Author Topic: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!  (Read 74286 times)

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Offline hapsh

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I did my first gas tank clean out yesterday.  I read the forums and decided to go with using The Works toilet cleaner.  The amazing thing was I did it over my lunch hour!  I went home where I had everything ready and was done in an hour and 15 mins.  The tank was in moderately bad shape with the entire inside bottom covered in flaking rust, no leaks though with the outside in great shape.  Here is how I did it;
  • The Tank was aired out the day before so there was no more gas in it.  First I shook all the loose rust out into a bucket. There was about a 1/4 cup of loose rust.
  • I put 2 cups of drywall screws inside and shook it up and down and side to side for 5 mins.
    Dumped out all the screws and rust, then put the screws back in and repeated 2 more times until not much rust was coming out.
  • Plugged the petcock hole with a rubber plug and then squirted an entire bottle of The works inside.
    I swished the liquid all around in the tank, closing the lid when I turned it upside down of course.
    Within 5 minutes almost all the rust was already gone.  I let it sit for a few minutes again periodically swishing the chemical around.
  • After about 15 minutes of soaking I started rinsing out the tank.  Twice I filled the tank half full with warm water and sloshed it around and then dumped it. After that it looked well rinsed, but I did two more rinses with baking soda and water.  However, I think it was unnecessary because it didn't foam at all.
  • I then blew out the tank with compressed air very quickly, then dumped in about 1/2 quart of Acetone.  I swished the Acetone around for a few minutes to absorb the remaining water.
    I then dumped out the Acetone and immediately blew out the tank with compressed air.
    Once the tank looked fairly free of the Acetone I poured about a cup of Marvels Mystery Oil into the tank and swished that around to stop any rust action.
By that time It had been only 1.25 hours.  I put the tank in the garage and went back to work.  So far the tank is still looking good.  I plan on rinsing out the rest of the Mystery Oil with a touch of gas before filling it up.  I chose Marvels Oil because it is good for the engine anyway.
In the end it was very easy and quite fun to see the accomplished task.  The only things I would change would be possibly filling the tank with warm water after pouring in The Works.  The Works seems so strong that I feel you could dilute it with a full tank of water and let it sit for an hour and have the same results.  I was really amazed at how fast acting it was.  Also using Drywall screws is much better than bolts and other screws IMO, they are quite sharp and cut right through the rust in only a few minutes of shaking.  It was a very cheap fix costing me less than $8.
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Offline SteveD CB500F

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 10:54:16 am »
I'm going to move this to "Tips & Tricks" as I think it's more appropriate.

If you can take some pictures hapsh, I'll put it in the FAQs.

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Offline sandcastcb750

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 07:12:27 am »
It's called "The Works"?

Does it eat aluminum?

Offline hapsh

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 07:46:21 am »
Did you take a before and after pic??
I tried taking a before pic but it didn't catch anything inside the tank due to low light.  But I can get an after pic since it is still empty, plus a pic of all the crap I shook out of it.




It's called "The Works"?

Does it eat aluminum?
Yep, its called "The Works" and you can find it at Walmart and Fred Meyer for under $2.  And yes it eats aluminum, it's active ingredient is Hydrogen Chloride.  I made sure I took the petcock out first.  Anyway, I looked at all the bathroom toilet cleaners and several of them had HCL, but usually between 5% and 9%.  The Works has 20% HCL, that is why it works so well and so fast.  That is also why I think it would work well even diluted.  The nice thing is I saved the chemical for later use.  It doesn't even change color after dissolving the rust so I can still use it to clean toilets if I want   :) .
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Offline Cvillechopper

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 07:50:26 am »
How much do you get for the $2?  I've used a gallon of Muriatic acid from Lowe's for about $6 to do the same thing.  Doesn't take long, but you've got to make sure there's ventilation and you wear safety gear.  It'll burn if you're not careful.

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Offline Roach Carver

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 03:45:57 pm »
did this, this weekend. Watch out for flash rusting. I read up on this a while back and it seems that the best acid to use is phosphoric acid as it will remove the rust while leaving the metal in a state that is somewhat inhibitive to oxidatation/rusting. I have done some small parts in phosphoric acid and noted no flash rusting.

Offline sandcastcb750

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 09:59:46 am »
Funny you mention phosphoric acid, I cleaned out a tank of minor rust using diet Coca-Cola, which has, you guess it, phosphoric acid.

tunguyenlosusa

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2008, 06:54:31 am »
Hi all guys.
I use other, it work after 1 night. Power grease cleaner, from Lowes,6 usd, I think any power clearnner can use. I put in tank and next morning, look inside, i am surprice,
DO NOT BUY THE RUSH CLEANER FROM ADVANCE AUTO PART OR PEPBOY ( 8 USD), IT DID NOT WOK, I TRY ALREADY. 

750wardog

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2008, 11:41:54 pm »
here's a tip....ever tried getting all those screws/nuts/bolts/marbles/ whatever you put in your tank to knock the rust loose out? there's always that one last thing in there that you have to shake the tank just right to get out.  use bicycle chain. works just as well and comes out in one piece.

Offline cb350twin

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 12:07:03 am »
I never thought of using the works for a tank. Makes sense though. I always used it for "backyard fun"  ::)  just be careful of the fumes when you mix it with aluminum can be some pretty nasty stuff. It will eat up most anything too...
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750wardog

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2008, 12:14:59 pm »
mix it with aluminum in a closed 2-liter bottle, makes a big bang! can take out a mailbox......so i've heard }:)

Offline cb350twin

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2008, 08:34:46 pm »
 ;D
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Offline Dave-and-his-550

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 06:55:23 pm »
I did this method the OP suggested, and 'The Works' worked great, i got a nice clean metal finish in there, BUT, after i put acetone in there, it all got red and rusty again! I guess thats the flash rusting someone mentioned? So, I used 'The Works' again and it cleaned it right up, after I got it all out, I put some fuel in there and started swishing it around and drained. My tank is mostly rust free now I hope.

Offline prince_ruben

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2008, 10:52:18 am »
Evapo rust works like a charm and it's biodegradable.

http://www.theruststore.com/Evapo-Rust-Gallon-P1C1.aspx

Offline Cvillechopper

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 11:03:47 am »
The evaporust is GREAT as long as you have everything but the rust cleaned out.  It doesn't help get the crusted gunk out. 

I just found out that Tractor Supply carries Evaporust, but noone there knows that they do.  You have to wander around the store for a few to find it.
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Offline Dave-and-his-550

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 11:20:27 am »
The evaporust is GREAT as long as you have everything but the rust cleaned out.  It doesn't help get the crusted gunk out. 

I just found out that Tractor Supply carries Evaporust, but noone there knows that they do.  You have to wander around the store for a few to find it.

O really? I think I might return my bottle of 'The Works' and get my.... $1.25 back  :D

Evapo-rust is S22.95? Hmmm, I don't know where I draw the line between cost, and my health and the health of the environment...

Offline Cvillechopper

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 11:28:15 am »
The evaporust is GREAT as long as you have everything but the rust cleaned out.  It doesn't help get the crusted gunk out. 

I just found out that Tractor Supply carries Evaporust, but noone there knows that they do.  You have to wander around the store for a few to find it.

O really? I think I might return my bottle of 'The Works' and get my.... $1.25 back  :D

Evapo-rust is S22.95? Hmmm, I don't know where I draw the line between cost, and my health and the health of the environment...

Yeh, but you can't re-bottle The Works and use it on the next tank...  Also, I don't think rubber and plastic holds up well with that stuff.  EvapoRust is safe for rubber, plastic, paint (top coat at least).  I've taken an entire tank and submerged it in evaporust for several days with no effect on the paint.  Every bit of rust was gone and I've used the same vat to clean about 3 dozen other parts since then.
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Offline Dave-and-his-550

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2008, 05:23:36 pm »
So I should use Evapo-Rust to clean out my tank? Is there anything I have to use after evapo-rust, or will it stay rust free, and can I fill it with fuel then?

Offline Cvillechopper

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2008, 06:27:35 pm »
Best bet is to use hot water to rinse out the Evaporust.  Dry it out completely, then use some marvel mystery oil or something similar to cost the inside.  Drain off the excess and get some gas in there.
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Offline OakBehringer

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2009, 09:38:32 pm »
I did this tonight. Poured an entire bottle of The Works in, filled the tank the rest of the way with warm water. Left it for an hour. I wasn't very impressed with the results. I would not recommend diluting the solution.
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Offline BeSeeingYou

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2009, 10:15:11 pm »
I have mentioned this on another tank cleaning thread so I will say it here too.  After using an acid product use a baking soda and water rinse to neutralize the acid and this will minimize or eliminate the flash rust problem.

Offline greenjeans

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2009, 09:10:52 am »
Does it matter how much baking soda you use ?    Been over 20yrs since my last chemistry class....
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Offline BeSeeingYou

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2009, 05:57:45 pm »
Does it matter how much baking soda you use ?    Been over 20yrs since my last chemistry class....

I don't think it's too critical but I have used about two tablespoons in a quart of water.

Offline the technological J

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2009, 06:35:21 pm »
i might try this on a spare tank i got laying around... seeing as i dont have a battery charger... any of u catch the thread about using a piece of rebar and a battery charger?
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Offline rbmgf7

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2009, 02:52:51 pm »
I though I'd give this method a shot since I didn't want to waste too much time gathering resources to the electro method. My tank was in pretty bad shape. We're talking flaking, being exposed to the elements kinda rust. Plugged the bottom with some nitrile gloves and hose clamp, dumped in two bottles, sloshed it around, and let it sit. After about two hours I could see the difference. Wasn't spotless but I could tell the heavy rust was removed. Now it just looked like moderate surface rust. About 5 hours later I diluted the mixture to the top with water. About a week later I can see metal but has the appearance of light-moderate surface rust. I'll get some pics up once I have completed the endeavor.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 02:56:45 pm by rbmgf7 »