ??? Carbonated water is still water isn't it?

And wouldn't the sticky coating left by the soda syrup on the inside of the tank have any negative effects on gas you put in it afterwards?

Great to hear someone with success from the Vinegar method tho. I need to clean out my KZ400 tank and have been looking for the best "budget" way to do so.

Offline smv

  • Posts: 224
  • burn it up
Yes, I reused the vinegar. After filling and shaking the tank, I emptied the vinegar out as much as I could into one 5 gal plastic bucket.  I then turned the tank upside down and emptied the screws out on a large sheet of plastic on the ground by shaking the tank till all the screws fell out. Then I let the vinegar sit in the bucket till all the rust  settled to the bottom of the bucket. I then poured the vinegar into the another 5 gal bucket through a cloth filter. I did two tanks with it and still can reuse it again.............

too bloody easy. thanks a heapa for the tips. will certainly be having a go at this method. you just saved me green on some por15 horsesh*t. not too pricey in the states but in australia, it's hard to get and a complete ripoff!!

Offline GLENNWOOD55CAMEO

  • Posts: 481
Why Coke to stop it from flash rusting? ??? Carbonated water is still water isn't it?

And wouldn't the sticky coating left by the soda syrup on the inside of the tank have any negative effects on gas you put in it afterwards?

Great to hear someone with success from the Vinegar method tho. I need to clean out my KZ400 tank and have been looking for the best "budget" way to do so.
The Coke is added because it contains Phosphoric acid which neutralizes the acid in the vinegar....
Vinegar is an acetic acid solution in water (5-9 %).
As far as any syrup left inside the tank, I always rinse the tank out with some gas before filling the tank.
#1 "I see said the blind man to the deaf man".  #2 "No matter where you go, there you are". #3 "If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle".

Offline crash1992

  • Posts: 8
Makes sense. I'm definitely going to give this a shot!

Offline Tim

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 11770
    • DO THE TON
Damn.  Now I'm craving chips with vinegar.
Zed's dead baby... Zed's dead.

Offline sham

  • Posts: 309
I did the vinegar thing a while back, but used bicarb/water mix to neutralize it before filling it with petrol and adding in some two stroke oil - two stroke oil has rust inhibitor in it which seems to do the trick.

Offline smv

  • Posts: 224
  • burn it up
nice pointer sham. i might give that a go. how much bicarb did you chuck in with the water
and how's your electrical situation going man, you sorted it out?

Offline interceptor

  • Posts: 513
Thanks for this great tip.  I think a picture says a thousand words.  Rinsed mine with baking soda and water. If anything comes loose, the filter in the petcock and my inline fuel filter
should catch it. 


Offline sham

  • Posts: 309
I don't remember how much bicarb I put in - think it was around 200g to a litre or so? But I should clarify that the two stroke/petrol mix should only be swished around the insides to coat the tank, then immediately fill it up with petrol.

Ha, I ordered a fuel filter too.

And smv - electrical is fixed for now (I get spark now) but still waiting on parts for the carb rebuild. Hopefully can get to work on it once that all arrives. Its been a while.
« Last Edit: Dec 29, 2011, 11:34:13 by sham »

Offline gomotomoto

  • Posts: 431
Just tried this technique with a little modification. Just added more screws and a single bottle of vinegar (about a liter). Shook it on & off every time I saw or walked by the tank for about a week. Probably about 30-40mins of total shaking time over a the week. Popped open the cap today and all I could see was clean metal. definitely a great concept without the use and purchase of harsh chemicals. Know it's an aged thread, but thanks for posting.