How to Clean Old Gas Out of the Plastic Tank

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, use a mixture of hot water and dish detergent. Fill the tank with the mixture, let it sit for a few hours, then drain and rinse thoroughly.

This process will remove any residue or impurities from the tank, allowing it to be used safely and effectively. Additionally, it is important to dispose of the old gas properly, following local regulations and guidelines.

How To Clean Old Gas Out Of The Plastic Tank


Understanding The Effects Of Old Gas On Plastic Tanks

Understanding the effects of old gas on plastic tanks is crucial when it comes to cleaning out the tank. By following these steps, you can effectively remove the old gas and ensure proper functionality of the plastic tank for future use.

The Importance Of Removing Old Gas From Plastic Tanks

Old gas can have detrimental effects on plastic tanks, causing various performance issues and potentially shortening their lifespan. It is important to understand why removing old gas from plastic tanks is necessary to maintain their functionality and durability.

How Old Gas Can Impact The Performance And Longevity Of Plastic Tanks:

  • Deterioration of plastic: As old gas sits in a plastic tank, it can cause the plastic to break down over time. This deterioration weakens the structural integrity of the tank, making it prone to leaks and cracks.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency: Old gas tends to have a lower octane rating and may contain deposits and impurities. When this fuel is used, it can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and compromised engine performance.
  • Clogging of fuel lines and filters: Old gas can accumulate debris and sediments, leading to clogging in the fuel lines and filters. This obstruction disrupts the smooth flow of fuel and can result in engine misfires, decreased power, and potentially costly repairs.
  • Corrosion of metal components: Plastic tanks often have metal parts, such as fuel pumps and fuel injectors. If old gas is left in the tank for an extended period, it can cause corrosion and damage to these metal components, affecting their functionality and causing potential leaks.

Identifying Signs Of Old Gas In A Plastic Tank:

  • Strong odor: Old gas emits a distinct, unpleasant odor. If you detect a pungent smell coming from your plastic tank, it’s a clear indication that the gas has become stale.
  • Discolored fuel: Old gas may appear darker or even contain sediment. If the fuel in your plastic tank has a murky appearance, it is a sign that it is no longer fresh.
  • Difficult starting or rough idling: When old gas is used, your engine may have trouble starting or may idle roughly. This is due to the reduced combustibility of the fuel, resulting in inefficient engine performance.
  • Engine hesitation or lack of power: If your vehicle seems sluggish or lacks power during acceleration, old gas could be the culprit. The impurities in the fuel can hinder proper combustion, leading to a loss of power.

Regularly inspecting your plastic tank and addressing any signs of old gas promptly is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Taking the necessary steps to clean out old gas from your plastic tank will help ensure optimal fuel efficiency and prevent potential damage to your vehicle’s engine and fuel system.

Preparing For The Cleaning Process

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, you can follow a simple process using a siphon pump, a container, and fresh gasoline. This involves emptying the tank, removing any debris, and refilling it with clean gasoline.

Before you begin the process of cleaning old gas out of a plastic tank, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and materials. Ensuring safety measures are in place is also crucial before you start any work. Finally, you’ll need to drain any remaining gas from the tank.

Let’s delve into each step in detail:

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials:

To successfully clean old gas out of a plastic tank, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • Safety goggles to protect your eyes from any potential splashes or spills
  • Rubber gloves to keep your hands protected from chemicals and gas
  • A funnel for easy and controlled pouring
  • A clean and dry gasoline container to store any drained gas
  • A clean cloth or rag for wiping down surfaces
  • A fuel siphon or a hand pump to drain the gas (optional but recommended)

Ensuring Safety Measures Are In Place:

Safety should always be a top priority when handling potentially hazardous substances like gasoline. Follow these safety measures to minimize any risks:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. If possible, choose an outdoor location.
  • Keep any open flames or sources of ignition away from the cleaning area.
  • Avoid smoking or using any other fire sources while handling gas or working on the tank.
  • Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from any spills or splashes
  • Ensure that any nearby electrical equipment is turned off and unplugged to prevent sparks or accidents.

Draining Any Remaining Gas From The Tank:

Before you can start cleaning the plastic tank thoroughly, you’ll need to drain any remaining gas still inside it. Follow these steps for safe and effective draining:

  • Place the empty gasoline container below the tank’s fuel outlet.
  • Use a fuel siphon or hand pump to extract the gas from the tank. Insert one end of the siphon or pump into the fuel outlet and the other end into the gasoline container.
  • If using a siphon, create suction by shaking the tube up and down until the gas starts flowing. If using a hand pump, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to extract the gas.
  • Allow the gas to drain completely into the container. Be patient, as it may take a few minutes to drain completely.
  • Once drained, close the fuel outlet to prevent any residue from leaking out.

By gathering the necessary tools and materials, ensuring safety measures are in place, and draining any remaining gas from the tank, you are now ready to move forward with the cleaning process.

Step 1: Removing The Plastic Tank From The Vehicle

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, start by removing the tank from the vehicle. Carefully follow step 1 of the cleaning process to ensure effective removal.

Step 1: Detaching The Tank From The Vehicle

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, the first step is to safely remove the tank from the vehicle. Follow these steps to detach the tank:

  • Locate the plastic tank: Identify the location of the plastic tank in your vehicle. It is usually located underneath the vehicle, near the rear axle or in the trunk area.
  • Prepare for removal: Put on appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, before starting the removal process.
  • Disconnect the fuel lines: Locate the fuel lines connected to the plastic tank. Using a wrench or pliers, carefully disconnect the fuel lines by loosening the fittings.
  • Remove any mounting straps: Check if the plastic tank is secured with mounting straps. If so, use a wrench or socket set to remove the bolts or screws holding the straps in place.
  • Lower the tank: Slowly lower the plastic tank using a hydraulic jack or by manually supporting it with your hands. Ensure you have a suitable container underneath to catch any remaining fuel or debris.

Remember to consult your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions related to your particular make and model.

Once the plastic tank has been successfully detached from the vehicle, you can move on to the next step in the process of cleaning out the old gas.

Step 2: Emptying The Tank Completely

To effectively clean old gas out of a plastic tank, the second step is to empty the tank completely. This process ensures a thorough removal of any residual fuel, making way for proper cleaning and maintenance.

Removing Any Residual Gas From The Tank

When it comes to cleaning an old gas tank, the first step is to empty it completely. This is important to ensure that no residue is left behind that could potentially contaminate the new fuel you’ll be adding. Here’s how you can remove any residual gas from the tank efficiently:

  • Begin by disconnecting the gas tank from the fuel lines and any other attachments it may have. This will make the process easier and safer.
  • Position a container under the gas tank to catch any remaining fuel. Make sure the container is suitable for holding gasoline and is placed securely to prevent spills.
  • Carefully remove the gas tank cap to release any pressure buildup. This will make it easier for the gas to flow out smoothly.
  • Tilt the gas tank gradually to allow the remaining fuel to flow into the container. Be cautious and maintain a steady grip on the tank throughout the process.
  • If the gas tank has a drain plug, remove it to facilitate a faster and more efficient emptying process. This will allow any trapped gas to be released quickly.
  • Once the tank is empty, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away any residual fuel that may have spilled during the emptying process. This is essential for safety and to prevent any potential issues.

Proper Disposal Of The Old Gas

Properly disposing of the old gas is crucial to avoid harming the environment and ensuring compliance with local regulations. Here’s what you need to know about the correct disposal methods:

  • Contact your local recycling center or hazardous waste facility to inquire about their regulations and procedures for disposing of old gas. They can provide you with the necessary information and guidance.
  • Do not dispose of the old gas by pouring it down the drain, on the ground, or into regular trash bins. This can contaminate water sources and harm the environment.
  • If you have a small amount of old gas, you may be able to mix it with fresh gasoline in small quantities. However, always consult with professionals or local authorities for guidance.
  • Some recycling centers or gas stations may accept old gas for proper disposal. Check with them to see if they have any specific requirements or recommendations.
  • Properly sealed gas cans can also be taken to hazardous waste collection events for safe disposal. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided by the event organizers.

Remember, handling and disposing of old gas safely is crucial for both your safety and the environment. By following the proper procedures, you can ensure a clean and responsible approach to dealing with old gas.

Step 3: Cleaning The Plastic Tank

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, follow step 3: cleaning the plastic tank. This essential step will help ensure a thorough and efficient removal of the old gas, leaving your tank clean and ready for use.

Cleaning the plastic tank is an essential step to ensure proper functioning and longevity. Follow these instructions to effectively clean your old gas out of the plastic tank:

Choosing The Right Cleaning Solution For The Tank Material

To effectively clean the plastic tank, it is important to choose a suitable cleaning solution. Consider the material of the tank and select a solution that is safe for it. Here are some options:

  • Mild dish soap and warm water: This gentle solution works well for most plastic tanks.
  • Vinegar and water: A mixture of vinegar and water can help remove stubborn stains and odor from the tank.
  • Commercial tank cleaners: There are specific cleaning solutions available in the market that are formulated for plastic tanks. Read the label carefully and choose one that is compatible with your tank material.

Applying The Cleaning Solution And Scrubbing Away Dirt And Residue

Once you have chosen the appropriate cleaning solution, follow these steps to clean the plastic tank:

  • Dilute the cleaning solution as per the instructions.
  • Apply the solution to the inside of the tank using a sponge or soft cloth.
  • Gently scrub the tank’s interior, focusing on areas with visible dirt or residue.
  • Pay special attention to corners and crevices where debris may accumulate.
  • Ensure thorough coverage of the entire tank’s interior.
  • Let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes to penetrate and break down the impurities.

Rinsing And Drying The Tank Thoroughly

After applying the cleaning solution and scrubbing away dirt and residue, it’s time to rinse and dry the tank. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning process:

  • Rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
  • Ensure that all corners and surfaces are thoroughly rinsed.
  • Repeat the rinsing process multiple times if necessary to ensure the removal of all cleaning solution residue.
  • Once rinsed, leave the tank to air dry completely.
  • If desired, use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe the interior of the tank dry.
  • Avoid using any heat sources to accelerate the drying process, as this can damage the plastic.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean the old gas out of your plastic tank and prepare it for optimal performance. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your tank will extend its lifespan and ensure smooth functioning.

Step 4: Inspecting And Testing The Tank

Inspecting and testing the tank is an essential step in cleaning old gas out of a plastic tank. This process ensures that the tank is in good condition and ready for use. By carefully examining the tank for any signs of damage and performing a thorough testing, you can ensure that the tank is safe and efficient.

After draining the old gas from the plastic tank and cleaning it thoroughly, it’s crucial to inspect and test the tank before reinstalling it. This step ensures that the tank is free from any damage, leaks, or other issues that could potentially cause problems down the line.

Here’s what you need to do:

Checking For Any Damage Or Leaks:

Inspect the plastic tank carefully for any signs of damage or leaks. Look out for cracks, punctures, or other visible defects that could compromise the tank’s integrity.

  • Check the seams and edges of the tank for any signs of wear or deterioration.
  • Look for discoloration or bulging, which may indicate internal pressure buildup.

Conducting A Pressure Test Or Visual Inspection:

To ensure the tank is in good condition, you have two options:

  • Pressure test:
  • Attach an air pressure gauge to the tank’s fuel line fitting and pump air into the tank.
  • Observe the gauge for any drop in pressure, which could indicate a leak.
  • If the pressure remains stable, it’s a good indication that the tank is free from leaks.
  • Visual inspection:
  • Fill the tank with a small amount of water mixed with dish soap (creates bubbles when there is a leak).
  • Carefully examine the tank for any bubbles forming on the surface, indicating a leak.
  • If there are no bubbles, it suggests that the tank is airtight and leak-free.

Confirming The Tank Is Ready For Reinstallation:

After inspecting and testing the tank, you must confirm that it is ready for reinstallation. Follow these steps:

  • Dry the tank thoroughly to remove any moisture or soap residue.
  • Ensure that all fuel connectors, hoses, and fittings are in good condition and properly aligned.
  • Double-check that all seals and gaskets are intact and functioning correctly.
  • Verify that the tank cap securely seals to prevent any fuel leakage.
  • Once you’ve completed these checks, you can be confident that the tank is ready to be reinstalled.

By thoroughly inspecting and testing the plastic tank, you’re ensuring its optimal functionality and safety. With these steps, you can be confident in the tank’s integrity before using it in your equipment or vehicle.

Step 5: Reinstalling The Plastic Tank

To clean old gas out of a plastic tank, follow step 5: reinstalling the plastic tank. This process ensures a properly functioning and clean tank.

Once you have successfully cleaned the old gas out of the plastic tank, it’s time to reinstall it back into your vehicle. This step involves properly securing the tank and reconnecting the fuel lines and other components.

Here’s how you can reassemble the plastic tank:

  • Properly securing the tank back into the vehicle: Follow these steps to ensure the tank is securely mounted and positioned correctly:
  • Position the plastic tank in its designated spot under the vehicle.
  • Align the mounting brackets on the tank with the corresponding holes or hooks in the vehicle frame.
  • Use the appropriate screws, bolts, or straps to secure the tank in place.
  • Double-check that the tank is firmly attached before moving on to the next step.
  • Reconnecting fuel lines and other components: Take the following actions to properly reconnect all the necessary components:
  • Identify the fuel lines that need to be reconnected to the tank. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or consult a professional if you are unsure.
  • Inspect the fuel lines for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any faulty or deteriorated lines.
  • Gently push the fuel lines onto the corresponding connectors or fittings on the plastic tank.
  • Ensure that each connection is secure and tight to prevent fuel leaks.
  • Remember to reconnect any other components that were disconnected during the cleaning process, such as sensors or electrical connectors.

By following these steps, you can ensure that the plastic tank is reinstalled correctly and all fuel lines and components are reconnected securely. It is essential to carefully handle the plastic tank during the reinstallation process to avoid any unnecessary damage or leaks that could impact your vehicle’s performance.

Now that you have successfully reinstalled the plastic tank, you can proceed with other necessary tasks to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly.

Tips For Maintaining A Clean Plastic Tank

Learn how to effectively clean old gas residue out of your plastic tank with these expert tips. Maintaining a clean plastic tank is essential for optimal performance and longevity. Follow these guidelines and ensure your tank stays in top condition.

Keeping a plastic gas tank clean is essential for maintaining its longevity and ensuring its proper functionality. Regular maintenance and care can help prevent contamination and deterioration, allowing the tank to perform optimally. Here are some useful tips to help you keep your plastic tank in excellent condition:

Regularly Checking For And Addressing Any Signs Of Contamination:

  • Inspect the tank for any visible signs of debris, dirt, or other contaminants. This can include sediment, rust, or even water accumulation.
  • If you notice any contamination, promptly clean the tank to prevent further damage and to maintain the quality of the stored fuel.
  • Use a suitable fuel filter to remove any impurities before refilling the tank.
  • Be aware of and address any unusual odor, color, or consistency in the fuel. These can be indications of contamination or degradation.

Using Fuel Stabilizers To Prevent Gas Deterioration:

  • Consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas in your plastic tank. Stabilizers help to keep the fuel fresh and prevent it from breaking down or deteriorating over time.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using fuel stabilizers to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness.
  • Fuel stabilizers can extend the shelf life of stored gas, which is particularly beneficial for when the tank is not frequently used.

Proper Storage And Handling Of The Tank:

  • Store the plastic tank in a cool and dry location, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations. Exposure to high temperatures and uv rays can accelerate the degradation of the tank material.
  • Position the tank upright to prevent any fuel leakage or spillage, as well as to maintain structural integrity.
  • Avoid storing the tank near any potential sources of contamination, such as chemicals, solvents, or possible ignition sources.
  • Regularly inspect the tank for any signs of damage, cracks, or leaks. Address any issues immediately to prevent fuel leakage and ensure safety.

By following these tips, you can effectively maintain a clean plastic tank and ensure its proper functioning. Regular inspections, using fuel stabilizers, and proper storage and handling will help prolong the life of your tank and provide you with reliable and contaminant-free fuel supply when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean Old Gas Out Of The Plastic Tank

Can I Clean Old Gas Out Of A Plastic Tank?

Yes, you can clean old gas out of a plastic tank. To do so, drain the tank completely, remove any debris, and flush it with a mixture of vinegar and water. Scrub the tank with a soft brush, rinse it thoroughly, and then let it air dry before refilling it with fresh gas.

What Is The Best Method To Remove Old Gas From A Plastic Tank?

The best method to remove old gas from a plastic tank is to siphon out the remaining fuel using a hand pump or siphon hose. Be sure to collect the gas in a suitable container, and dispose of it properly.

Once the tank is empty, follow the cleaning steps mentioned above to remove any residue.

How Often Should I Clean My Plastic Gas Tank?

How often you should clean your plastic gas tank depends on usage and storage conditions. It is recommended to clean the tank at least once a year or whenever you notice signs of contamination, such as clogged fuel filters or poor engine performance.

Regular maintenance will ensure optimal performance and longevity of your vehicle or equipment.


Effectively cleaning old gas out of a plastic tank is crucial to maintain its functionality and prevent any potential issues. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can safely and efficiently remove the old gas from the plastic tank.

Remember to gather all the necessary materials and take precautionary measures such as using gloves and working in a well-ventilated area. Start by emptying the tank and removing any debris before utilizing appropriate cleaning agents like vinegar or a fuel system cleaner.

Ensure thorough rinsing and allow the tank to dry completely before refilling it with fresh gas. Regularly cleaning the plastic tank will not only extend its lifespan but also optimize the performance of your equipment or vehicle. Take the time to follow these steps, and you’ll be rewarded with a clean and well-functioning plastic tank.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *