How To Clean Motorcycle Tank



Cleaning the gas tank of a motorcycle is a task itself and an important one too.

The gas tank of a motorcycle has fuel running through it continuously which keeps it damp. Because of this, cleaning the tank becomes a little tricky.

So what needs to be done? How to clean motorcycle tank yourself?

Why is cleaning the tank so important? Because the longer a bike goes without riding, more debris could build-up in the fuel tank. Cleaning and maintenance ensure that the engine is not damaged by some foreign harmful material and fuel lines remain unclogged.

Surplus moisture and air getting into the fuel tank infuriates the issues created by grime and rust. Sealants and chemicals exist which help in preventing this process, but these products work best when the inner tank surface is cleaned properly. The tank should also not be allowed to run dry, as an empty tank is more prone to rust.

This guide will help you through the entire tank cleaning process that you can easily do yourself at home.

The Tools you need

There are no major moving parts in the tank, so unlike other maintenance tasks of a motorcycle, cleaning the tank requires very few tools. But there are some general tools that we advice to use for the tank cleaning task for your own safety. Gloves and goggles are essentially crucial when dealing with chemicals.


To protect your eyes from possibly dangerous chemical splashes. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Never use chemicals such as cleaning agents without the protection of your eyes.


You could use simple rubber gloves, they will protect the skin of your hands while you work on cleaning the tank. You can choose from a variety of options available in the market but never go for gloves made of cloth or similar material. While latex gloves are good and easily available, however, vinyl gloves offer robustness and prevent irritation.


As the interior of the tank is mostly dark, a light is required to look inside and check the work in progress. If the light is not sufficient, chances are that you might miss some corners and some serious problems as well. You could miss an overly rusted corner or leave some space filled with grime unattended. Instead of a hand-held device, it is better to opt for a headlight so that both your hands are free to work

Socket Set

When you know how to clean motorcycle tank, you will understand the importance of a suitable socket set. It helps with fitting and removal of the gas tank. Here you should be aware of the sockets that you require; all sets might not fit and open the gas tank of your motorcycle.


It is to seal any hole that you find in the fuel tank. Sealing gaps are important as doing so allows the putty/solution to work so that no moisture is built up in the tank in future. Epoxy putty can be used. Now, putty can seal small gaps only, huge gaps cannot be filled and some extreme cases might demand you to replace the gas tank.

Cleaning solution

This could be any purpose-made solution of anti-rust chemicals which remove the rust build-up in the interior of motorcycle tank. There are some commercial options such as metal rescue and other chemically made for this purpose do a great job. You could make your own solution with white vinegar, cola or baking soda.

After you have all the required tools ready, you can follow the instructions given below. Regardless of the fact that whether this is your first time cor baking sodaleaning a tank or you have done it before a few times, this article could provide many helpful tips. No need to ask again, how to clean motorcycle tank, just read the remaining article.

Step 1: Remove the fuel tank

Use the socket set to remove the gas tank from the motorcycle. I recommend leaving all tank caps, petcocks, and valves in their position so that you can reconnect easily afterward. A close inspection of the tank needs to be done now to ensure that there are no holes in the tank through which cleaning solution can escape out.

In case you find any gap or hole, mix the putty (preferably epoxy putty) and apply it to the holes you just found. Before doing anything else, let the putty dry completely.

Step 2: Washing the tank

After the putty fully dries, you are required to wash the inside of the gas tank with soapy and hot water thoroughly. And if there is lots of rust, some degree of the excessive rusting needs to be removed prior to application of any cleaning agent to make sure that it can do its work effectively.

Step 3:  Remove rust

One commonly used technique is to put bolts and nuts into the water and then poured into the gas tank. Shake the tank aggressively after adding this water, the bolts and nuts inside will knock with the inside of the tank and remove big chunks of rust. Nonetheless, these nuts might get stuck with the tank wall and remain there, creating problems later. So, you can use ice, as if some chunk is left behind, it will melt later. To understand more clearly, how to clean motorcycle tank, you can check this video:

Step 4:  Use cleaning solution

After you have physically removed the majority of the rust, washed and dried the tank, then you can the cleaning solution. This solution could be corrosive, so it is suggested that you wear proper gloves and goggles. In case you use a commercial solution, pay attention to the instructions on the pack and leave the solution in the tank for directed duration of time.

However, if you use a home-made solution, it will save some money but you will have to leave it in the tank for a long time (up to two days) and the only way to ensure the right time for its removal is by checking physically.

Step 5:  Rinse properly

Now as the cleaning solution has cleaned most of the tank, you need to pour it out. Now, how to clean motorcycle tank completely? Thoroughly rinse the tank with water before you put it back. Another important tip is to add some gasoline at last and move the tank around so that it coats the inside of the tank and all excess moisture is removed completely.


I hope this article was helpful and gave you some valuable tips about how to clean motorcycle tank yourself. A motorcycle tank needs to be emptied out and cleaned properly at set intervals. Doing so improves the overall performance of your motorcycle and keeps you away from unpleasant troubles such as clogged pipelines and unexpected fuel leakage.

If your bike has been standing unused for a long time, then you need to clean the tank as a priority. This article is to assist you in the whole process and I would also state that it is not a difficult task to do. It does not require expert mechanical skills.

If you like this article and think that this could be helpful in any way, then do share it with your friends and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. You can also leave your valuable suggestions and comments.

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Bradley Miller

There is nothing that compares to the feeling of controlling a thundering beast beneath you. In addition to the joy of the ride a motorcycle has many advantages over any other vehicle. You learn how to drive the smarter way with traffic rules on the road; also you are always in the state of complete-awareness when on the ride.

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