How To Clean Your Motorbike Fuel Tank

If you are looking for effective and efficient ways to clean your motorbike fuel tank, this post is for you. Failing to clean your bike’s fuel tank can lead your money down the drain. 

In this post, you will learn to clean your motorbike fuel tank effectively. Whether it is rust or dirt in your motorbike fuel tank, we will guide you on how to clean it. Old motorbike tanks usually have some deterioration, hence the rust and dirt you see in them. 

Before we go further to discuss cleaning your motorbike fuel tank, there are certain things you must do:

  • Remove and access your fuel tank.

Before you start the cleaning process for your motorbike, it is essential to ensure the fuel tank can be salvaged. There is a big difference between cleaning out surface rust and patching or reworking your motorbike fuel tank. If your tank is beyond cleaning, you should consider acquiring a new and better one that will serve you better. 

  • Rust abatement

Rust abatement is a very good approach to take when you want to clean your motorbike fuel tank. Before you begin this process, look for any visible damage to your bike’s fuel tank. You can use torchlight to check for any holes in the tank. Alternatively, you can use a borescope to inspect the inside of the tank for any flaws. If you are only dealing with rust and dirt, go for a combination of different rust abatement techniques to clean it. 

There are two methods of abatement, and you can use both when cleaning your motorbike fuel tank. 

  • Chemical abatement

It serves as a precursor to finishing the restoration. You can use a mild acid like white vinegar which will use its etching action to eat into the rust and remove it. A mild acid is the best because it limits the damage to the tank and the finish. 

  • Manual abatement

You will need an abrasive material to remove heavy rust deposits. Alternatively, you can find some nuts and bolts and place them in your motorbike tank and shaken around to remove any scale buildup in the tank. Also, there are other options like gravel, but it has to be something that can move freely inside the tank without being stuck. 

The manual and chemical abatement can be combined to create a slosh-like solution that you can swirl inside the tank. Meanwhile, it would help if you took necessary precautions when preparing and abating your tank, especially when using harmful chemicals. 

  •  Motorbike tank preparation 

You must take out time to prepare your tank before commencing the cleaning process. There are some fundamental tank cleaning preparations like removing the tank from the bike, emptying the tank, etc. You also need to ensure that all the holes are sealed. 

There are several methods of sealing your motorbike tank, but arguably the most effective are silicon plugs or vacuum caps. Aside from emptying your tank, removing, and sealing holes, there are other important steps to take. 

  • Go to a ventilated space.

Whenever you want to clean you motorbike fuel tank, it is advisable to move to a ventilated area. Cleaning your bike tank in a confined space without good ventilation can cause health risks. Therefore, it is always better for you to go outdoors. 

  • Ensure you check the volatility

After you have combined all needed reagents in the tank, ensure you always check to see the chemical reaction. This is the reason we advocate that you use vinegar because it presents low-risks for adverse reactions. To check the volatility, place the agitator and the chemical inside a bowl and let them sit for some minutes. If nothing happens, then you are safe to use it to clean your motorbike fuel tank. 

The Processes - Cleaning your fuel tank

Now let us consider the processes involved in cleaning your motorbike fuel tank. This is a five-pronged approach on how to clean your motorbike fuel tank. These processes must be adhered to in this particular order:

Step 1: Add Acid

We have already highlighted that strong acid can damage your fuel tank with the possibility of causing bodily harm. It is strongly advised that you always use white vinegar. The vinegar is strong enough to remove rust and dirt while remaining safe for your bike and your health. If you have used vinegar, you need to top off your fuel tank and allow it to sit for a few days before moving to the next step. 

Step 2: The Agitator

The agitator is the mechanical abrasive material; it can be metal nuts or gravel. You must ensure it is small and rough enough to scratch away dirt and rust without any serious damage to your tank. Ensure you use a handful of these agitators to allow for easy movement within the tank.

Step 3: Shake The Tank Thoroughly 

Once you have the acid and the agitator in the tank, shake the tank vigorously. Meanwhile, it might take several days of shaking and taking breaks before the bare metal becomes visible on the inside. 

Step 4: Flush The Tank

At this stage, you have to remove any plugs and empty the content of the tank (acid and agitator). Once you have done this, use a garden hose to rinse the fuel tank. You must run the water for some minutes to ensure that all the acid is out. Now you can pour in some dish detergent to neutralize the white vinegar and fill the tank with hot water. After you have one all these, empty the tank again and dry thoroughly. 

Step 5: Finishing The Tank

This last stage is a personal preference. You can choose to use commercial tank sealers. However, a fuel-soluble sealer might be better. 


We believe strongly that you have learned how to clean your motorbike fuel tank. Ensure you have all the necessary things before you clean your motorbike fuel tank. After you have cleaned your fuel tank, put in new fuel and go for a test ride. Always remember to wear a protective helmet like the Beanie Helmet. 

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