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Can I use previously used bottles for water storage?

Dear Tess,

I have been saving my vinegar bottles to use as water bottles. Is this safe?

Bless you, Deb


That’s a great question. There are many preppers who apply the method of using what they have on hand to get ahead on their prepping endeavors. One of the most popular ways to store water is with empty soda and juice bottles.

The key to storing water using re-purposed containers is to ensure the containers you are using is food-grade plastic or glass containers that are suitable for water storage. You can use any plastic or glass container that previously held food or liquid, e.g., soda and water bottles, vinegar containers, juice, punch, with the exception of milk. There are leftover sugars and proteins left on milk containers that are next to impossible to clean off. This will create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow.

Be sure to clean the used containers and lids thoroughly with hot soapy water, rinse them well with water, and sanitize the containers and lids by submerging them in a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Leave the containers wet for two minutes and then rinse them again with water.

Be sure to remove all paper or plastic lid liners before washing the lids. Never use containers that previously held chemicals.

Remember to store only clean, ready-to-drink water. Like your food, your water should be regularly rotated to ensure freshness. Although bottled water can be stored indefinitely, according to the FDA, the bottled water’s appearance, smell, or taste may change somewhat, but the water will be safe to consume.

I hope this helps, Deb, and thanks again for your questions.