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Best Ways for Cleaning 5 Gallon Buckets for Reuse

written by: Lisa Mason•edited by: Tania Cowling•updated: 4/24/2011

Have you ever wanted to reuse that 5-gallon bucket but you were unsure of how to get it clean? Find out the best ways of cleaning 5-gallon buckets for reuse.

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    How to Clean 5 Gallon Buckets

    Are you looking for ways to clean 5 gallon buckets so that they can be reused again around the home? Maybe you never even realized that you could reuse them or you didn't think you could get them clean enough. Those large 5-gallon buckets can accumulate around the house over the years, but rather than just sitting around, they can be cleaned and reused. Depending on how many of these buckets you have you may be able to find helpful uses for all of them. But first you have to get them clean and ready to be repurposed.

    Most of us don’t have industrial sized dishwashers in our homes so we have to employ other methods of cleaning 5-gallon buckets. This chore can be quite a hassle but you can get through it by thinking of all the ways you’ll be able to use the buckets once you are finished. And when you learn the proper techniques, it does not have to be as difficult of a task as you might first think.

    First if any of the buckets have contained chemicals, set them aside, you don’t want to take a chance of contaminating something that your pet or family may ingest. Your local recycling place can tell you how to dispose of containers that have held certain chemicals. For now deal with the ones that have been stored and are just generally dirty.

    A scrub brush, bucket of hot water with dishwashing liquid and a water hose can make short work of cleaning up those old dirty buckets. A power washer is also a great tool for cleaning buckets outdoors. Cleaning up the buckets in order to use them for container planting or storing lawn care products such as compost, mulch, potting soil or other items is easy enough, the hard part is getting them clean enough to store dog food or other things that need to be stored in clean containers.

    Going past passably clean requires using some sort of sanitizer. Bleach, vinegar or commercial sanitizing liquids should be applied via spray bottle to the entire bucket inside and out and the bucket hung up to dry completely before being used for any sort of food storage. Many people use 5-gallon buckets to store potatoes, onions and other foods harvested from the garden, this is when the sanitized buckets come into play.

    If you plan on doing something useful with all those old 5-gallon buckets take the first step to get them cleaned up and ready for use. Any buckets that are broken or cracked should be discarded; many recycling places accept 5-gallon buckets.

    There’s no need to have a stack of unused buckets when you could be using them to grow several potted flowers, store dog food, or even carry in your homegrown vegetables. Take pride in cleaning 5-gallon buckets for reuse as you reduce the carbon footprint and keep the earth clean.

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    Resources

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