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Gas Tank Rust Removal


Jedi Hopeful
What is the best way to remove rust from a gas tank, and what issues do I need to be keeping an eye on. A google search turns up everything including Muric Acid, Vinegar, Nuts and Bolts, Chain, BB’s, Carbon Dioxide Blasting, etc etc. I realize that I am likely to get a dozen more suggestions, but am hoping there might be a general consensus, or some thoughts from the professionals out there.


Senior Member
My tank only has minor interior rust so I dropped a bunch of loose hardware (nuts/bolts/etc) and shook it to and fro for a while. Then did the metal cleaner acid flush, followed by water flush. Finally, I used the POR15 gas-tank sealer. They claim it will fill any small holes (I didn't have any). It dries very hard and makes the interior look new. Good luck. Pat


Jedi Knight
Salt, ice cubes, and liquid toilet bowl cleaner. Pour it in, swirl it around, rinse clean. The salt and the ice cubes are the abrasive. The toilet bowl cleaner scours the tank clean and shiny. Dry with a hair dryer and add tank sealer. Go ahead and laugh, it works, and no sand or rocks left behind. About to do another TR8 tank as soon as it goes above freezing here.


Don't forget the other DIY method of filling the tank 1/2 way with water and putting it on a gas grill to boil the water for several hours.

Keep in mind that while your tank may not have any holes now and all you want to do is clean and de-rust it... once the tank is clean it is likely to develop pin hole leaks. That means you will need a lining kit, not just a tank cleaning method.

All the home remedies have their merits. There are of course professional options as well such as some radiator shops that will clean and seal tanks. I have used tank restoration kits from Kreme and POR. I have heard good things about the Red-Kote that Lukens mentioned. Most (if not all) tank lining kits will come with a strong caustic to remove gum and varnish followed by an acid to dissolve the rust and etch the interior surface. Even with the kit you will want to add something "mechanical" (rocks, nuts/bolts, chain, etc.) to the tank to help knock the gum and rust loose. I use old nuts and bolts that need cleaning anyway.

I do not like the Kreme kit (also sold by others under their own name) and my only other experience is with POR. The POR kit is much easier to use and the lining material leaves a good looking metallic appearance. I heartily recommend the POR kit if you want to do this yourself.


Great Pumpkin
Country flag
The BEST way in my opinion is to have a professional do it.
That is why I stated what I did


Darth Vader
I think it also depends on what equipment you have or lack of and your mechanical capabilities, if you have a compressor and sand blaster, like I have then stick the sand blast nozzel inside the tank and turn on the blaster and just work the hose around, pour the sand out and do it again several time or till you think its rust free, and I used the POR gas tank sealer, and it worked great, been 3 years and the filter show no signs of anything
good luck



Country flag
I used a couple handfuls of rocks after not having very good luck the last time I used Bill Hirsch's tank sealer kit (the first tank I used it on worked great, the second one not so much). So anyway, I was looking for a good cheap way and instead of just throwing a few nuts and bolts in like I had in the past, I threw in a couple handfuls of gravel, and shook and shook and shook, then, as I feared was a bit of a pain getting the rocks out, the final dust was rinsed out then hooked up the shop vac as a blower to dry it out. The filter has looked clean since.


Freshman Member
Redi-Strip will completely remove 100% of the rust without cutting the tank open. Downside is it is expensive and takes a long time. I paid $280 and it took 12 weeks, but it was spotless. Once the tank came back, I treated the inside with RedKote.
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