Author Topic: Cleaning Water Barrels?  (Read 7044 times)

ldjo225

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Cleaning Water Barrels?
« on: April 17, 2009, 09:33:18 AM »
OK, y'all. If there's a thread addressing this already, I apologize.
We bought some water barrels at the flea market that had Dr Pepper in them originally. They are actually pretty clean but they smell like Dr Pepper still - even after filling them with water and adding bleach to them. We've let them sit for a week now but they still smell like Dr Pepper. I'm thinking that it won't hurt to drink the water anyway but I can't stand the smell! Any ideas? Would using some baking soda on them work for this?
Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
Sunny

Offline Mielikki

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 09:39:27 AM »
OK, y'all. If there's a thread addressing this already, I apologize.
We bought some water barrels at the flea market that had Dr Pepper in them originally. They are actually pretty clean but they smell like Dr Pepper still - even after filling them with water and adding bleach to them. We've let them sit for a week now but they still smell like Dr Pepper. I'm thinking that it won't hurt to drink the water anyway but I can't stand the smell! Any ideas? Would using some baking soda on them work for this?
Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
Sunny

My granmother would suggest either vinegar or baking soda, so I will do so too :P For baking soda, put a small open, broad container of it (few tablespoons) on the bottom of the barrel and close the lid. Baking soda should absorp all smell/taste. For vinegar, you can try wetting a cloth with vinegar and wiping the surfaces of the container with it. If that does not work, fill the barrel with water:vinegar mix. I would start with ratio of one part of vinegar and 100 parts of water and then moving up to 10 if neccessary. This wont be economical if the barrels are big.

ldjo225

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 07:40:40 PM »
Thanks. None of the barrels are 55 gallon. They run from 16 to 35 gallons. The problem I'm having is that they are closed in except for a screw lid that's about 3 inches around. I can't get in it to set any baking soda on the bottom. I was thinking that I'd buy one of those great big boxes of it & put a good bit of it in each barrel & fill it up with water. I think I'll try it anyway.
Thanks again.

Offline sludgy_nixer

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 08:54:53 PM »
for the baking soda, wonder if you could put some in a leg of pantyhose? it would hang inside the barrel yet be thin
enough you could probably get the barrel plug back in...at least partially.

homeshow

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 09:05:16 PM »
pour 4 cups of vinegar and 1/4 cup of vinegar into the barrels and shake well to coat the inside with the mix.  shake every once in a while to keep the inside coated.  let me know how it works.

ldjo225

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 11:59:27 PM »
pour 4 cups of vinegar and 1/4 cup of vinegar into the barrels and shake well to coat the inside with the mix.  shake every once in a while to keep the inside coated.  let me know how it works.

Tell me that again please? 4 cups of vinegar & 1/4 cup of - what? baking soda maybe??

Offline Mielikki

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2009, 12:43:15 AM »
I think the baking soda works better when it is dry, so in your case I would just sprinkle some of it at the bottom of the barrel and let it stand for a day or two. Then pour some hot water in and do the shaking thing and pour the stuff out. Then I would do what homeshow suggests, but I would use only vinegar.

But this can also be a learning experience :P Since you have several barrels, you can try different combinations of vinegar and baking soda, using only one, using vinegar first and baking soda second and so on. Find a method that seems to work best and let us know ;D


ldjo225

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 09:58:28 AM »
Thanks. I'll do both since I have both & I'll let you know how it goes.

homeshow

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2009, 08:30:32 PM »
pour 4 cups of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda into the barrels and shake well to coat the inside with the mix.  shake every once in a while to keep the inside coated.  let me know how it works.

oops

ldjo225

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2009, 08:53:34 PM »
oops

Isn't this the formula that has a really big foaming/explosive action? the vinegar & baking soda? seems like I saw a youtube video where they put this stuff in a coke bottle & it kind of blew up. maybe I'm thinking of something else.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2009, 08:58:58 PM »
Isn't this the formula that has a really big foaming/explosive action? the vinegar & baking soda? seems like I saw a youtube video where they put this stuff in a coke bottle & it kind of blew up. maybe I'm thinking of something else.

Dont close the lid.
I need to try this on my soy sauce 55gal barrels.

Offline digger

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2009, 09:50:16 PM »
The only way we got coke smell out of plastic barrels was to lay them in the sun for a week. Take the caps off, lay the barrels with one opening up. Reason being, the hot air rising will exit the top hole, pulling fresh air into the bottom hole. We flipped the barrel openings once a day. It took approx 5 days for 30 gallon barrels. The white barrels deodorized faster than the blue barrels. We tried the Clorox, but it didn't work well. The fella at the coke distributor recommended the "solar" way.

FWIW

Offline Mielikki

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2009, 12:36:38 AM »
Isn't this the formula that has a really big foaming/explosive action? the vinegar & baking soda? seems like I saw a youtube video where they put this stuff in a coke bottle & it kind of blew up. maybe I'm thinking of something else.

As ElyasWolff says, you can keep the the caps unscrewed to prevent the barrels from getting pressure/exploding, but the foaming etc is the main reason is prefer to use dry baking soda. On the other hand, sometimes using a bit of chemical action seems to be useful and you get rid of the smell faster.

I also like the "sunning" idea digger posted. UV light shoud break up a ton of different chemicals, and perhaps the smelly ones inside the barrels too. On the downside, UV also can make plastic to become brittle, so you don't want to leave your barrels exposed to light for long periods (months) of time.

ldjo225

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2009, 10:03:29 AM »
Well, damn! Y'all have given me lots of possible ways to get the smell out. Now, which one do I try? All of them? Probably.. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks so much.

Offline bwachob

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 06:52:07 PM »
My water barrels come from a place that makes hot sauce for restaurants.  they are full of Tabasco when they arrive.

The plant washes them for me but they still smell of Tabasco.

I get the largest box of baking soda I can find at Wal-Mart and dump it in then fill the barrels full of water.  Let them sit for 3 days and empty and fill with my storage water.

I havehad no smells yet.

Hope this helps.


Offline spartan

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Re: Cleaning Water Barrels?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 08:41:58 PM »
Another alternative to try is a One Step cleaner/sanitizer.  I've used this for cleaning my plastic primary fermentation buckets and they have come out clean.

An 8oz package will make 16 gallons of cleaning solution and runs $3-4 at a brewing supply shop.  Pour a gallon into each jug, put the top on and shake it.  Do this a couple of times and then drain it out.   Not only is it clean, it is also sanitized and ready to take your water supply.