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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to clean a fuel tank that does not seem to be rusted but just full of varnished gas. What is the best stuff to use that is reasonably priced?
 

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You will receive many replies. If you are fairly confident there are no pin-holes, use Prep N Etch. Available at Home Depot. Some will say use vinegar - which works, but you have to be very, very careful of flash rust after you empty the tank. I have made tanks worse using vinegar. But then again, that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This tank does not show any rust just a lot of varnished gas that has crystalized. I may find rust after I get out all the mess.
 

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Prep N Etch should still work, but I'll let those with more experience in this help. I know there are ways to remove failing tank liners, but that doesn't sound like what you're looking for either. Sorry, I'm not much help here.
 

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IMG_4906.jpg IMG_4980.jpg Muriatic acid (Home Depot paint department..you can get the stronger stuff in the pool area).. make sure you use gloves and glasses (safety) and lots of baking soda to nuetralize the acid when your done..
A qick wash should be sufficient to remove the "varnish"...
 

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Full strength, moved around to contact all surfaces (works pretty fast). Dumped out rinsed tank with water (multiple times).. then some gas with some oil added to coat surfaces (keep from flash dust)...
The acid used and removed needs to be neutralized (add baking soda SLOWLY) untill it stops "reacting"..
 

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You might try some acetone, let it air out a little then coat the inside with WD-40 it will mix with the gas you add later and the motor will burn it.

Bill
 

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This is probably a bit late to answer your question but may be helpful to others in the future. The old fuel residue should be soluble in lacquer thinner or acetone. If there is rust in the tank after removal of the varnish the best answer is Evapo-Rust. It is totally non toxic and water soluble. It can be used for all forms of rust removal. For a tank you really should use enough to fill the tank. The stuff can be reused numerous times so you won't waste it by fill the tank. It is truly amazing stuff.
 

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Great! You'll love it. I will say that it works best at temperatures above 65ºF. It will work at lower temps but it is very slow.
 
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