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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought a 55g drum off craiglist and took it all the way home before I opened it. Turns out they stored some "sugar sryup" in it and it reeks like citrus. Ive washed it out about 10 times now with hot and cool water but the smell is not going away and im afraid it will affect my RO water.

Do you guys think I could use vinegar or mebbe some bleach to rinse it out? I would do several rinses and possibly even throw in some prime to kill the chlorine, but im really hesitant to use soap.

I would just take it back but I use more in gas to drive back there and return it then I do from the refund. Any other suggestions? Ty
 

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I'd give bleach a shot.

If the odor doesn't go away after bleaching it, I'd throw in the towel.

If it works well enough, I'd let it sit at least a day with Prime at double dosage. Dry it out and give it a good wipe down with peroxide and let it dry well again.

Before you go through any more work though, you should try and find out what the drum stored and do a little homework on it if you don't get good answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kool, yeah thats what I was thinking. Ill try it tonight and see whats up, just was worried that the bleach might seep into the plastic. And kinda pissed they didnt mention what was in it on the add, not as "water storage containers"... Lessons learned
 

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is the drum metal or plastic?

is there still residue on the drum? if there is, fill the drum with the hottest water you can and stir to dissolve the syrup. repeat it a time or two. that should get all of it off.

then give it a good bleaching, but honestly if you can get boiling water in the drum (water over 212 degrees) it will kill nearly all bacteria and sterlize the drum along with dissolving the syrup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its plastic and I cant feel any residue. I just think some of the aromatics from whatever flavor they were using is in the plastic. In fact I wouldnt be surprised if it doesnt even bother them, but I dont wanna take the chance,

I already used 160deg water from my tap (temp'd it) but I could only fill up half way twice as I only have so much hot water. It certainly has been helping, but still has a way to go. I will probably do the bleach, follow up with some hot water and then some h2o2 by more h2O. After that if it still smells ill prolly fill it up with RO water and taste it! >.<
 

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If it was sold as "food grade", you may be able to at least verify that with the markings on the drum. Manufacturer, material, warnings, etc.

These days, anything that comes in contact with skin or gets ingested is gonna be stored in food-grade containers; so that I wouldn't worry too much about stuff embedding itself in the plastic. Getting oily / sticky stuff off of it may end up being a bigger test of patience than you may have bargained for and just a big PITA.

I thought about buying a used drum like this long and hard. Honestly, your story's been told numerous times. Enough times that I decided I'd buy a new drum or keep thinking. I ended up finding a used 45G that fit in a space much better than where I was planning on putting the drum, so that worked better for me and MUCH cheaper. Depending on your situation the Petco sale makes 29's and 40's a bargain compared to new drums and zero work compared to used drums.
 

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We get lots of these questions and I always go back to what the professional health folks have us do to clean things. I once had a large community water storage tank built for a subdivision. The engineers specified that bleach was used to clean it. If you think of all the dirt and grime inside a large water tower type container after having all kinds of workers and welding and everything inside, a small barrel is not big thing. Chlorine is a gas by nature, it cannot seep into anything and stay. Why do we smell it around pools? Because it is gassing off so we get it in our nose. Same thing will happen with the barrel. Fill it and add a 1/2 cup or so of bleach and let it set overnight. Slosh it around to get it to the top. Dump it, rinse it and let it dry and it will be safe to drink out of and certainly safe to use for fish.
The chlorine in your drinking water is the same chlorine in bleach but not diluted with as much water. It doesn't soak into your white shirt and stay so there is no reason to think it would soak into plastic and stay.
 
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