I have two 275 gallon (1040 liter) IBC totes that used to hold avacado oil in one, and canola oil in the other. I want to use it for emergency drinking water. What is the best way to clean it and store potable water in it?

  • 1
    Wash with detergent, rinse, add baking soda & fill with hot water (which will be a challenge at 275 Gallons), agitate (likewise) let sit for a day or more, rinse, repeat baking soda & water until no trace of oil/odor remains. Or get containers that are not pre-contaminated by oils if you want to store water.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 2:46
  • Agitate... well put them on a trailer and do a few miles on rough roads...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 5:22
  • Keeping in mind that 275 gal. is over a tonne of water... Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 6:25
  • People forget that water is so heavy, 2294 lbs to be more exact, though it wouldn't be anywhere near full during the cleaning. I would also throw into the container a scrubbing pad or a wash rag or two to provide some physical scrubbing action while Dukes of Hazzard'ing
    – Ack
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


Commercial IBC washers use high pressure water jets, so attack thje inner surface with a pressure washer, once with detergent, and then once with water to rinse it out.

this task may be easier with the container laying on its side

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