Skip to comments.Preparedness Quick Tip: Cheap and Easy Wash Water Storage
Posted on 11/23/2012 7:17:38 PM PST by Kartographer
Heres a super quick tip for those of you who use liquid laundry detergent. Did you know those jugs, once theyre empty, are great for storing wash water in? You can rinse them out a couple of times (usually I do that into my last load of laundry from that jug anyway) or just fill them up and let the bubbles settle and youve got a jug of water thats great for using to wash clothes, floors, etc. It already has some soap in it!
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I use empty vinegar containers to store water....and empty bleach containers to store water...
I mentioned this about six months ago.
You don’t even need to rinse them, most have the plastic caps so you can turn them upside down to get the soap almost entirely out to wash with, then just fill em with water.
I use a black magic marker to write a big S on the front so I know it’s soapy water, not potable water.
Not really necessary, because my general rule in re-using plastic bottles is “If it came with food in it, it’s ok to use for potable water. Anything else is utility water”.
I keep around 40 gallons of water stored in one gallon jugs. I actually have access to an unlimited supply of water but this is so I don’t have to transport.
I used empty milk jugs and bleach jugs. The milk jugs even after being rinsed several times will develop a light sour mild smell. I have noticed that if I empty, then refill them after having stored water in them for a month or so, the smell almost goes away.
I would only use that for flushing toilet etc. The bleach bottles should be good to drink but I don’t even need them for that. They would be OK for washing tho.
Be careful with the milk jugs. They are not the best choice for long term storage. They are manufactured to actually degrade after a while.
You are correct, they do degrade after a few months. I drink enough milk to keep them replenished.
Actually what I do is take a couple of the older jugs and pour the water out around my burn barrel then throw the jugs in with the other items being burned.
My mother used to use bleach bottles to store drinking water. One day my 2 year old nephew ran into the bathroom and drank bleach.
We immediately mixed up the antidote and spooned it down him on the way to the hospital (no ambulance service in the rural area).
He was ok. I wish I could say that was the only thing, but he was adept at escaping adults and trying out many things. He also could climb like a monkey before he could walk.
It makes for interesting family stories these days, but I sometimes wonder how he ever managed to survive.LOL
It is illegal to burn milk jugs and plastics in some states.
It is illegal to do just about anything in some states. Fortunately most of them are well North or West of where I live.
I use the liquid laundry detergent bottles to store powder detergent, TSP and anything powdery which would be damaged in a flood.
I store washing or flushing water in plastic containers. Drinking water is stored in glass bottles only. My canning jars are filled with either food or water.
I mark “TAP WATER” with a date.....we don’t drink out of them! They are for emergency....the worst that would happen around here is my husband would use one for BLEACH.
I either pull out the pour insert or cut a hole in the bottle and thoroughly rinse it out....no soap left in mine!!!
Well Mom clearly marked her bottles too. It didn’t help the 2 year old. Obviously if you never have children too young to read, you should be fine.
I have a trick for storing TSP so it doesn’t harden into a block. I pour a container of TSP powder into a jug and then fill it with water. You have a concentrated solution of TSP with non-dissolved crystals on the bottom. Use the liquid and refill with water, re-stir and use till no crystals are left. Repeat.
Well...I was thinking no one in our house ever sees anyone using a bleach bottle for drinking water...but, yeah...no 2 year olds around here anymore.
Better Yet !
Refill those plastic laundry jugs with your own home made laundry detergent.
Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda.
My daughter makes this liquid laundry soap using fels naptha.
I have made a powdered detergent. I used a castille soap made in Kentucky. The 20 mule team boarx I assume is still made in USA as is the washing soda. Haven’t seen any laundry detergent labeled “made in the USA” though there may still be some.
BJ’s sells OJ in orange plastic containers. The plastic is much thicker than milk bottles and is opaque. Rinse out very well and you have a strong water jug.
Keep them cool and rotate for use in the garden.
I’ve done that too with the extra large detergent jugs that have a spigot on the bottom. Kitty litter jugs are also good for storing water. I have about 30 of them in the garage, just for toilet flushing. Other water for bathing and drinking stored separately. The kitty litter jugs are not food grade plastic. Also consider investing in a Britta pitcher and a bunch of filters, especially if you are looking at drinking creek or rainwater. You would also want to add a few drops of bleach per gallon to kill off bacteria.
I have 30 gallons of Ozarka water and they are made to stack on top of each other so they only take the space of 10 of them. I have a 55 gallon water barrel attached to a diverter in one of my down gutters. I have two children's plastic pools to blow up and catch rain water on one of my outside decks. We tend to have plenty of rain water all year, so those are a renewable source of water. Our small group of houses have a 15,000 gallon pool right across from my house in here. I have a WaterBob, food grade plastic, for my bathtub, that holds 100 gallons of good water from the faucet.
I have a Big Berkey water purifier that can turn water in a ditch to pure water. Any water I collect from the outside, like the water barrel, goes through the Berkey so I know it is pure. A purifier is different than a filter, such as those pitcher filters. They will not get rid of tiny bacteria, etc. The Big Berkey takes out all that so you have pure water. A Berkey is expensive, $200+ depending on the one you get, but you are assured of pure water.
If you don't have a Berkey, you need to find the description on the net and get one.
I have four Katadyn siphon water purifiers, too, that I got years ago before the Berkey came out. It is a purifier, not just a filter. I think those were over $100 back then.
First of all, milk jugs do not degrade quickly. Unless you call over a year or two, quickly. They will degrade over time but that is absolutely zero problem. I replace them far sooner than they go bad. I have yet to find a bad one among my stored ones, tho I have come across very old plastic bottles in the woods which were cracked. If I left them out in the sun then yes sunlight would destroy them.
I live in Northern Florida and have had no problem with them freezing and I store them outdoors tho in a covered area.
I guess I am a bit lucky in that I don’t really have to store water at all as I am near spring water. I keep it for convenience in case the power goes off for a while and that is about it.
If you are replacing the milk jugs that often, perhaps yours will last. I also don’t want the smell the milk jugs have.
I use Ozarka heavy duty thick food grade ones that stack on top of each other and some of mine are 5-7 years old - they will last forever. All my filled jugs are potable water.
I was on a field training exercise on Eglin AFB back in '77. I still remember the spring water and clear, clean creeks all over the area. Consider yourself lucky if you have springs like that.
Yes, it is nice. all the early settlers would build near a spring. Mine is a small one tho there are three huge ones within 15 miles of me.
Divers love to dive in them but a whole lot of them have drowned when they go way back in the caves.
a) I have a rectangular shaped, translucent 1 gal jug.
The jug has a handle on the top and just rotate the jug rapidly to mix.
I buy my TSP in 1/2 gallon size.
The only size criteria is the jug should be large enough to fit all your TSP with room for some water. Translucent lets you see the crystals.
b) I dilute or not depending on the use.
You know that 30 second spray & rinse for moss & mildew on decks & siding. It’s bleach & TSP & costs over $10 bucks a gallon. Make your own.