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Thread: Question on cleaning a tote

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Warren, MA

    Default Question on cleaning a tote

    I have a chance to get a few free 275 totes. Problem is they had an Alcohol-based gel-type hand sanitizer in them. Any idea how I could clean these out for use in sap colection/RO water storage?
    2016 - 2 x 4 Randy Worthen built arch and pans (just starting out!) 11 taps; 2.625 gallons of syrup!
    2017 - 29 taps; 11.625 gallons of syrup!
    2018 - 30 taps; 98 pints bottled! 2x4 Arch and pans sold! New sugar house being built, new equipment coming!
    2019 - 125 taps; 50 gallons made! New 2x6 Smoky Lake Corsair arch, drop flue pan, auto draw. Smoky Lake filter press and Steam Bottler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    New Hartford, N.Y.


    I would imagine lots of hot water under pressure, maybe a little a soap, maybe. Lots and lots of hot water, though. But I might be wary of using those until I did some homework. I've never read a label on a bottle of hand sanitizer to see what exactly is in it. Anything not suited for consumption? You don't think of it as being such, but plastic is a porous material. Has the plastic soaked up any gel ingredients that may transfer into the water or sap? And then your going to concentrate them by boiling it down.
    I'm not saying they can't be used- I'm not sure- but you have to be very mindful of used containers. All of my cage tanks and plastic drums were either new or had a food product shipped in them originally.

    2014 Upgrades!: 24x40 sugarhouse & 30"x10' Lapierre welded pans, wood fired w/ forced draft, homemade hood & preheater
    400 taps- half on gravity 5/16, half on gravity 3/16
    Airablo R.O. machine - in the house basement!
    Ford F-350 4x4 sap gatherer
    An assortment of barrels, cage tanks & bulk tanks- with one operational for cooling/holding concentrate
    And a few puzzled neighbors...


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Oneida NY


    Read a few different containers of hand sanitizer, if there is a warning about swallowing, I'd be very wary. As Bucket Head said, plastic is porous and they may not be good to use. My guess is that any alcohol in them is wood alcohol and not grain, but that's only a guess.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT


    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    My guess is that any alcohol in them is wood alcohol and not grain, but that's only a guess.
    Typically sanitizers are made with either isopropyl alcohol or denatured ethanol. Other additives vary considerably (moisturizers, scents, thickening agents, etc.).

    Maple producers in Canada are being encouraged to NOT use isopropyl alcohol for their tubing cleaning this year due to shortages.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 05-15-2020 at 02:32 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Catskill Mts, Ulster County NY


    if you can't eat the contents, I'd definitely skip it. And not everything you can eat is suitable for maple processing (soy sauce). I only buy used food grade, usually vegetable oil, containers. They clean up very well.
    Gary / Zena Crossroads / 42˚ 00' 24" N / Hobby in Early '70s, Addiction since 2014

    +-150 taps on 3/16 (45 on Lunchbox Vac/Releaser)
    12x14 timber framed sap house w/attached 10x14 shed roof for storage w/expansion plans for 2020
    2 x 6 Smoky Lake hybrid pan on home built arch (cast concrete) with AUF/AOF/steam hood/preheater
    7.0 KW Sun Power PV System, Smokey Lake Filter Press/Steam Bottler, NGMP 100 gph RO

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