Storage Tank Cleaning.  A proper tank cleaning procedure is critical to ensuring that your product is of the highest possible quality. However, in the hectic environment of running a business, this task is easily forgotten, neglected, or simply ignored – a potentially dangerous oversight. Failure to properly clean your tanks can result in leftover residue from previous batches.

Beer stone, for example, can accumulate and shorten the shelf life of beer – or even ruin the entire batch. The list could go on and on. Simply put, cleaning tanks properly is critical for any industry that uses such equipment.


  • Internal inspections: When it’s time for an internal inspection, your tank must be removed from service, cleaned, and prepared for an inspector to enter.
  • Changing Products: When you change the product in your storage tank, you must clean it completely. For example, if you’re switching the withheld materials in your tank from an unrefined product to a refined product, you’ll need to remove all residue and impurities before introducing the new product.
  • Tank issues: If your tank experiences a mechanical failure, you will most likely be unable to repair it unless you first stop using it and make it safe for the repair technician. This will entail emptying the tank, cleaning it, and ensuring that it is vapor-free. Typically, the goal of a tank cleaning is to provide an environment in which whoever is performing the repair or inspection is completely safe from any hazardous materials.

Four Main Cleaning Factors

1. Chemistry

Safety comes first. Regardless of the cleaning agent used, properly handling and distributing the solvent is critical to a safe cleaning process.

Less is more. Using too many chemical agents may deteriorate your tank; using too few may clean ineffectively, leaving grime or dirt behind.

Choose the appropriate chemical. It is critical to use the right chemical for the job. Finding the correct chemical is more difficult. Tank cleaning chemicals are classified into three types: highly alkaline detergents, highly acidic cleaners, and disinfectants. Alkaline detergents remove proteinaceous and organic soils. Acidic cleaners are ideal for removing inorganic soils such as beer stones or water stains. Disinfectants kill microorganisms like bacteria.

2. Time

Time can be a difficult variable to manage. The time it takes to properly clean your tank is affected by variables such as tank type, soil type, and soil concentration level. Using a CIP system can assist in maintaining consistency in preparation and time results.

3. Temperature

To avoid adverse chemical reactions or disruptions, the right chemicals must be used at the right temperature. Chemical suppliers will provide suggested temperatures as well as automated cleaning mechanisms. For optimal use, pay attention to and consistently apply the exact temperature recommendations for your chemical.

4. Mechanical

A dependable mechanical nozzle system will save water and money on chemicals. The right nozzle for your application, as shown in the adjusted pie chart, will save you money on temperature, time, and chemistry. Rotational spray nozzles, for example, can reduce solvent consumption by 30% and shorten the cleaning cycle by 40%.

How does one select the best nozzle for their particular application? When planning, start with impact, flow rate, and pressure.

– Impact: The rate at which a droplet strikes the tank wall is referred to as an impact. An impact surface is a specific area where the droplet collides. Nozzles are classified as either high or low impact. Solid stream nozzles and flat fan nozzles, for example, are high-impact, striking the impact surface with great force.

Flow Rate: The flow rate and the impact are related. To illustrate, increasing the flow rate increases the impact, assuming that other parameters such as spray angle, pressure, and medium remain constant.

Pressure: Rotating cleaning nozzles have the most impact on tank surfaces, requiring high-speed droplets. Factors like distance and pressure affect impact efficiency. Rotating nozzle suppliers should provide recommended pressure ranges.

Here is a general outline of the steps involved in cleaning a storage tank:

Safety Precautions:

  • Before starting a tank cleaning operation, ensure all safety precautions are in place, including providing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for the workers involved.

Isolation and Draining:

  • Remove the tank from external sources, completely drain any remaining liquid or sludge, and ensure proper disposal of the drained material in accordance with environmental regulations.


  • Ensure proper ventilation of the tank to prevent the buildup of hazardous gases or fumes. Use air exchange systems or ventilation fans as needed.

Tank Entry:

  • The tank’s size and design may necessitate workers entering it for cleaning, so it’s crucial to ensure they are adequately trained and equipped for confined space entry.

Mechanical Removal of Residue:

  • Utilize appropriate tools and equipment like scrapers, shovels, or vacuum trucks to mechanically remove solid residues, sludge, or deposits from the tank’s interior.

Chemical Cleaning:

  • Chemical cleaning agents can dissolve or loosen stubborn deposits, depending on residues and tank contents. Follow recommended procedures and ensure safety measures when handling chemicals.

Rinse and Neutralize:

  • Rinse the tank thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning agents or residues. Neutralize any remaining chemicals as required.


  • Inspect the tank’s interior for signs of damage, corrosion, or other issues that may require repair.


  • Ensure the tank is thoroughly dried to prevent the formation of rust or other issues due to moisture.


  • Dispose of any waste materials, cleaning agents, or sludge in accordance with local environmental regulations.


  • The tank must undergo safety and regulatory testing, including pressure testing, leak detection, and certification, before being reintroduced into service.


  • Maintain thorough records of the cleaning process, including safety procedures, inspections, and any issues discovered during the process.

Is Your Storage Tank Due for Cleaning?

Raven Tanks is a top choice for storage tank cleaning due to our expertise, commitment to quality, safety, advanced equipment, personnel training, and environmentally responsible practices.

We offer tried and tested services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Dalby, Darwin, and Geelong.

Our friendly and experienced customer service team is here to help you!

Call Raven Tanks at 1800 907 834

Or email at [email protected].

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Are you in need of an industrial water storage solution? We are the leading liquid storage tank & liner manufacturers in Australia, with more than 20 professional years of service behind us.

Having your liquid storage system perform optimally is essential in any industry. Therefore your choice of liquid and water tank manufacturers and maintenance specialist  is paramount to the success of your project & ongoing asset integrity. We offer a wide variety of design, manufacturing, inspection, and maintenance services.

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