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Sanitising water containers?


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Staff member
I got a 20L container from work which had de-ionised water in it.
I rinsed it with hot water and used it last solo camp but my better half is concerned that bacteria could grow inside it.

  1. Is it better to leave it full of tap water or empty?
  2. Do I need to 'sanitise' it?
  3. and if so, how? and how often?
Probably Bleach would be your best bet to clean it....not sure how much bleach to water mix it should be
Yea, I saw mention of bleach on another page but didn't like that idea much.
Giz, as Mark says a few cap fulls of bleach won't harm, leave stand over night, give it a good rinse out. And you could use a few spoons of bicarbonate of soda, i add a tea spoon full to my Source water bladder, leave stand over night :thumbsup:
Miltons will see off anything. If it's good enough for sterilizing baby stuff it's good enough for anything pretty much. Also if the container is microwaveable maybe stick a microwaveable plate or such on top with 200ml of water in and microwave it for 6mins (No Milton for that one).That's all my daughter's sterilizer is after all and most medical autoclaves are nothing more than posh microwaves these days and even the old ones are just steam pressure cookers. Speaking as an ex lab tech.
Either will do the job....I use bleach in all of mine.

Milton Fluid product information.

Sodium Cholide 16%

Active ingrediant.....Sodium Hypocholide 2%

In other words a salt solution containing common bleach:D

Uderstandably the Milton has to be a weaker solution for cleaning baby items.

The difference is £1.50 for 500ml........or £1.50 for a gallon....yes....Im a tight arse:rofl:
If you look at the colour, you can tell what you need to do. Black plastic, either store empty of full (change over the water every 2 months or so); Green plastic, if it 'solid' - ditto, if transparent drain and store empty; if any other colour including 'solid' white, drain, dry and store in a black plastic bin liner. This is due to the wavelength of light penetrating the interior; the black and green plastic filters out the wavelength that algae needs to live. I have an orange water container with a tap (which is why I keep it), which grew algae so I bleached it and now have to store it dry.
Its opaque white Bob. So, 'drain, dry and store in a black plastic bin liner'?
But I should also sanitise it first?
i use baby bottle sterri tabs in my bottles, come in packs of twenty and work very well, just important to ensure you've flushed it all out as not my favourite taste.

One of the key issues is what you put in it, if just water and the co Rainer is rinsed, emptied after use any container is workable. Put squash or any sugary drink in and leave the dregs and your asking for trouble.

Hi 38.

You can put just about anything in these Clean-Canteens....fill it with curry.....wash it out and there will not be ANY after taste they are that good.
If you cant always clean and rinse them immediately after use....boiling water soon brings them back.....an advatage over Nalgene and or plastic mate.
I have a steel canteen for my day pack but the thread is really about bulk water storage both for the purposes of the summer meet and keeping a backup supply of water in the car if we go out camping as a family. Hence the 20 litre container. Thanks for everyone's input on this. :)
Water Containers big or small need sanitising.....hygiene in the field is so important.
Seen a couple fall fowl and end up very ill and confined to their tent.

One in particular was very ill.:(
Sorry it so long to reply but I use the computer in the local library, and I only come into town once a week (unless I can't help it!).
I used normal household bleach (brand: Domestos ) to kill the algae, 2 or 3 tablespoons worth then filled to the brim with clean tap water, left 24 hours then rinsed out a couple of times; dry and store out of sunlight.