Your Ultimate Guide on How To Clean An IBC For Drinking Water In 2024

How To Clean An IBC For Drinking Water

Drinking water must always be stored in clean containers so learning how to clean an IBC for drinking water remains paramount. Here’s all for you:

In the present-day scenario, there’s a huge availability of storage solutions. Among these solutions, the IBC holds an irreplaceable position and undeniably supreme demand. The major reasons for the high demand are robustness, versatility, and efficiency. 

Though these are common choices for storing multiple breweries, chemicals, cleaning agents, potable water, etc., special consideration needs to be made during drinking water storage. The IBC should be most appropriately cleaned for this purpose. 

Now, the readers might be curious to know how to clean an IBC for drinking water storage. Well, this guide is specifically outlined to answer this while taking you on a thorough journey of the cleaning necessities, tools, methods, and even additional tips. Dive into the following sections to learn more: 

What Are The Intermediate Bulk Containers?

Foremost, we must look at what these IBCs are. Being incredibly versatile containers, these are often used in the industrial sector for the transportation and storage of high quantity liquid and other granular materials. Most specifically manufactured using plastic and high-end steel, they stand perfectly in rigorous transportation and handling.

You can choose among the multiple sizes featuring around 275 to 330 gallons. This particularly depends on the needs and requirements of the sector type. On a general note, these can perfectly serve chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, beverages, etc. 

Typical Construction Of An IBC and Its Components

To look for the typical construction of an IBC, you can consider going through the following list of IBC components. 

  • Outer Frame: This acts as a protection for the inner container. It keeps the contents of the IBC safe throughout the handling, stacking, and transportation procedures. 
  • Inner Container: This is manufactured using a high-quality food-grain material that can withstand the pressure exerted because of the multiple contents and substances. 
  • Pallet Base: The base of the IBC allows a smoother transportation process by allowing a stable base for the contents stored inside the container.
  • Valve or Outlet: These are extremely important for the IBC containers because they facilitate the removal and dispensing of the items. These can vary as per the requirements and needs of the particular sector.
  • Lid or Cover: Some IBCs also come with a lid or a covering that not only protects the contents inside but also helps in numerous other tasks including inspection, filling, etc.

Detailed Walkthrough on How to Clean an IBC For Drinking Water

Detailed Walkthrough on How to Clean an IBC For Drinking Water

Now that we know the basics of an IBC, we can delve into the guide meant to answer readers’ curious question— how to clean an IBC for drinking water. Let’s walk you through all that you must know for a successful IBC cleaning. 

Cleaning Preparation 

Before you start the main cleaning process, you need to opt for some preparatory steps like tool gathering and workspace preparation. The steps to do it effectively include:

Tools Gathering:

  • Protective Gear 
  • Hose or Pressure washer 
  • Brushes 
  • Sponges 
  • Spray Bottles
  • Buckets or Containers
  • Towel or Rags 
  • Specialized Cleaning Agents 
  • Pump and Funnel
  • Labels and Markers

Workspace Preparation:

  • You must go for a well-ventilated workspace in the open for a successful and harmless cleaning.
  • Also, make certain that the space is accurately clean and that no potential contaminants have accumulated there.
  • Your workspace must also have a proper drainage system so that all the residual substances can be disposed of accurately.
  • Keep all the cleaning tools in the very right place so that you don’t need to run for the tools and equipment. 

Reviewing Cleaning Procedures: 

  • You’re suggested to review the cleaning procedures once before you start with your cleaning task. 
  • Also, familiarize yourself with the regulatory guidelines and other necessary steps that are suitable under manufacturer recommendations. 
  • You should have an appropriate understanding of each step of the process so that it may be accomplished accurately.

Also Read: How to Clean Your Foreo Device in 2024

Safety Precautions 

  • You must prioritize your safety when cleaning the IBCs. Always initiate when you’re equipped with a PPE kit and other protective tools. This will protect you from residual components and other IBC chemicals. 
  • Never clean the IBC indoors, instead, opt for a well-ventilated area so that you don’t inhale any fumes or harmful vapors that may arise during the cleaning process.
  • Don’t avoid the recommendations and suggestions given in your user manual. Go through it accurately before starting. This will let you know what cleaning method is best for your IBC as there are different requirements as per material needs.
  • When it comes to choosing the cleaning agent, go for the food-grain cleansers specialized for drinking water IBC only. This is suggested due to the potential health risks that can occur with using detergents and other unsafe, harsh cleaners. 
  • Don’t forget to disinfect and sanitize the entire container before using it again. This remains necessary to kill any residue, bacteria, or potential contaminants that might be unsafe for drinking water.

Emptying and Rinsing

Now, your next steps must be emptying the container and giving it an initial rinse. Here’s how you can do that more effectively:

  • Ensure that you’ve placed your IBC on a stable surface to begin. It’s highly recommended that the place should be outdoors. 
  • Now, get access to the valve of the container and keep it open until the IBC is not emptied. If there’s any other opening, then allow drainage from there as well. 
  • Once the IBC is emptied, take the pressure washer and start giving it a thorough rinse. Move down by starting it from the upper parts. Ensure that you rinse each nook and crannies accurately.
  • Stubborn areas will need your special attention as they might have accumulated more debris and dirt. The areas include seams, corners, etc. that might need the use of a sponge or brush.


Now, it’s time to disinfect the IBC container. For this, you’ll need to prepare a disinfecting solution or take any other sanitizing agent suggested by the manufacturer. Once done, follow these steps:

  • You can take chlorine of around 50-220 ppm as the disinfecting solution. This is suggested to be an appropriate amount for cleaning any drinking water IBC. 
  • Next, simply fill the entire container with that solution ensuring all the openings and valves are closed. Don’t forget this so that leakage is avoided.
  • After the container is filled with the disinfecting solution, allow it to sit inside for the recommended time. This could be around ten to thirty minutes. To get an exact estimate, the manufacturer’s recommendation must be preferred. 
  • Once the suggested time elapses, go for opening all the sources so that the solution gets drained out rapidly. Do abide by the local regulations to avoid legal actions. 

Scrubbing and Cleaning

When all the disinfecting solution is removed from the container, you may begin with the scrubbing process and cleaning of the IBC for drinking water. For that, you need to:

  • Take a clean brush or a soft sponge to initiate the thorough scrubbing of the interior components and surfaces. Special focus while rubbing must be given to the corners, bottoms, walls, etc.
  • Simple to moderate stains will be cleaned until now. For any further hard stains, you can take a specified cleaning agent to deal with them. Don’t over-scrub any surface as it’ll simply cause damage. 
  • Once done, rinse off the IBC with clean water and check the surfaces again. You may also repeat these steps until you’re not satisfied with the shine of the IBC for drinking water. 

Final Rinse and Inspection

  • After the completion of scrubbing and general rinsing, you’ll need to give the IBC a final rinse and then inspect it accurately.
  • Use normal water to thoroughly rinse the entire IBC. This will ensure the removal of every single residual particle including cleaning agents, debris, disinfectants, etc.
  • For a thorough inspection, you may use the flashlight or inspection mirror to reach every corner and remove each particle. Check for discoloration and contamination as well.
  • The IBC is likely cleaned visibly now. If you’re satisfied with the same, then go for the further process. 

Drying and Storage

  • Now, allow proper time for the drying process. To accomplish that accurately, you’ll need to place the IBC in a well-ventilated area that has adequate ventilation and airflow.
  • When the IBC is completely dry, shift it to a covered area where it stays protected from extreme temperature fluctuations, sunlight, and other such factors. 
  • Ensure that your IBC is in the upright position to avoid damage. Covering it with any breathable material will help it to remain clean till the next use. 
  • This simple step will also protect against any sort of contamination throughout the storage. 

Regular Maintenance and Inspection Guidelines

A thorough inspection and regular maintenance schedule are highly necessary for the general IBCs for drinking water. Here are some suggested guidelines for the secure conduction of regular inspection and maintenance:

  • Go for visually inspecting the IBC whenever you’re going to use it. Consider checking the interior surfaces for debris accumulation, dents, cracks, etc. The exterior surfaces must be checked for contamination, discoloration, leakages, corrosions, etc.
  • Take a thorough look at the valves, gaskets, and other components to rest assured about their conditions.  Ensure that they are accurately tightened, and if there are replacements needed.
  • Go for checking the valve and fitting ensuring that they are working optimally. There should be no issue while handling them. If you notice one, consider replacements and fixtures right away.
  • Consider keeping a record of all the maintenance checks, replacements, repairs, and even inspections. This will help you to get an idea of the requirements of IBC for drinking water. Documentation of all the observations and other aspects keep you safe from major costs while protecting the integrity of IBC as well.

Final Conclusion: How to Clean an IBC For Drinking Water

Abiding by the proper cleaning methods and maintenance guidelines is highly needed when it comes to dealing with modern-day storage solutions. The more convenient IBC containers are, the greater care and right cleaning techniques they will need.

This is the sole reason why we’ve come up with the most suitable method based on how to clean an IBC for drinking water. Enjoy safe transportation and storage of drinking water with a cleaned IBC. 

Akshay Verma

Akshay Verma is a full-time blogger & Affiliate Marketers. He founded and leads Master Blogging. With over 3 years of blogging expertise, he has assisted numerous aspiring bloggers in achieving their dreams of creating successful blogs.

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