Skip to content

How to Clean a Motorcycle Tank with Hydrochloric Acid

How to Clean a Motorcycle Tank

Hydrochloric acid has been used by many industries over the years to remove rust or oxidation of the metal, making it a suitable choice for the mild to a moderate removal of rust and mud from inside your gas tank motorcycle. Once introduced into an empty gas tank, the acid will dissolve contaminants in contact and leave behind a clean metal surface. You should be completely comfortable with the removal of the gas tank and its valves or fuel level buoys before you begin, as the corrosive nature of the acid will permanently damage those components.

How to Clean a Motorcycle Tank


Things You’ll Need

  • 3 Meters Plastic
  • Gas Tubes Can
  • Key Box and Outlets
  • Factory Service Manual
  • Phillips
  • Allen key set
  • Rubber caps
  • Plastic containers
  • Carburetor or parts cleaning solution
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Water Photo of hydrochloric acid
  • Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
  • Blow-dryer


Show More Instructions

  1. Remove the seat and body panels or fairings from your motorcycle to give access to the gas tank. Pull the fuel line out of the fuel tank outlet valve, usually placed on the left side of the tank. Push a 3-meter length of plastic tubing to the fuel valve outlet, placing the opposite end in a gasoline can. Turn the fuel valve lever to the “On” or “Prime” position, and drain the tank completely. Turn the valve to the “Off” position and remove the plastic tube once the tank has been emptied.
  2. Remove the gas tank from your motorcycle, using a box wrench or as directed by a specific manual factory service for your motorcycle. Remove the fuel valve from the bottom of the gas tank, either by hand or with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the gas cap from the top of the tank using a Phillips screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Remove the fuel level gauge from the bottom of the gas tank, if any, using an Allen wrench. Cover fuel valve and hole level gauge with rubber caps.
  3. Place the fuel valve and fuel level gauge in a plastic container filled with a carburetor or parts cleaning solution to remove any rust or sludge buildup.
  4. Fill the gas tank with a gallon of fresh gasoline or kerosene. Cover the gas filling nozzle tank with a rubber cap. Shake the gas tank vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the gasoline to pull loose rust particles off the inner surface of the tank. Remove the rubber cap from the filling nozzle, then empty the gasoline or kerosene in your gas can.
  5. Fill the gas tank halfway with hot water. Pour half to 1 liter of hydrochloric acid into the gas tank through the filler tube, then fill the tank thoroughly with hot water. Cover the gas filling nozzle tank with a rubber cap. Allow the tank to rest for rest for 3 hours.
  6. Remove the rubber cap from the filling nozzle of the gas tank, then carefully pour the hydrochloric acid mixture and water into a plastic container. Add two cups of baking soda or baking soda to the mixture to neutralize the hydrochloric acid. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. Pour the neutralized mixture through the drain and rinse with water.
  7. Wash the inside of the tank with a high-pressure water stream. Drain the tank by means of its filling. Repeat until the reddish water is free of debris.
  8. Dry the inside of the gas tank by using a hairdryer. Place the dryer near the filler neck and apply hot air until the tank is completely dry.
  9. Pour 1 liter of gasoline into the gas tank, then cover the filling nozzle with a rubber cap. Connect the end-to-end gas tank to coat the inside surface of the gas tank to prevent instant oxidation from occurring over the newly cleaned metal surface. Remove the rubber cap from the filling nozzle, and drain the gasoline into a gas cap. Remove the rubber fuel valve caps and fuel level indicator holes.
  10. Replace the fuel cap, fuel valve, and fuel level gauge to the gas tank. Reinstall the fuel tank to the motorcycle and push the fuel hose to the fuel valve outlet. Fill the fuel tank completely with fresh gasoline.
  11. Reinstall the seat and all body panels previously removed.