How to impurities out of a plastic jerry can?

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 19:19
ThreadID: 91381 Views:14408 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Hi all,

Was moving the plastic Willow jerry cans i used up north late last year, opened up the cap, and noticed some black "gunk" down the bottom. Not sure exactly what it is, but it's impurities left behind since the liquid residue has evaporated/dried off.

What's the best way to clean this out? Use a small quantity of fuel and swish it around then dispose of?

Any special precautions that need to be taken when switching a jerry can's usage from one fuel type to another (e.g. carrying diesel to carrying unleaded).


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Reply By: OzTroopie - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 19:20

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 19:20
Apologies, thread title should read "How to clean impurities out of a plastic jerry can?"
AnswerID: 475714

Reply By: Member - David Will (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 19:58

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 19:58
Hi OzTroopie,

the best way l have found to clean out is to put about 2 litres of water and about a cup of rice in it, and shack the living daylights out of it. You may have to do this a few times and let the water soak for awhile, but it works for me.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

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AnswerID: 475716

Follow Up By: OzTroopie - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:35

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:35
Thanks David,

Now it's making me wonder what the fuel filter copped during this trip, if the reside in the jerry cans in anything to go by.


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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 20:13

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 20:13

Are the plastic jerry cans for storing water or fuel.

If it is fuel - well just some unleaded and shake it around. It doesnt matter if you later fill it with diesel or petrol. The small amount you put in and shake and pour out will make no difference.

If it is for water then just a mix of bicarb soda and shake and pour out. You could also use the sterilizer for beer bottles, sterilizer for baby bottles or some sterilizer for water tanks but bicarb soda is the cheapest. Just rinse it a few times.



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Follow Up By: OzTroopie - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:31

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:31
Hi Serendipity,

Thanks for your suggestions, they're fuel cans however, your ideas re the water cans will also come in handy.

Safe travels,

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Reply By: Axle - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 20:38

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 20:38
G/Day,...I would be a bit carefull, it could be a algee, and you won't want that in any fuel tank!....poke the gernie in and blast the daylights out of it till you can't see it anymore, then put a additive in when filled just in case!.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 475721

Follow Up By: OzTroopie - Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:32

Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 at 22:32
Thanks Axle,

Looks like it might need a bit of a blasting to get it off. Any diesel additive's you'd recommend using for storage in jerry cans?


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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:50

Monday, Jan 23, 2012 at 11:50
Fresh clean diesel should last a very long time in a sealed years..unlike unleaded which is getting dodgy arround 30 days.

If you are worried about diesel bug, which is a mixture of a couple of algee and bacteria, there are a couple of products arround that actually work.

Remember diesel bug needs time, moisture, air and warmth to thrive......keeping ya fuel turned over, drums full, in a cool dry place is what is recommended.

As far as additives

Fuel one.....castrol removed their product off the market and now offer fuel doctor rebranded, because it was very effective and theirs was not.

Chemtech Diesel Power is the other popular brand.

Don't get all twisted and out of shape over the to clean it out..... but there will always be muck in fuel, that is why we have fuel filters.

OH..if ya gona use water to clean fuel containers, rinse them out well and drain as much water out as you can then put a good healthy slosh of metho in.... the water will disolve in the metho......tip as much of that out as you can...then a good helthy amount of the correct fuel..the metho will disolve in the fuel....then tip that out

Any liquid container will not store well, if it is wet and the lid is on....anything that can grow in there best to dry out ya empty containers well, before you put the lids on for long term storage.


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