Preparedness blog

How to Clean, Prepare and Fill a Water Container

By Marc from Ready Store
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Storing water doesn't sound super complicated, right? But you want to make sure you do it right. Nothing would be worse than opening your water storage to find that it's not drinkable. We've prepared these quick steps to help ensure that your water storage container is filled correctly and will last.

Water-Storage-Best-Used-By-Template2STEP 1: Before filling a water container make, sure you clean it thoroughly. You can safely clean a food-grade water container with dish soap and water. You can also clean it is by adding 1 tsp. of liquid house bleach to 1-quart of water. Make sure all soap residues is out before filling the container with water.

STEP 2: Fill the container with regular tap water. For your larger containers like a 15-30 gallons, you might want to use a hose. WARNING: A standard garden hose could contain a lead lining and is not recommended for water storage. If you are unsure if your hose contains lead, check with your local home improvement store to locate a lead-free or food-grade garden hose.

STEP 3: When using your standard tap water, it will last for about 6-months on the shelf without needing to be rotated. To maximize the water supply, it should be treated with a water preserver (Add 8 drops of preserver for every gallon of water). This will render the water a 5-year storage life.

STEP 4: Be sure to place the date on the water container so you know when you’ll need to fill it again. If you used chlorine treated water, rotate every 6 months. If you used a water preserver or tablets, rotate as often as the package indicates.

STEP 5: Store in a cool, dry, dark place. It’s ideal to store water in a location where nothing in the home will be damaged if the container leaks. Also, it's helpful to remember that you can improve the taste of the water by pouring it back and forth between containers before use.

Storage Tip: Have a drain close by or access to the outside where you can dump your water and easily replenish it with new fresh water.

14 years ago
jim campbell
14 years ago at 9:04 AM
I had th pleasure of placing an order with courtney today. She is very professional, friendly and obviously loves her job. She is a keeper! Don't forget to pay her, Jim Campbell
14 years ago at 11:48 AM
I purhcased some of the 5 gallon containers and water preserver. I understand how to clean them, but have a question on filling them. Is it ok to fill from your kitchen sink? We have hard water, does that matter for long term storage using the preserver? Also does having a water softener make any difference for storing long term with the preserver? Or is it best to go to the grocery store and use the water dispensers there that you can fill up for about a quarter a gallon? Thanks
13 years ago at 11:09 AM
Do you know of any water purifier systems that will remove fluoride from the water coming into the house? I have read that fluoride is not good for those with hypothyroid conditions.
8 years ago at 7:26 PM
Reverse Osmosis or distillation are the only ways I know of to remove flouride from water.
Bert Olson
12 years ago at 12:03 PM
You can eliminate any possible water contamination from your water filling hose by using only a white hose made for RV use. Find them at any RV store or on-line from Camping World or many others.
12 years ago at 3:15 PM
If the heat goes out for a long time, what type of water barrel/large storage is best if it freezes? I live in the cold northern part of the country. Do I need to fill less, to account for freezing?
12 years ago at 2:09 PM
I received my order yesterday and had a question on cleaning the water containers. Live chat with Jaime was easy and helpful
8 years ago at 6:17 PM
Filter with charcoal to remove fluoride, chlorine... Best to have one to remove virus' and fluoride to remove chemicals. Better safe than sorry. We have portable filters in both varieties for emergencies. We have under the sink charcoal based filter, my mother has a whole house unit. BTW charcoal is what they pump in your stomach for overdoses. Walgreen's sells it in capsule form in the anti acid isle. Great for upset stomach, anti acid, the runs... I keep a few in my purse at all times, especially during travel. DON'T store in pill bottle with your medicine.
8 years ago at 6:19 PM
FYI Charcoal caps... DON'T take at the same time as your medicine. It will absorb it. Must be taken 2 hours apart.
7 years ago at 12:15 PM
Can this be used to store fuel as well?
Crystal Alford
3 years ago at 2:33 AM
Can you use bottled water like Kirkland gallon water from costco to fill these safely for long term storage?