How to Clean Air Compressor Tank? 5 DIY Steps

If you are using an air compressor, you must know how important it is to keep it clean. Proper cleaning and maintaining the air compressor tank is really essential. Over time, moisture can get in the tank and can cause rust and corrosion; that is why proper tank cleaning is so important. 

Here comes a big question, “How to clean air compressor tank?” Tank owners usually ask this question, and in fact, this is an important question. The market is full of different DIY methods that usually confuse people. But no worries! This guide is exactly what you are looking for. 

In this air compressor guide, we will let you know “How to complete air compressor tank?” We will share five simple and easy-to-follow steps to clean your air compressor tank like a pro. Let’s explore these steps!

How To Clean Air Compressor Tank Step-By-Step

Keeping the air compressor tank clean is the most important part of air compressor maintenance. It not only increases its performance and longevity but will also save you from the potential hazards that can result from a dirty tank. 

Cleaning an air compressor tank is not a big deal. With just following some simple and effective steps, you can clean the tank like a professional. Here are five simple steps that will solve your problem of “How to clean air compressor tank?” So, let’s have a look at these easy-peasy steps:

  • Check Your Tank’s Health

The first step of cleaning the air compressor tank is checking the overall health of your tank. Before you start the process of cleaning, make sure to check the tank’s health. It will help you access the cleaning requirements. 

In this step, you should look for the signs of corrosion and rust. Also, look for discoloration and holes. If you notice severe rust and significant holes, you should not clean the tank. In fact, in this case, you must bring your tank for professional repair services. But if the rust is minor and you do not find any large holes, you can continue the process of tank cleaning. 

  • Shut Down the Compressor and Remove the Power Source

After you have accessed your compressor’s health, it is time to shut it down. Always, keep in mind, that safety is the first priority. You should never compromise on your safety. Always wear personal protective equipment like insulated gloves and safety goggles to prevent any hazards. 

Moreover, shut down the compressor and remove the power source. This step is really important to ensure the safety of the whole cleaning procedure. This step is critical to prevent accidental start-up of the compressor while you are cleaning it. 

  • Release the Tank Pressure

The next and another important step is to release the tank air pressure. You can easily remove the pressure by opening the pressure valve. But you should be very careful during this process. Make sure to slowly open the valve, as sudden release of the pressure can be harmful. Also, aim the pressure valve away from your body or any other sensitive thing. After removing the air completely, you can move to the next step. 

  • Find the Drain Valve

Now, it’s time to find the drain valve. The drain valve is usually present on the bottom of the tank. You can use the user manual if you find any difficulty locating the drain valve. After locating the drain valve, open it and let the water and moisture flow out of the tank.  

Again, be careful in this step as the water can be dirty and can stain over anything. To catch this dirty water, you can place a bucket or tray. It will prevent staining. 

  • Clean the Dust and Sludge

Now, it’s time to follow the last and most important step. After removing all the moisture and water, you need to clean the tank. For this, look up for the dust and sludge at the bottom of the tank. This is where real cleaning begins!

You can scrub the dust or sludge using a long-handled brush. Make sure to scrub the inside of the tank with good force. If you find sludge stubborn and difficult to remove, you can use any commercially available air compressor cleaner. Moreover, you can also make a homemade tank-cleaning mixture using vinegar and baking soda. 

After scrubbing and cleaning the tank, thoroughly dry the air compressor. Never leave your tank wet and moist, as it can result in rust or corrosion. Also, a wet and moist tank can pose potential safety risks. 

How To Clean the Rust from the Air Compressor Tank?

Rust in the air compressor tank is one of the common and serious issues. It can affect the efficiency and longevity of your tank. Moreover, it can also pose some serious safety risks. However, the good news is that you can easily remove rust from your tank by using the method of electrolysis. Here is a simple yet effective method of electrolysis to remove rust from your tank:

Materials Required

For this method, you will need these simple materials:

  • Insulated gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Battery charger or a battery of 12 Volts
  • Baking Soda 
  • Water

Steps to Clean Air Compressor Tank Rust

Ensure your Safety: Start cleaning the air compressor tank rust by ensure your safety. To ensure your safety wear the safety goggles and insulated gloves. Also, make sure to turn off the compressor and drain all the pressure and air. 

  • Remove the Valve and Add Water and Baking Soda

Next, remove the valve to have access to the inside of the tank to clean the rust. After removing the valve, add the water and baking soda. This water and baking soda will act as an electrolyte and help in removing the rust. 

  • Setup the Charger

Now, set up the battery. For this, connect the positive terminal of your battery to the underside of the tank. Then insert the rod into the tank and connect it to the negative terminal. 

  • Start the Electrolysis

Next, turn on the charger or power supply to start the electrolysis. It is good to run this process overnight for the best results. 

  • Drain and Clean the Tank

Next morning, thoroughly drain and clean the tank. You can also use a pressure washer for perfect cleaning. So, that was all, and now you have a rust-free, clean, and shiny air compressor. 

Final Words!

In conclusion, understanding how to clean air compressor tank is really important. Cleaning the compressor tank is not a science. By following some easy steps, you can clean the tank and increase the performance and longevity of the tank. 

Start the process of cleaning by ensuring safety, then check the tank’s health and remove the power supply. After that, remove the air pressure and open the valve. Also, drain the water and moisture. Then, start the cleaning by scrubbing the dust and sludge and you will get a clean and bright shiny air compressor tank. Happy cleaning!


  • How Often Should You Clean the Air Compressor Tank?

Cleaning the air compressor tank is important for its maintenance. The frequency of cleaning the compressor tank depends on its usage and environmental conditions. Mostly, manufacturers recommend cleaning the air compressor tank once a year or every 2,000 hours. 

  • Why is it Important to Drain the Air Compressor Tank Before Cleaning?

Draining the air compressor tank before cleaning is important to ensure no pressure is left inside the tank. Because any pressure or left air in the tank can harm you when you open the tank to clean. 

  • Is Drying the Air Compressor Tank after Cleaning Important?

Yes, it is really important to dry the air compressor tank after cleaning. It will help you to prevent your tank from rusting. 

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