How to Clean a Car Gas Tank


If you have an old car, you may need to clean the gas tank. You can always hire a professional to clean it for you, but if you're on a tight budget, that might not be possible. When you need to clean your gas tank, you should take certain precautions to do it properly and safely.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuel tank cleaner
  • Hose
  • Water
  • Consult your vehicle's manual to understand how each part connects to the tank and how the gas tank should be removed.

  • Make sure there is little to no gas in the car. Drive your car to burn any remaining gas, if necessary.

  • Remove the tank, based on the instructions in the car's manual. Make sure that your tank is empty.

  • Fill the tank with fuel tank cleaner, following the instructions on the bottle. In some cases, you will need to dilute the cleaner with 1 or 2 gallons of water. Different cars also take different amounts, so refer to the bottle's instructions for guidance.

  • Let the cleaner sit for several hours to allow the solution to work on and loosen grime, rust and other deposits attached to the walls of the gas tank.

  • Clean the tank out with water from a garden hose. Clean the outside of the tank as well.

  • Repeat the first few steps until nothing comes out of the tank. Rinse the tank a few extra times to be sure that it’s completely clean.

  • Allow the tank to dry for 24 to 48 hours; be sure your tank is completely dry before reinstalling it. The tank must be completely empty and dry before it is put back on the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean your gas tank in your driveway rather than in your garage so you can dispose of the material that comes out more easily.
  • The job will go much faster and more smoothly if you can get someone to help you. Try to find someone who has done this before.
  • Perform this job outdoors to allow for proper ventilation.

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  • Photo Credit yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from
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