Best Additive to Remove Water From Diesel (Popular Brands)

Best Additive to Remove Water From Diesel

The best additive to remove water from diesel fuel is typically a water dispersant or a demulsifying agent. These additives work by either breaking down the water molecules so they can be safely passed through the fuel system or by separating water from the diesel, allowing for easier removal.

It’s important to choose an additive that is compatible with your specific diesel engine and to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use to ensure optimal performance and avoid any potential damage to the fuel system.

Regular use of these additives, as part of routine maintenance, can help prevent water-related issues in diesel engines, such as corrosion, microbial growth, and fuel system clogging, thereby extending the lifespan and efficiency of the engine.

Additionally, consistently monitoring and maintaining the fuel storage conditions can further reduce the risk of water contamination, ensuring that the diesel fuel remains clean and efficient for use in various applications.

Some Popular Brands in The Market

Product Name Technical Description Reason for Effectiveness
Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost Contains a cetane improver, fuel stabilizers, and a water emulsifier. The water emulsifier helps disperse water in the fuel, preventing accumulation and damage.
STA-BIL Diesel Fuel Stabilizer and Conditioner Includes corrosion inhibitors and a water demulsifier. The demulsifier separates water from diesel, making it easier to remove, while corrosion inhibitors protect against moisture-related damage.
Howes Lubricator Diesel Treat A blend of solvents and lubricants that includes water dispersants. The water dispersants break down water molecules in the fuel, preventing freeze-ups or microbial growth.
Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment A multifunctional additive containing lubricants and a unique blend of solvents. Helps disperse water molecules, reducing water contamination and increasing fuel efficiency.
Opti-Lube XPD Diesel Fuel Improver Concentrated with detergents, lubricants, and water dispersants. The dispersants effectively handle water contamination, mitigating rust and microbial growth risks.
Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme Contains a powerful cetane improver, detergents, and water dispersants. Cleans the fuel system and disperses water, reducing the risk of corrosion and improving fuel stability.
Archoil AR6200 Fuel Treatment Features a complex formula with detergents, lubricants, and combustion modifiers. Manages water contamination while enhancing power and efficiency, protecting fuel system and engine parts.

Read related article: Sulfur Additive for Diesel Fuel: Which Suits Your Vehicle

Types of Additives Used to Remove Water from Diesel Fuel

Removing water from diesel fuel is crucial for maintaining engine health and efficiency. Various types of additives are used for this purpose, each with its own mechanism of action. Here’s an overview of the most common types:

  1. Fuel-Water Separators
    • How They Work: Fuel-water separators are physical devices rather than chemical additives. They are installed in the fuel line and use a filtration system to separate water from the diesel fuel. The separator typically includes a coalescer that combines small water droplets into larger ones, which then settle at the bottom of a collection bowl due to their higher density compared to diesel.
    • Effectiveness: Fuel-water separators are highly effective in removing free water (water that has not emulsified with the fuel) from diesel. They are less effective against emulsified or dissolved water. Regular maintenance, such as draining the collected water and replacing filters, is essential for their continued effectiveness.
  2. Water Dispersant Additives
    • Explanation and Mechanism of Action: Water dispersant additives, also known as emulsifiers, work by breaking down water molecules in the diesel fuel into extremely small particles. These tiny water droplets are then dispersed evenly throughout the fuel, preventing them from forming larger droplets or settling at the bottom of the tank.
    • Effectiveness: These additives are effective at handling emulsified water, making it easier for the engine to safely burn the water with the fuel without causing damage. However, they do not remove water from the system entirely.
  3. Alcohol-Based Additives
    • Explanation and Mechanism of Action: Alcohol-based additives, such as isopropanol or ethanol, absorb water. When mixed with diesel fuel, they bond with water molecules, thereby reducing the risk of water-related issues.
    • Pros: Alcohol-based additives are effective at dealing with both free and emulsified water. They are particularly useful in cold climates as they can lower the freezing point of water, preventing it from freezing in the fuel lines.
    • Cons: There are concerns regarding the use of alcohol-based additives, as they can potentially damage rubber seals and gaskets over time. They may also contribute to increased corrosion within the fuel system. Additionally, alcohol can be a solvent for certain types of dirt and debris, potentially leading to clogged fuel filters if the fuel system is not clean.

Each type of additive has its specific applications and effectiveness, and the choice depends on the nature of the water contamination, the diesel engine’s specifications, and the operating conditions. It’s important to use these additives as per manufacturer recommendations and consider regular maintenance and inspection of the fuel system for optimal results.

Comparison of Different Additives for Removing Water from Diesel Fuel

When comparing different additives used to remove water from diesel fuel, it’s essential to consider various factors such as their effectiveness, impact on the engine, compatibility, and environmental safety.

Additive Type Effectiveness in Removing Water Impact on Fuel Efficiency and Engine Performance Compatibility with Diesel Engines Environmental Considerations and Safety
Fuel-Water Separators Highly effective for free water; less for emulsified/dissolved water Maintains engine performance; no direct impact on fuel efficiency Universally compatible Environmentally safe; safe handling
Water Dispersant Additives Good for emulsified water; does not remove completely Helps prevent corrosion and microbial growth; no improvement in combustion efficiency Generally compatible; follow manufacturer recommendations Usually safe; check for harmful chemicals
Alcohol-Based Additives Effective for free and emulsified water; prevents freezing May decrease fuel efficiency slightly; maintains engine performance Caution advised; can damage some engine components Risk of increased corrosion; flammable, handle with care

the choice of additive should be based on the specific needs of your engine and operating conditions. While fuel-water separators are excellent for mechanical separation of water, chemical additives like water dispersants and alcohol-based products offer different mechanisms for managing water in diesel fuel. Consideration of their impact on engine performance, compatibility with your specific engine type, and environmental and safety aspects is essential for making an informed decision.

How To Choose The Best Additive

Choosing the best additive to remove water from diesel fuel involves considering several factors to ensure you select a product that meets your specific needs and is compatible with your diesel engine. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Understand the Type of Contamination:
    • Determine whether the water in your diesel is in a free, emulsified, or dissolved state. Different additives work best for different types of water contamination.
  2. Identify the Purpose of the Additive:
    • Some additives are designed to disperse water, while others are made to separate water from the diesel. Choose an additive based on whether you want to break down the water molecules or separate them for easier drainage.
  3. Check Compatibility with Your Engine:
    • Ensure that the additive is suitable for your specific type of diesel engine. Some additives may not be compatible with all engine types, particularly newer models with advanced emission control systems.
  4. Look for Additional Benefits:
    • Some diesel fuel additives offer extra benefits such as cleaning injectors, improving cetane rating, enhancing lubrication, and stabilizing fuel. Consider these additional features when choosing an additive.
  5. Safety and Environmental Considerations:
    • Opt for additives that are safe to handle and have minimal environmental impact. Check for any harmful chemicals and ensure that the additive meets environmental regulations.
  6. Read Reviews and Recommendations:
    • Look for customer reviews and expert recommendations. Feedback from other users can provide insight into the effectiveness and reliability of the product.
  7. Assess the Cost-Effectiveness:
    • Compare prices and consider the cost-effectiveness of the additive. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, so weigh the benefits against the cost.
  8. Brand Reputation:
    • Consider purchasing from reputable brands known for quality products. Established brands are more likely to have undergone rigorous testing and quality control.
  9. Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines:
    • Once you’ve selected an additive, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Incorrect usage can lead to ineffective results or even damage to the fuel system.
  10. Regular Maintenance:
  • Regularly monitor and maintain your diesel fuel and storage conditions. Using additives should be part of a comprehensive maintenance routine to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your diesel engine.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose the most appropriate diesel fuel additive to effectively remove water and maintain the health and efficiency of your diesel engine.

Understanding Water Contamination in Diesel Fuel

Water contamination in diesel fuel is a common issue that can significantly impact engine performance and longevity. Understanding how water enters the fuel system and the problems it causes is crucial for effective prevention and maintenance.

Ways Water Can Contaminate Diesel Fuel

  1. Condensation: This is the most common way water enters diesel fuel systems. As temperatures fluctuate, water vapor present in the air can condense inside fuel tanks, especially when they are not full, leading to water accumulation.
  2. Poor Storage: Improperly sealed or damaged storage tanks can allow rainwater or environmental moisture to seep into the diesel fuel. Underground storage tanks are particularly susceptible to water infiltration if they develop leaks.
  3. Handling and Transportation: During the transportation and transfer of diesel fuel from refineries to storage facilities and then to end-users, water can enter the fuel through leaks or condensation in the containers and pipelines.
  4. Contaminated Fuel Supply: Sometimes, the diesel fuel might already contain water when purchased, due to contamination at the source or during the refining and distribution process.

Problems Caused by Water in Diesel Fuel

  1. Corrosion: Water in diesel fuel can lead to corrosion in the fuel system, including the fuel tank, lines, and injectors. Corrosion can cause significant damage and lead to costly repairs.
  2. Microbial Growth: Water provides an ideal environment for the growth of microbes like bacteria and fungi. These microbes can form a biomass that clogs fuel filters and injectors, leading to operational problems.
  3. Reduced Combustion Efficiency: Water contamination reduces the combustion efficiency of diesel fuel. It can cause irregular combustion, reduced power output, and increased fuel consumption.
  4. Freeze in Low Temperatures: In colder climates, water in the fuel can freeze, blocking fuel lines and filters, which can prevent the engine from starting or cause it to stall.
  5. Emulsification of Fuel: Water can emulsify with diesel, forming a mixture that does not burn efficiently. This emulsion can damage the engine and reduce its lifespan.
  6. Wear and Tear: Water in diesel can reduce lubrication properties, leading to increased wear and tear on engine components.

Water contamination in diesel fuel can have serious consequences for diesel engines, affecting their performance, efficiency, and durability. Understanding these risks is the first step in implementing effective measures to mitigate them, such as using quality fuel additives and maintaining proper storage conditions.

Best Practices for Using Additives

Using additives in diesel fuel can significantly improve engine performance and longevity. However, it’s important to select the right additive and use it correctly. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Guidelines for Selecting the Right Additive
    • Assess Your Needs: Determine the main issue you’re addressing – is it water contamination, fuel stability, or engine performance?
    • Research Additive Types: Understand the different types of additives (water dispersants, cetane boosters, stabilizers, etc.) and their specific functions.
    • Compatibility: Ensure the additive is compatible with your diesel engine type, especially for newer engines with advanced emission systems.
    • Quality Brands: Choose reputable brands to ensure product quality and effectiveness.
    • Environmental Impact: Consider environmentally friendly additives that have minimal negative impact.
  2. Instructions on How to Use Additives Safely and Effectively
    • Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always read and follow the guidelines provided by the additive manufacturer.
    • Proper Dosage: Use the correct amount of additive as per your fuel volume; overuse can be as harmful as underuse.
    • Mixing: Ensure proper mixing of the additive with diesel. Some additives may require fuel circulation to mix evenly.
    • Storage: Store additives in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources to maintain their efficacy.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively use additives to enhance your diesel fuel’s performance, prolong the life of your engine, and prevent issues related to water contamination.


Choosing the right additive to get rid of water in your diesel fuel is really important for keeping your engine running smoothly and for a long time. Whether it’s a separator, a dispersant, or an alcohol-based additive, it’s all about what your engine needs and the type of water problem you’re facing. Regularly looking after your engine and using the correct additive can really help in preventing issues like rust, bacteria build-up, and poor engine performance due to water in your diesel. By making a smart choice and using additives the right way, you can keep your diesel engine in great shape and running efficiently.

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