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Thread: Tank cleaning advice

  1. #11
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    Unhappy Oops! Bummer…

    As part of my tank cleaning process, I began by putting a handfull of nuts and bolts (up to 2"x3/8") into the tank and did the shaker dance. It was quite effective for taking off the heavy scale. I went on and used Evapo-Rust, for a few days with a handfull of 1/4" washers shook around a few times for help.
    Tank's mostly clean with some rust left at the ends of the football.
    The bummer is: I just noticed that the heavier bolts made little pips in the tank. Kinda looks like ostrich skin.
    Don't ever shake large bolts in your tank!
    Bill
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Bill View Post
    As part of my tank cleaning process, I began by putting a handfull of nuts and bolts (up to 2"x3/8") into the tank and did the shaker dance. It was quite effective for taking off the heavy scale. I went on and used Evapo-Rust, for a few days with a handfull of 1/4" washers shook around a few times for help.
    Tank's mostly clean with some rust left at the ends of the football.
    The bummer is: I just noticed that the heavier bolts made little pips in the tank. Kinda looks like ostrich skin.
    Don't ever shake large bolts in your tank!
    Bill
    Aquarium rocks work great in my experience. They have rough edges so they scrub the metal well and their small size allows them to cover the entire tank area well.

  3. #13
    Billy Ricks Guest

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    Phosphoric acid is what you want to use. It doesn't harm to sound metal. If you treat the rust and don't intend to coat the tank or put it into service right away either fog it or use some motor oil in some naptha to slosh around in the tank. Dump the solution out and what's left of the naptha will evaporate and leave a light oil coating behind.

  4. #14
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    Have you ever tried washing the tank with coca cola? I have an old and rusty tank, is it true that coca cola can clean it?


    And one more thing, is it true that washing with reverse osmosis water makes motorcycle paint not fade quickly? thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anggoro View Post
    Have you ever tried washing the tank with coca cola? I have an old and rusty tank, is it true that coca cola can clean it?


    And one more thing, is it true that washing with reverse osmosis water makes motorcycle paint not fade quickly? thanks
    Cola drinks have a very small amount of phosphoric acid in them so it's possible to derust LIGHTLY rusted items using it. For a rusted gas tank it would take a LONG time though.

    And what kind of water you use to clean your bike has no affect on fading of materials after cleaning.

  6. #16
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    Muriatic acid is simply diluted hydrochloric acid -- 33%. It normally has the same strong smell of hydrochloric acid, but a lot is sold with an odor-removing agent mixed in. Both are extremely corrosive -- so it's probably best to use the smelly stuff for safety sake.

    Vinegar is basically 5% acetic acid -- nearly identical to the glacial acetic acid used in the darkroom by photographers. They dilute pure acetic acid with water to 5% for a "stop bath" -- to halt the action of the developer (which is a base solution). It is so dilute that you can put you hands in it with no ill effects -- just as you can put vinegar on your salad, etc., and swallow it.

    Most soft drinks, like Coke, have a low PH -- some as low as 2. That's lower (i.e, more corrosive) than 5% acetic acid, but not as low as hydrochloric acid. The acidity in soft drink will corrode your teeth (more so than the sugar), but it takes a long time.

    So while Coke or dilute acetic acid certainly might help clean out a gas tank, it will probably take quite a while.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    Muriatic acid is simply diluted hydrochloric acid -- 33%. It normally has the same strong smell of hydrochloric acid, but a lot is sold with an odor-removing agent mixed in. Both are extremely corrosive -- so it's probably best to use the smelly stuff for safety sake.

    Vinegar is basically 5% acetic acid -- nearly identical to the glacial acetic acid used in the darkroom by photographers. They dilute pure acetic acid with water to 5% for a "stop bath" -- to halt the action of the developer (which is a base solution). It is so dilute that you can put you hands in it with no ill effects -- just as you can put vinegar on your salad, etc., and swallow it.

    Most soft drinks, like Coke, have a low PH -- some as low as 2. That's lower (i.e, more corrosive) than 5% acetic acid, but not as low as hydrochloric acid. The acidity in soft drink will corrode your teeth (more so than the sugar), but it takes a long time.

    So while Coke or dilute acetic acid certainly might help clean out a gas tank, it will probably take quite a while.
    It is interesting to see an old thread resurrected.

    My suggestion is to get it done professionally.

    Take the tank to a gas tank specialst/renewer and have them clean it and coat it.
    Some radiator shops may do it, as well.

    They have all the means and the expertise to do it well.

    It was a few years ago when I last did that, but it cost only a little more than buying the chemicals, so I had no headaches, no spilled chemicals or any other problem. It was perfect when it came back.
    Last edited by argonsagas; 07-08-2021 at 10:33 AM.
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  8. #18
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    I made the mistake of using pebbles and cheap supermarket cola to de-rust a tank. It worked really well, but took ages to get the last ones out, and there's one still in there.
    Next time I'll use a lavvy chain.

    https://www.lexico.com/definition/lavatory_chain
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimly View Post
    I made the mistake of using pebbles and cheap supermarket cola to de-rust a tank. It worked really well, but took ages to get the last ones out, and there's one still in there.
    Next time I'll use a lavvy chain.

    https://www.lexico.com/definition/lavatory_chain
    Fun Fact: That type of wall mounted WC w/ pull chain was invented by Thomas CRAPPER.

  10. #20
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    Strapped mine to a cement mixer with chain and nuts and bolts inside.

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