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Old 05-22-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default storing water on the cheap?

i want to use old plastic gallon milk bottles to store filtered water in.

how do i sterilize them? they're so flimsy. is cleaning them out really well enough, and how the hell do you clean old milk out of a plastic jug anyway?

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Old 05-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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We never had luck even with the gallon jugs bought with water in them instead of milk. The milk will be impossible to really get out and they'll eventually leak. Two liter bottles are a better bet for doing water storage on the cheap. Also if you have a derailed freight or salvage construction type place to shop at, we lucked into food grade barrels, with spigots for cheap a few years ago. They used to hold red sweet peppers of all things.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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jeanne, I am sure Alan, our forum Prepmeister, will weigh in on this, but I believe it is not advisable to store water in milk bottles. It has something to do with the quality of the plastic. Even the bottled water you purchase at the store will have chemicals leach into the water over time, and from personal experience, they leak. You can, however, store water in plastic soda bottles for up to six months. Many of us store filtered water in mason jars. As we use up the contents of our home canned goods, we clean the jar and fill it with filtered water, then bring it to a boil to seal.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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I never liked milk jugs either. Leaks and they tend to allow odors and taste to enter.

I prefer the 2 and 3L soda bottles. They are tougher, no leaks and you can use them for SODIS distillation.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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yea, milk jugs pretty much suck. 2-liter soda bottle, and *some* of the larger juice bottles do ok.

I've come to the conclusion that anything plastic will gas off anyway so timely rotation is the key thing.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:28 PM   #6
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Personally, I like 5 gallon glass carboys. I can get them from the local "water store" that supplies businesses. The deposit is $5 and I can either get them prefilled or empties. You can get the brushes to clean them but I mostly just store water in them. Some of them have been used for wine and vinegar making as well.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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You are so right to be concerned about storing water in those flimsy milk jugs. I guess a lot of us learned that lesson the hard way. LOL Plus, it seemed that we never could get the jugs clean enough that we felt good about it. The milk leaves a film and even when the bottle looks squeaky clean, it will still make the water have a slight milky taste after only a couple of days.

We've been using the 2 L soda bottles, with 4 drops of clorox. Write the date right on the bottle with a Sharpie and change the water out every six months, reusing the bottles. Write the new date on them and you're set to go another six months.

Save your milk jugs tho. They are great as frost protection for the garden in spring and fall. If you don't have a garden, give them to a friend who does. They will love you!
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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1,2, or 3 liter soda bottles, juice bottles, or just about any food grade PETE plastic (number 01 in the little recycling triangle) are good for water storage. I would not use any container made out of HDPE plastic (#02 in the triangle), especially not milk jugs. The reason for this is that milk containers are very hard to sterilize using any method that won't damage the plastic itself. Worse still the thin plastic they are made of is notorious for spontaneously leaking. Even the jugs that ordinary water is sold in are bad for this. I found out the hard way years ago when I had a couple of 2.5 gallon jugs spontaneously empty themselves in my water storage. PETE bottles that are food grade (as in originally was sold with food in it) will be good for this app.

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Old 05-23-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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well, grrr.

we don't drink soda. we do use a lot of canning jars, but a quart at a time, argh.

guess digging a well would be harder...

thanks for all the tips.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:25 PM   #10
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okay, how about this idea?

used cat litter containers. 2.5 gallons. it's food grade plastic, i get the unscented clumping stuff, and i've been using the old containers in the garden for awhile now. they won't leak.

sterilize with bleach? what do you say?
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cheap, storing, water

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