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Thread: Removal of rust from jerry can

  1. #1

    Default Removal of rust from jerry can

    Anyone know how to remove rust from the INSIDE of of a metal jerry can, it is not rusted through and the rust looks light. I am thinking CLR?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    There is a product that removes rust from motorcycle gas tanks. I forget the name but my father and I used to use it alot when we played with old Honda 750s. You put it in shake around awhile then dump it. Then you put in another part of the kit that caoted the inside to prevent rust. We used them and never had a problem with rust or coating coming off. Should do the same for you.
    Stand tall,Shoot straight,and Speak the truth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Valley of the Sun, AZ
    Great timing, I just picked up 4 jerry cans today, 3 fuel 1 water. Guy said they had some rust, I haven't looked yet. I'd like to know the name of that stuff too.
    Toyota 4Runner

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Nanny State
    The product that I've seen mentioned in relation to motorcycle fuel tanks is "Kreem". I've no knowledge of, or experience with it.

    POR-15 offers a product called "U.S. Standard Fuel Tank Sealer." A friend of mine has used this product on a couple custom fab'd fuel tanks to prevent the start of rust. I've been impressed with it. The first tank is now over 15 years old and never has had any troubles.
    semi self-banned

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    If you don't mind a physical work-out, you can put a small amount of diesel and a couple of kilos of coarse gravel into the jerry can, and shake it all around for a couple of hours. This works well where the rust is all at the bottom of the can - maybe where it had an inch or so of water in it - in which case, you just make sure there is enough diesel and gravel to cover the rust, and then drive for 1000km (washboard is best!)

    I am sure the chemical approach is better, though!
    Michael & Sandy Groves
    "We're all going to die, it's the living that counts."

  6. #6
    Even the products intended to seal rusted motorcycle tanks require some metal prep if the rust is anything but surface flash rust. Heavy rust is removed with a bottle or two of heavy duty radiator cleaner and a box of BB's. Obviously the tank has to be closed at the petcock and filler, or with a jerry can, put the filler cap and gasket back on. Then shake vigorously until the rust is dislodged. It does not have to be shiny clean, but you do want to eliminate heavy flakes adhering to the tank. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Then seal with the sealant product following manufacturer's directions. This usually includes leaving the filler cap off, distributing the sealant thoroughly around the inside of the can or tank, then pouring out the excess and letting it sit upside down to drain until dry.

    It is not impossible that, if you spend the time with the cleaner/BB's that you can get the tank shiny clean. If you can do that, you can paint the inside of the can, or simply put it back in service, since most were not painted inside to start with.

  7. #7
    Micro-economic theory is creeping into my head after reading all these posts. Hopefully removing the rust is not more expensive/time consuming than buying a new can! I do hate to waste!

    If the rust is generally removed do I need to seal the can if gas is kept in it?

  8. #8
    As I mentioned, probably not, but you would have to get just about all the rust out I would think, mostly to avoid contaminating the fuel.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    " Kreem" thats the stuff. My dad also remembers putting some small nuts and ball bearings in the more heavily rusted ones to get as much out as possible. He still has a tank on his 750 that he did 10 years ago. No rust and the sealer hasnt flaked a bit
    Stand tall,Shoot straight,and Speak the truth.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Pasadena, CA

    Default More rust removal...

    Both the Kreem as well as the POR15 products include a acidic treatment that is used after any physical rust removal, ala the bb's or the nuts and bolts and diesel fuel, as well as a sealer that is applied after the acid is used.

    The acid neutralises any surface rust left over from the nuts and bolts treatment and it provides an etched surface for the sealer to better adhere to.

    I've use the Kreem product on a older motorcycle tank, it's a bit messy and you have to be careful to avoid plugging any vent tubes, should be a lot easier on something like a gas can. Read very good reports on the POR15 products but I haven't personally tried it. Given the cost of decent gas cans, at least here in SoCal, if I had a few older ones with rust in them, I'd at least try to save them.
    John E.

    Yes...It could happen any time
    tornado, earthquake,
    It could happen
    or sunshine, love, salvation
    It could you know, that's why we wake
    and look out
    No guarantees in this life but some bonuses
    like morning, like noon, like evening...

    like right now

    William Stafford 1914-1993

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