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Technical will vinegar disolve sludge?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dudley32, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 1,958


    I'm helping a friend get an old (1941) tractor running...heard a lot of good reports on vinegar and molasses. This tank has about a half inch of gooey sludge at the very bottom of the tank...just wondering if either of the substances would help remove this stuff...I've been mopping it up with rags on a stick...slow process...and I can only see a small portion of the bottom of the tank...thanks
  2. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 425


    Greetings! I use lacquer cleaner, plug any outlets, pour in the lacquer cleaner, then mop it around with a rag tied onto a stick. Once you get all the sludge loose, take the tank to the car wash and blast it out.
    dudley32 likes this.
  3. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    if its Petroleum probably not , you can use any light oil to melt it . or try the new citrus oil products if you do not want something flammable in there , I had a tank on a small engine that was 1/4" thick with gas varnish and I put a bottle of Goo gone in it and let it sit for 2-3 days and it melted it to wash it out .
    dudley32 likes this.
  4. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,975

    from Nicasio Ca

    I believe the vinegar and molasses are more for rust removal. For sludge try lacquer thinner as Junkman said or acetone or MEK.
    dudley32 likes this.
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  5. Lacquer thinner or Varsol. HRP
    lothiandon1940 and dudley32 like this.
  6. While soaking a crank pulley in water and vinegar to remove rust i had some oil on it and the solution did not dissolve the oil after 8 days. Use varsol, its the cheapest:)
    dudley32 likes this.
  7. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,115


    Depends on how much you drink.
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,371

    from California

    seemed to work on my ex girlfriend....
    michael knight likes this.
  9. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 1,958


    thanks guys...I put a gallon of lacquer thinner in today...going to let it soak a bit...
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  10. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,613

    big duece
    from kansas

    That's T.M.I.
  11. E-85 gas works well just don't use it as fuel.
  12. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    Well at least that shits good for something.

    dudley32 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  13. There are 3-part cleaning, metal-prep, sealing products on the market (e.g Eastwood Co. ) that work reasonably well. You may want to try the lacquer thinner or Varsol first but, you'll likely need to seal it anyway once you get it clean. I've never used MEK but I'm told it works well on really bad funk build-up. It's some very serious solvent so if you use it be extremely careful and take all precautions.
    lothianwilly71 likes this.
  14. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,787


    Vinegar and oil don't mix. Just look at a salad dressing.
    You need a solvent and/or a detergent to break up petroleum residues. I prefer a non-flammable solution especially to remove the vapors in a tank. I found that Arm & Hammer washing soda (sodium carbonate)--- the same stuff I use for electrolytic rust removal---- works great as a gas tank detergent.
  15. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,444

    Jalopy Joker

    yep, cleaning only part of doing job right
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. I have used soap and water, usually Castrol super clean, and a hand full of old nuts and bolts to clean out the sludge then vinegar and the same nuts and bolts to remove the rust. Shake and let sit, repeat flush with water then Alcohol . Works well. Bonus, clean bright nuts and bolts.:D
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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