How to Remove Diesel From Water?

If you’re wondering how to remove any diesel residue from your water tank, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll shine light upon removing diesel from water and avoid such mess in the future.

There are many ways of diesel fuel getting into the water. Besides, there are various cleaning methods that you can apply to get rid of diesel fuel from water. Things like diesel fuel leaks from a fuel tank system or diesel engine are significant ways of contamination. You always need to be careful while handling the water system as contaminated water may lead to health hazards.

Luckily, there’re various methods of removing diesel fuel from the water tank. However, it can be a hassle to check them one by one. So, we’ve hand-picked some of the best ways to remove diesel from the water tank. Below we’ll give you the example of a motorhome water tank. So, let’s get started.

Causes of Diesel Contamination in Water Tank

A water tank is a crucial part of any motorhome. With a motorhome, you can get an enjoyable portable camping experience. Whereas, without a water tank, travelers won’t get any access to water to their bathroom or the faucet during their journey.

Causes of Diesel Contamination in Water Tank

Getting diesel in the water tank of a motorhome is quite common for new campervan travelers. However, diesel fuel doesn’t fully dissolve in water but can bring severe complications if you ignore it.

So, let’s check how diesel fuel can get contaminated in the water tanks. You can go through them and take them into consideration before you fill a tank.

Diesel Fuel Tank Leakage

There are moments when the lid gets contaminated and degrades the water tank. Although, this is a rare mistake that happens to those who own or rent a motorhome for a year.

Diesel Fuel Tank Leakage

Your tank’s material also plays a vital role in knowing how severe the damage is. The best you can do is replace the tank or call a professional to solve the problem.

Accidental filling

Like any diesel fuel tank, water tanks can also suffer from contamination. Sometimes, you can fill the water tanks with diesel fuel instead of filling it in the diesel tank. This ultimately spreads diesel fuel in the water tank, contaminating the water and the walls of the container.

Using Contaminated Hose

It’s also possible to get diesel fuel in water tanks using a contaminated hose. This is a common form of mistake that can happen to anyone, and it can be the employee’s mistake in charge of the fuel pump or by the owners.

Steps of Removing Diesel Fuel From Water Tanks

To remove diesel fuel from the water tanks, you can follow some steps. You can use some cleaning products present with you. For instance, you can expel water and use dishwashing detergent and white spirit. This is effective and also leaves you with satisfaction. Also, the whole cleaning process may require repeating the steps for the entire system.

Checking Diesel Fuel Tank

Firstly, you can check whether your diesel fuel tank is leaking. In many cases, the leaks from diesel fuel tanks can spoil the water tanks. The first step is to carefully inspect the diesel fuel tanks or fuel system by checking any clogging filters, damage in fuel injectors, etc. In addition, many factors may cause a diesel fuel tank or a diesel engine to malfunction.

Checking Diesel Fuel Tank

Draining Water From the Tank

One of the simplest things you can do is add more water to increase the water level and scoop out after the diesel fuel leak, as diesel and other oil are lighter than water. After scooping, you can drain all the water out of the tank, followed by scrub and flush of water from the water. You can also pump the water out if you have a powerful motor at your disposal. This is the most common form of cleaning the tank.

Using Detergent to Clean the Water Tank

After removing water from the tank, you can scrub and rinse using any household liquid detergent. You can thoroughly rub any unwanted fuel contaminations by scrubbing the filters. Be sure not to leave any little water in the tank.

You can repeat this process and power flush the tank using clean water until you get rid of any diesel smell from the air. In addition, you can also pump out the water inside the water tank.

Charcoal Filter for Purifying Water

Another good alternative is to use a charcoal filter on the line coming from the water tanks. These filters remove all the hydrocarbons, rust, sludge, and bacteria. This might help you get rid of the weird smell and taste of diesel fuel from your drinking water and the food you eat.

Charcoal Filter for Purifying Water

Cleaning With Warm Water

As you know, hot water is also the best bet for cleaning in multiple cases. Water with an appropriate temperature is a suitable solvent and can dissolve and wash out many liquid impurities like diesel fuel, biodiesel, oil, unwanted liquids, sludge, and rust.

You can also soak the tank with hot water for a prolonged period and drain all the water out of the tank. Repeating these cleaning steps in succession can entirely get rid of fuel from water. If you’ve access to the tools, steam cleaning is also a very effective method of cleaning diesel fuel.

Also knowHow to Wash A Car Without A Hose


So, that’s all for now! In this article, we’ve mentioned how diesel can get into the water tanks and some of the steps to remove diesel from the water tank. So, we hope this article will help you get rid of diesel fuel from the water. You can use these tricks if you happen to face such mishaps.

You need to be conscious while filling the fuel tank. As you can see, you might get mixed up with a diesel fuel tank and water tank. If you happen to ignore this, your water tank may get infected with bacteria and other harmful microbes. In addition, you’ll have to tolerate the smell of fuel in the air. If your water has a diesel fuel smell, make sure to double-check the water tank. We advise you to carefully execute the whole process.

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