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Old 07-17-2011, 09:36 AM
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Default Quest for the odorless pickle bucket.



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I can get 5 Gal frosting buckets at Sam痴 club for free or a $2.00 donation. The buckets have a very mild odor of sweetness. Mmmmmm.

I can get 5+ Gal buckets from the deli or Firehouse Subs. These are pickle buckets.

I have a case of 1 Gal mylar bags from LDS and I think the extra two inches on the pickle buckets will allow me to get that 5th bag in. I really like the idea of the gallon bags and being able to store different items in one bucket. However, if I can only get 3 or 4 bags in a bucket I will run out of storage space. I think I知 going to buy the larger 5 gal bags.

My first step was to search the web for a good method. We all know how disappointing that was.

The suggestions in this forum were as good as any.
cleaning buckets - BarneyStinson

Pickle buckets and odor? - RockinGLock

Buckets! and cleaning them... - tedennis

Removeing the plastic smell in canteens

Or just buy new -- good links. FDA Approved Food Grade Buckets, Barrels, etc.

And if I can稚 get them cleaned we have 101 uses for a 5-gallon bucket

There are a lot of other discussions, I just gathered a few from a quick search. If I missed a good one, I値l edit the list and add it above.

In the next few posts, I値l list what I tried and what the results were. I will edit these posts to add updates to the processes.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Plan A: Ozone to eliminate pickle bucket odor.

Plan A: Ozone to eliminate pickle bucket odor.

For all processes, I clean with dish soap and hot water first.

I took an ozone generator and placed it inside of two buckets. I ran the ozone machine for about 30 minutes and let the buckets sit overnight.

This did little or nothing to the buckets, but I now have an ozone machining that smells like pickles.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Plan B: The baking soda and bleach method to clean pickle bucket odor.

Plan B: The baking soda and bleach method to clean pickle bucket odor.

As stated in prior posts; fill buckets with water and 1 cup of baking soda. Put cover on. Let sit in sun for 48 hours. Rinse bucket and fill with water and 2 cups of bleach. Cover and let sit in sun for 48 hours.

This did a very good job and moved the oder down to mild. Contents would be protected by mylar bags - so no worries there. I fear that a small pantry filled with these buckets would become overwhelming.
Old 07-17-2011, 09:38 AM
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Default Plan C: Odoban used to clean pickle bucket odor.

Plan C: Odoban used to clean pickle bucket odor.

I sprayed the inside and lid with Odoban and placed cover on bucket. I let stand for 24 hours. (A cloudy day).

This seemed to knock down the oder in 1 day better than the 4 day baking soda and bleach method. Odoban is approved for kitchen use on non-food surfaces. Accordingly, many would no longer consider these to be food grade buckets. While we would plan to use Mylar, I would prefer a method that maintains food grade status.

Update: After a follup test (Plan D: below), a soak in vinagar brought out a strong Odoban smell, demonstrating the ability of the plastic buckets to absorb chemicals. I am eliinating any further testing of Odoban.

Last edited by 9111315; 07-17-2011 at 05:38 PM.. Reason: Update post and eliminate this process.
Old 07-17-2011, 09:38 AM
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Default Plan D: White vinegar and baking powder paste to clean pickle bucket odor.

Plan D: White vinegar and baking powder paste to clean pickle bucket odor.

I will test this on a new set of buckets once I get them.

[ post edit to follow ]


I did take the buckets from B: and C: above and put about 1/4 cup of white vinegar inside and covered. I would walk by and shake buckets every few hours to recover surfaces.

After about 24 hours, the pickle oder was stronger in all buckets. The vinagar also brought out the smell of the odoban. Between the process B: and C:; The backing soda/bleach (B: ) buckets had less odor after the vinegar treatment.

Last edited by 9111315; 07-18-2011 at 07:28 AM..
Old 07-17-2011, 09:39 AM
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Default Plan E: Ultraviolet Light to clean pickle bucket oder.

Plan E: Ultraviolet Light to clean pickle bucket oder.

I was wondering if the UV lights used in a house furnace to sterilize the are would have any effect on the oder. I don稚 have a UV light as this time but am open to comments.

The closest I can come to this is to just let buckets sit in sun for a week.

[will edit with new info if I get any.]
Old 07-17-2011, 09:39 AM
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Default Plan F: Steam cleaning pickle buckets

Plan F: Steam cleaning pickle buckets

I have a small hand held steam cleaner and will try this on a fresh pickle bucket.



I In the mean time, I used the hand held steam cleaner on the above process B: and C: buckets after the vinegar bath. My wife was able to identify the steam cleaned bucket as having less odor. This merits further investigation.

Last edited by 9111315; 07-17-2011 at 05:43 PM..
Old 07-17-2011, 05:39 PM
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Default Plan G: I知 still thinking on this one.

Plan G: I知 still thinking on this one.

I知 still trying to come up with simple ideas and will edit this post If I come across one.
Old 07-17-2011, 06:44 PM
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I recomend airing it out. Also left in the trunk for two weeks. Too afraid of it I was.Thats what I did with my stinky one. which reminds me gotta finish cleaning my collection today
Old 08-02-2011, 08:10 AM
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I'm still waiting to get more buckets.

On the second set of "Plan B: The baking soda and bleach" from Fire House, this process did not work well. I used the white white vinegar for 24 hours and then repeated the baking soda soak for about a week. Still a mild to medium smell.

FireHouse Subs uses some mighty strong pickles.



Update - Two Blue Buckets from Publix did clean up with this method.

Last edited by 9111315; 08-02-2011 at 11:35 AM..
Old 08-02-2011, 11:22 AM
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Ya the firehouse ones are hard to get the smell out of
Old 08-02-2011, 11:37 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9111315 View Post
I'm still waiting to get more buckets.

On the second set of "Plan B: The baking soda and bleach" from Fire House, this process did not work well. I used the white white vinegar for 24 hours and then repeated the baking soda soak for about a week. Still a mild to medium smell.

FireHouse Subs uses some mighty strong pickles.



Update - Two Blue Buckets from Publix did clean up with this method.
If you only have a mild smell left. Leave it sitting out in the hot sun for a while. That tends to help it air out. Or repeat the baking soda step again. I've had pretty good luck getting the smell out, but it's not an overnight project. That's part of the reason I try to avoid pickle buckets if I can. But I find that it doesn't transfer the smell to the foods stored in it anyway, so no biggy.
Old 08-02-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
If you only have a mild smell left. Leave it sitting out in the hot sun for a while. That tends to help it air out. Or repeat the baking soda step again. I've had pretty good luck getting the smell out, but it's not an overnight project. That's part of the reason I try to avoid pickle buckets if I can. But I find that it doesn't transfer the smell to the foods stored in it anyway, so no biggy.
Yep, I do plan to do the sunlight baking. I can also store them above the garage and let that summer attic heat cook the smell out.

I would like to find an overnight method, but would be happy with a one week process. Anything I can contribute that will cut time of this "Seasonal" process will make me happy.

Thanks for the tip and report of experience.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:24 PM
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Hydrogen Peroxide. Same process as vinegar. Just dump a bottle in and shake it about now and then for a day or so. Then dump the peroxide into the next bucket. It can be reused a couple times.... just mark it as CLEANING PEROXIDE so it isn't used for injuries after being contaminated.

Remember, pickles are pickled in VINEGAR and that is what you smell...... the spices and fermenting set in by vinegar.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:48 PM
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Fill a bucket with coffee grounds and let it sit in the sun for a couple days?

Is it really worth all the extra effort?
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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I got a free pickle bucket and tried to clean it, too.

I decided I was wasting more time and money trying to clean it than just buying new buckets.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michiganmom View Post
I got a free pickle bucket and tried to clean it, too.

I decided I was wasting more time and money trying to clean it than just buying new buckets.
Yup. That is why I want to try everyones suggestion and find out which is best.

Different people have different experiences with different buckets. It looks like if I can get a FireHouse Pickle bucket oder free, I'll have a winning process.

The Hydrogen Peroxide sounds like worth trying -- and I agree, Pickles are easy to clean out -- it's the spice smell that is the challenge.

The coffee sounds like a cover-up process, but then coffee odor would be better then pickle oder. YMMV.

I'll post what I find out. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:16 PM
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It's even hard to get out of glass jars. I leave em in the dishwasher through 10 cycles or so. Still has a bit of smell. Old Dave up the hill said only way to get the pickle smell out of a bucket was put a skunk in it overnite...
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:35 PM
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Wash 'em with bleach, them toss some charcoal briquets inside and close the lid. The charcoal will absorb the smell. I used this same method to remove the rotten meat smell from a freezer in my garage that lost power for several weeks one summe r while I was out of town. If it will remove that odor.... them pickles is a no brianer.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:21 PM
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I went to firehouse yesterday with every intention to buy one and try to use it for my preps. I left with some subs, but without the bucket. the smell I could have worked with, but I didn't like the label and I question if it's really food grade plastic. The buckets look exactly like every other bucket, so I see no way to confirm if it is or not. I don't use mylar yet, so this was rather important to me.
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