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Thread: Rain Barrel

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    Dog! maneatingmoo's Avatar
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    Rain Barrel

    Heya everybody, long time no visit I was going to ask in the chat about this, but I've got a pretty specific situation, so I thought it deserved a thread. I'll try and keep it simple and just jump right in:

    A friend of mine works at a local car wash, and they just love him; so he's got free access to the 55 gallon wash barrels they use. I've been needing a rain barrel, and let's face it, a high-schooler without a job does not allow for a very full wallet. This friend can get me these barrels for free, but the only problem is the "caustic" substances that go into them.

    He tells me that they are used to hold Sodium Hydroxide and soaps. I have looked this chemical up, and it appears to be pretty caustic indeed. Does anyone have any suggestions as to cleaning these barrels and making them safe to hold rain water? I imagine there is some way to neutralize the chemical residue.

    I know, this is a bit of work to just get a rain barrel, but it's free! Too good of an offer to pass up :P
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    just make sure that the products are water soluable (i would think that they are) and rinse inside thoroughly with high pressure hose. then fill and let sit for at least a few days, empty it out and rinse with high pressure again. should leave you with a nice lean barrel ready to use for collection.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    If you have a choice, get one that held the hydroxide. Less chance of residue than soap. Plus hydroxide is neutralized by acid, so a quick vinegar rinse will eliminate all traces, and bit of vinegar residue won't hurt anything.
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    Dog! maneatingmoo's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, that settles my nerves a bit I was trying to think back to chemistry, acids and bases; NaOH was common in assignments. Great idea with the vinegar, I'll give that a go before giving them a good couple pressure washes. Any more suggestions are welcome though.
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