Tips for Cleaning a Boat Fuel Tank

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The boat fuel tank is an important component in your boat that ensures that your boat runs smoothly. If it is not clean, it can stall out your motor and clog up your carburetor. When contaminants build up in your fuel tank, it can also clog up your hoses connecting to your tank. If a boat is not used and has gas still in the tank, after some time the gas will break down and be unusable. To combat all the problems, cleaning your boat fuel tank is the answer.


Before you start working with your fuel tank. Make sure you are working in a well ventilated area. Gas fumes can be deadly. It is best to clean your boat fuel tank outside. Also do not clean your tank around any open flames or sparks. You do not want it to catch on fire. It is also a good idea to wear gloves to protect yourself from the flammable liquids. Wear a face mask to protect yourself from the dangerous fumes.

Siphon Gas

In order to clean your boat fuel tank, you must first siphon out the gas that is left inside. You need a large bucket, preferably a five gallon one. Make sure you use a clear hose and not a water hose. You will not be able to see the gas. Push the hose all the way into the tank below the gas level. Do not siphon gas with your mouth. This is dangerous. Use a primer bulb instead. Make sure when the gas comes out, you put it in the bucket. Do not spill any on the ground.


After the fuel is completely siphoned out of your tank and your hoses, you need to add alcohol to clean. Start with two gallons of hardware store alcohol. Pour it into the tank and let it sit for 30 minutes. Using your siphon, siphon the alcohol out into some kind of filter. You can use some old pantyhose. Pantyhose can stretch over the top of your bucket and works great as a filter. Or you can use a coffee filter. You will see all kinds of sediment come out into the filter. Repeat this process two gallons at a time until the alcohol ran through the filter comes out clean.


Boat fuel tanks are not the only thing that can get dirty. The hoses going into and out of the fuel tank can also get sediment and dirt build up. It is a waste of time to clean out your boat fuel tank if you do not clean your hoses out as well. You can have a sparkling clean tank but it won’t work if you can’t get the fuel through the hoses. Remove your hoses and run alcohol through them into your filter. Keep doing this until no more sediment comes out. Let them dry thoroughly. Then reattach.

That's all there is to it. Now that your boat fuel tank is clean, you will see the difference.