0

Over some time I have accumulated several plastic milk jugs and I'm considering using them to store water in case of an emergency. I've rinsed them out and left them to dry, but should I worry about cleaning them further? Should I use dish soap/scrub brushes? Will the cleaned jugs be sealed tightly enough to prevent the water from becoming contaminated?

4
  • I'm not sure about this usage but even bottled water has an "expiration" date. How long are you planning to keep it?
    – Catija
    Feb 28, 2016 at 2:40
  • @Catija as long as I can. I know that water storage should be changed out every so often; I think every few months or so.
    – intcreator
    Feb 28, 2016 at 3:09
  • The date on bottled water is generally a "best before" rather than a "use by" date, probably in case it picks up flavour from the plastic. Home-bottled water may be a different matter.
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2016 at 8:01
  • If the water has sufficient chlorine in it, you can get away with just storing it as-is. Ozonated water has no long-term anti-microbial properties, so you'll want to add a few drops (1 per L, so about 4 per gallon). There's plenty of advice online from various 'prepper' sites. (I just looked it up two days ago as I have 5gal jerry cans that I use for transporting water, and I thought I'd use them for storage 'til the next time I needed them).
    – Joe
    Feb 29, 2016 at 17:44

1 Answer 1

1

Cleaned jugs are, but ones that are only rinsed aren't. After the milk is gone, wash the inside of the jug with hot water and anti-bacterial soap. Rinse with super-purified or distilled water to avoid the risk of re-introducing contaminants to the inside of the jug. I store the filled bottles in my cold room for six months, then use the water and replace my stores.

6
  • 1
    What is the advantage of rinsing with purified or distilled water?
    – intcreator
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:51
  • In fact you're better off rinsing thoroughly with tap water after sterilising (because of the chlorine). If your tap water isn't trustworthy then purified water might make sense.
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2016 at 7:56
  • 1
    @ChrisH if my tap water wasn't trustworthy I'd probably just buy bottled water and store that :)
    – intcreator
    Feb 28, 2016 at 17:19
  • 1
    @brandaemon yes, though in some countries people have access to unsafe piped water and use domestic purifiers.
    – Chris H
    Feb 28, 2016 at 18:09
  • 1
    @brandaemon -- Sorry about that. I wasn;t thinking. For some reason, I assumed you would be storing purified water as opposed to tap water, because I can't store my tap water. I have a surface well, so the water periodically picks up natural contaminants from leaves, other forest debris, or even airborne algae spores getting in through the venting. I rinse with purified or distilled water because if I rinsed with tap water, I could potentially just be re-introducing contaminants.
    – Shalryn
    Feb 29, 2016 at 16:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.