How to Clean a Boat Gas Tank


An important part of boat maintenance is to clean its gas tank, as this helps ensure that your boat's engine will last longer and perform at its peak operating power. While not a simple task to complete, it can be done by following the correct procedure and using the proper materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Gas
  • Siphon
  • Fuel line primer bulb
  • Fuel filter cartridge
  • Flashlight
  • Mercury
  • Wet/dry vac
  • Fuel system treatment and stabilizer

Siphon out the existing gas in the tank using a fuel line and primer bulb.

Fill the tank with two gallons of fresh gas along with a product to absorb excess water, such as mercury. At the same time, add a fuel system treatment and stabilizer to remove any remaining sludge or other debris.

Drain out all the preceding mixture.

Remove the tank and sender, and mark each for orientation for re-installation. Remove the filler cap and install the hose of a wet/dry vacuum into the tank, applying the suction for five minutes.

Examine the tank with a flashlight. If not clean, repeat step 2 and wait one to two days. If the tank is still not clean, repeat step 2 again.

Once the tank is clean, install a new fuel filter cartridge into the fuel line. It's highly preferable that you use one that separates water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Perform this procedure in an area that is properly ventilated and is away from any open flame or sparks.

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