Can I Put Rubbing Alcohol in My Gas Tank to Take Water Out?

by Tiffany Bennett
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Driving a car with water in its gas tank is both dangerous and damaging to the vehicle. Some home remedy enthusiasts and lay mechanics suggest pouring rubbing alcohol into the gas tank to eliminate the water. Although this may help in some cases, it may not be the best idea.

Why Alcohol?

The principle behind pouring alcohol in the gas tank is as follows: When alcohol is added to a gas tank with water and gasoline in it, the alcohol sinks to the bottom and absorbs the water, forming a combination that is no longer harmful to your car’s engine. The water, gas, and alcohol are then burned up and eliminated from the tank.

Dangers of Rubbing Alcohol

However, a bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol already contains a good bit of water, making it a poor water absorber. In some situations, it may even cause harm to your vehicle.

Recommended Products

There are several similar products that operate in a similar manner and are much more effective for removing water. The most common of these—HEET—contains a form of alcohol that is better suited for absorbing water. If the water is in a boat’s gas tank, the product Watersorb will eliminate it.

If you are determined to avoid purchasing a specially designed product for getting water out of your tank, isopropyl alcohol is a much better choice than rubbing alcohol.

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