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  1. #1

    How to clean food grade barrels and what type of water to start with?


    I am in the process of purchasing 3 55 gallon food grade barrels for $40 each-so I am thrilled. Aparently they were being used to make wine and they all have a juice residue. The only have the two small caps on top so I am trying to figure out the best way to clean these. I thought about putting diswasher tabs in with about a couple of gallons of water and roll them around the yard. Any thoughts there?

    Also, when you fill these, do you buy bottled water and start with the best possible or do you just fill from the tap and know that you will need to filter again when you need to drink it?


  2. #2
    Great buy,

    You cleaning method seems sound, unless you have a pressure washer, your way sounds like it will work.

    Are they white or blue (the barrels)?

    I would use your tap water and add some bleach, leave them set. I would not use bottled water, unless you re use it, it would be a waste to use bottled water (imo). Are you on a a well, cistern or City water?

  3. #3
    They are the blue barrels and we are on City Water. The city actually just came a couple of days ago to test and they are building a new water treatment plant from EPA pressure. I wonder if that will make the water better. How much bleach do you use for 55 gallons? That really sounds dangerous.

    I also bought this product to try anyone ever heard of it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Go to the clorox website. They have a guide using clorox bleach for sanitizing and water purification. I would fill them with tap water, (you should rotate water storage every 6 months). Your cleaning method sounds good, just make sure you rinse them well before filling them.

  5. #5
    Since they were used in wine making, I'd propose you follow the cleaning path used by brewers.

    Initial cleaning is done with a product called Five Star PBW, or proceed to secondary cleaning.

    Secondary cleaning (if needed) is done with OxyClean.

    Final sanitation (again, if needed) is done with StarSan.
    Last edited by BScout; 10-04-2011 at 07:16 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Appalachian Mountains
    when I cleaned plastic barrels, I used a gallon of regular bleach with a little water and rolled them around for a couple days.
    then drained and rinsed out. then did the same with white vinegar. I don't have city water so can't help you there.
    Never give a name to something ya might need to eat

  7. #7
    Well I have them now and they had the base for rasperry tea in them and not wine. I will look up on the clorox website. Thanks!



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