Tank cleaning refers to cleaning cargo tanks such as in tank trunks, railroad cars, barges and oil tankers. Tank cleaning can be automated. Tank cleaning is done specifically to change the type of product carried inside a tank and also to allow the tank to be inspected or for maintenance purposes. Tank cleaning is dangerous. While tank barges can be cleaned in port, shipboard tanks are generally cleaned at sea due to risks of fire and explosion. Tank cleaning can also be referred to in terms of water tank cleaning, to purify water and minimize health risks. Tank Cleaning is an essential part of the supply chain of chemicals, foodstuff and other products. The tank to be cleaned may be a tank vehicle, tank container or any other container used to hold products that needs to be washed after it is emptied.
Tank cleaning can be performed by cold or hot water, sometimes with the addition of acidic or alkaline cleaning agents, and, in some cases effective cleaning can be achieved only by using surfactants.