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Sterilising and drying plastic bottles  RSS feed

 
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I am trying to sort out and rationalise my stored dry foods for easy storage. I have several bags of dried food (pasta, beans, rice, flour etc.). I would like to store some of these in standard 2 litre soft drinks bottles. I have used these in the past for brewing and have sterilised using solutions, but would like to use them for storing dried goods. Solution method would leave them damp so unsuitable for dry goods and heat can't be used for plastic bottles.

Does anyone know how I could safely re-use these bottles for storing dry goods.
 
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Suggest you move up to 3 liter bottles due to wider mouth. You may be able to find them for 89 cents each on sale with soda. Volunteer to bring soda to the holiday party. Simply rinsing well or if extreme put is some hot water and 1/32 of a drop of dish washing liquid. Half full, shake, and drain. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Until no more suds. Maybe use cold water. Clean and rinse covers too. Drain upside down in kitchen dish drainer. Shake next day to eliminate drops. Shake second day to eliminate rest of drops. On third day when totally dry fill with salt or sugar leaving a lot of head room. To store rice, or beans try nitrogen packing. Purchase a scuba size tank. Put probe into bottom of bottle. Slowly, more slowly than that, slowly let gas into bottle. Use a match out side of container to tell when nitrogen overtops. Leave a lot of head space. Use safe practices of always securing tank with chain to a wall. Or risk a cannon in your house. Use the open bed of a truck to transport it. Chain to wall of truck upright. For flour store grain using similar method and grinder. This is very handy to keep a few bottles on top of refrigerator for cooking. Not as big as a 5 gallon bucket. That is maybe a good thing. Using 2 liter bottles makes this not fun.
 
Dave Quinn
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Thanks Nancy

Anyone know of any less technological way. I can't afford a scuba tank of nitrogen.
 
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Hi, Dave, I store dried grains and things in either glass jars or food grade plastic buckets without sterilizing the containers...just clean and dry. I think your bottles would dry fine upside down in a sunny window or most anywhere as long as the moisture can escape, just give them plenty of time. One thing about glass jars...either canning jars or just reused ones is that they are easy to clean and dry...but of course breakable.
 
pollinator
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I got very lucky and "scored" a bunch of 5 gallon size, nearly cubical, HEAVY plastic jugs used for swimming pool chlorine. I rinsed them and left them age in the sun for a while till any odor was gone, and they've been the mainstay of our dry goods storage ever since. The lids have rubber gaskets and seal absolutely airtight, and the tops and bottoms of the "cubes" are indented correspondingly so they stack nicely. Sunlight and air circulation are the answers to any moisture, as well as odor, in any containers....
 
Dave Quinn
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Currently buying 20l containers of paraffin. Think I could wash and get rid of the smell?
 
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Dave Quinn wrote:Currently buying 20l containers of paraffin. Think I could wash and get rid of the smell?


To Americans, paraffin is a base form of solid wax, used in old school jelly and jam canning. I'm thinking from the way you present this that you are from some place where paraffin is the same as diesel, kerosene (simpler diesel oil) or some other fuel oil. If the latter is the case, then I wouldn't recommend the use of those for anything food related. The fuel oil leaches into the plastic of the container and continues to leach out over time, no matter how much soap and water is used. I work in the semiconductor industry and have a lot of experience with leached plastic - once it's "hot", it stays "hot". Their only real use at this point, in my opinion, after use for a fuel oil is as storage media for new fuel oil.
 
Dave Quinn
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Thanks I've sacked the idea of using them for food storage. Can they be rinsed enough to be used for collecting water for garden? Hate to think of them going to waste!

Bill Erickson wrote:

Dave Quinn wrote:Currently buying 20l containers of paraffin. Think I could wash and get rid of the smell?


To Americans, paraffin is a base form of solid wax, used in old school jelly and jam canning. I'm thinking from the way you present this that you are from some place where paraffin is the same as diesel, kerosene (simpler diesel oil) or some other fuel oil. If the latter is the case, then I wouldn't recommend the use of those for anything food related. The fuel oil leaches into the plastic of the container and continues to leach out over time, no matter how much soap and water is used. I work in the semiconductor industry and have a lot of experience with leached plastic - once it's "hot", it stays "hot". Their only real use at this point, in my opinion, after use for a fuel oil is as storage media for new fuel oil.

 
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Dave I don't know what answer Bill will give you, but my own view is that yes, they are suitable for garden water. I spelled out my reasoning in another thread awhile back:

http://www.permies.com/t/41116/urban/Rain-barrel-container-garden-plastic
 
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Do you need them to be truly sterile or simply sanitized? One option that comes to mind is the sanitizer that home brewers use. It is a liquid. You would clean the bottles then rinse them with the sanitizer and set them upside down to drip dry. It might be enough. The sanitizer my husband uses is called Sterisan and is basically just phosphoric acid.
 
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