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Old 02-28-2012, 11:57 PM
postrider postrider is offline
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Default Cleaning plastic barrels



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I am going to purchase some plastic barrels that were used for soda syrup. What would be the best way to clean them so that I can store drinking water in them? Should I use soap and water alone or would bleach be better or a combination of both?
Old 02-29-2012, 03:30 AM
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Instead of purchasing plastic barrels, I'd use the things you have every day unless the ones you are gonna purchase are either colored green or brown...something lightproof. Even then, you can get those if you drink Sprite. I'd never purchase plastic unless it was a really good bargain.

I personally clean and sanitize with a combination of soap first run and bleach second run on bottles around the house. I then add boiling water to allow the water to seal the bottles as best I can. I never throw anything away.

Just a suggestion.
Old 02-29-2012, 04:04 AM
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@beesknees

I believe the OP is referring to 55 gallon barrels that once hosted fountain soda syrup.
They are food grade, durable and well worth the trouble of cleaning.

@Postrider

Soap and water, then a rinse with baking soda and water. I don't think bleach is necessary, but use it if it makes you feel better. I would not use boiling water as that will cause the plastic to leech.

By the way, no matter what else you read here on the board about storing water, it does not ever need to be rotated. Water does not have an expiration date, only the vessel that holds it does. If you are using municipal tap water to fill it, there is no need for bleach as the water you are receiving is already sanitized. There is no point in filtering now when filling the 55 gallon container either, filter it when you are using it later.

I recommend getting a hand pump if you don't have one already. Or at the very least install a valve at the bottom of the barrel and have a frame built to host it on. Otherwise if the 55 gal barrel has a removable lid, you can simply use a 5 gal bucket to pail out whatever water you need in the future. In case you are in a colder climate zone where freezing is an issue, do not fill the drum to it's maximum, leave some room for expansion if the drum ever freezes.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:46 AM
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many people take them to the carwash and pressure wash them with the plain water rinse.. that gets alot of the scent out of them and makes sure all the foodstuff residue is gone. leaving them to dry in a sunny place for a
day or two should finish it nicely and there should be little trace of odor . now if it was pickle barrels.....
Old 02-29-2012, 07:40 AM
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I would "Not" use the car wash to clean anything I'm going to be using for food or water consumption. Most of those car washes are cesspools of bacteria, The mixer pumps bleed wax or degreaser or soap thru the lines even on the clean wash cycles. Even new maintained equipment can leave unwanted residues in your barrel. The barrels need to be washed with a hot water steam jenny cleaner or if you can't access one of those, you should clean it with Dawn and multible rinses. If you can acquire some deIonized water the second rinse should be with that. then allow to thouroughly dry before filling.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escapefromNY View Post
@beesknees

I believe the OP is referring to 55 gallon barrels that once hosted fountain soda syrup.
They are food grade, durable and well worth the trouble of cleaning.

@Postrider

Soap and water, then a rinse with baking soda and water. I don't think bleach is necessary, but use it if it makes you feel better. I would not use boiling water as that will cause the plastic to leech.

By the way, no matter what else you read here on the board about storing water, it does not ever need to be rotated. Water does not have an expiration date, only the vessel that holds it does. If you are using municipal tap water to fill it, there is no need for bleach as the water you are receiving is already sanitized. There is no point in filtering now when filling the 55 gallon container either, filter it when you are using it later.

I recommend getting a hand pump if you don't have one already. Or at the very least install a valve at the bottom of the barrel and have a frame built to host it on. Otherwise if the 55 gal barrel has a removable lid, you can simply use a 5 gal bucket to pail out whatever water you need in the future. In case you are in a colder climate zone where freezing is an issue, do not fill the drum to it's maximum, leave some room for expansion if the drum ever freezes.
Good post. Thanks! While the used barrel seller may say they only contained food, what if they contained something else? Is there a way to clean them just in case?
Old 02-29-2012, 08:08 AM
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heat .... maintained warm water with baking soda .... lots of what gets entrapped in the plastic pores will release better if the plastic is warmed and expands .....
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:08 AM
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After you have cleaned out your barrel and used bleach I would rinse it one more time and this time add a large bottle of Listerine to the rinse water. this will help kill some of the bleach odor and taste. GB
Old 02-29-2012, 09:31 AM
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Plain old Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water will get the residue out. Then I'd leave it sitting in the sun a few days filled with water and baking soda solution. This will remove the smell. Soda syrup is pretty easy to clean out.
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