Cleaning fuel jugs

Engines, Drive trains, Propellers, Steering, Ground Tackle and other mechanical system

Cleaning fuel jugs

Postby mike cunningham » Sun May 14, 2017 12:48 pm

I use fuel jugs for all of my refueling so they important for me.

After completing a fuel system and tank cleaning I was loath to introduce any new contaminants to the system. After several years of use my plastic fuel jugs were pretty grotty inside and contained some loose particles which I wanted to get out of there. But how to clean them effectively? I watched a few you tube videos where folks were cleaning gas cans and, followed in their footsteps with a few tweaks to the process. Some of you may be interested so here's what I did.


dish soap
carboy brush - available on amazon for 7 bucks
Hair dryer
drying swab - basically a thinnish stick with a swab of paper towels taped (securely) to the end - you fabricate this
hazmat disposal container - you'll need about a gallon. I used plastic one gallon milk bottles
Funnel to get cleaning waste from the jug into your hazmat container

First empty out as much old fuel as you can into the hazmat container using the funnel. Obviously you should be starting with an empty jug, but even empty they have some dregs that can be poured out.

Put a teaspoon squirt of dish detergent into the jug along with about a quart of very hot water

Put your hand over the jug opening an shake vigorously for a minute or two.

Use the carboy brush to slush and brush down as much of the inside as you can get to. which is just about all of it.

Rinse by pouring another quart of hot water into the jug, shake and repeat (about three times) until you have clear water when you dump.

Try to get as much water out as you can by tilting, shaking, etc.

Insert your drying swab into the container and mop up as much moisture as you can. Dry the swab with the hair dryer if necessary and keep at it until the swab comes out bone dry.

Now take the hair dryer and hit the jug directly by covering half the jug opening with the nozzle of running hair dryer. This allows hot air to circulate and exhaust through the uncovered half of the jug opening. Exercise care not to overheat the jug threaded opening.

Five minutes of hair drying (more or less) and you now have a near pristine fuel jug. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment
User avatar
mike cunningham
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Return to Engines and Mechanical Systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests