To remove rust from a propane tank, you can use abrasives, chemicals like baking soda and vinegar, chemical resealing treatments, or electrolysis. If the rust hasn’t penetrated deep into the tank, you can touch it up by painting the tank once you’ve removed it.
All propane tanks must be certified before they can be refilled. Any tank that is uncertified, expired, has a missing foot ring, and has excessive rust or has been painted is in violation of national propane regulations and guidelines. These tanks can also do serious damage.
The safest chemical rust removal method is to mix vinegar and baking soda to fill (or almost fill) the tank. Leave the mixture on until it bubbles and begins to discolor with the rust particles. Then rinse thoroughly to ensure it is completely empty.
Fortunately, acids found in everyday household items like vinegar, lemon juice, and potatoes can remove rust from metal. 1 Add the abrasive action of other ingredients, including borax, baking soda, and salt, and say goodbye to rust without the need for harsh chemicals or fumes.
Steps to painting a propane tank
Remove rust – Use a wire brush or sandpaper to scrub the rust off the surface. If it cannot be repaired, contact your propane supplier. Keep it Smooth – Once the surface is smooth, wash the tank with dish soap and water to remove any grease. Then rinse with clear water.
What kind of paint should I use? Only paint specifically formulated for metal surfaces should be used to paint your propane tank. This paint contains a rust inhibitor which is important to the structural integrity of your tank.
If you put vinegar in a gas tank, the acidity of the vinegar will dissolve any debris or dirt that may be in the tank. This can help clean the tank and improve your car’s performance. However, it is important to note that vinegar can also attack metal. The engine would be damaged very quickly.
WD-40 can help remove rust from metals like iron, chrome, and stainless steel without further damaging the metal’s surface or stripping the paint. The multi-purpose product is excellent for loosening and removing excessive surface rust.
The vinegar and salt mixture will take time to break down the rust. This may take one to three days. Check the tool regularly to see if the rust has softened. Once the rust has softened, scrub the surface with a metal brush or steel wool.
Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, just enough to form a paste. Rub the paste on the rusty items, wait an hour, and then wash off with water. This method is best for lightly to moderately rusted items such as tools and toys.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 58:
Under NFPA 58, you may paint your propane tank only a heat-reflective color such as white, light gray, silver, or other lighter colors.< /p>
Lighter shades reflect the heat of the sun. In contrast, a darker color absorbs heat, which can cause the propane in your tank to expand. The safest colors for your propane tank are silver (the most popular colour), light gray and white.
How long should a propane tank last? Propane tanks are built to last: On average, a high-quality, properly maintained galvanized above-ground propane tank or propane cylinder should last 30 years or more, while some aluminum and composite cylinders can last even longer.