Paint cans for food storage : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've started using the new 1 gallon paint cans that can be purchased at HomeDepot for storing food. I'm using a 1 gallon zip lock bag inside and putting foon in it first. Then adding a little disilicate for keeping the moisture down (outside the bag of course)>

Can anyone 'break' this ? That is, tell me something I shouldn't or should be doing? And yes, I'll alway use a plastic liner that will seal to enclose the food stuff.

For ref., one 1 gal can holds 2 lbs of dry milk quite nicely.

-- jd (, December 07, 1998


If you're using 1 gal. ziplock bags, you could as easily use a vaccum sealer and put a small muslin bag of rice in with the stuff, then put the bag in the can, vaccum seal it (yes, this will waste a bit of bag, but you can fold it over after you've opened up the can when you start using the contents), then close the can.

-- Karen Cook (, December 07, 1998.

Hey jd,

I had thought about doing this as well. My Home Depot has 5 Gallon Containers (brand new never used) with lids available. Can't see why this wouldn't work.

Hey, since I haven't done this yet, what's a disilicate?


Mike ===================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, December 07, 1998.

What is "foon"?

Is that some kind of preservative?

-- M.D. (, December 08, 1998.

'foon' is a variation on 'food'. I *thought* everyone knew that...! So much for fingers moving faster than the mind...

Like the vac. sealer idea but I don't have one.

BTW, the cans were 2.66 (ea. !)at HD, so I'm looking for another source.

Thanks for pointing out the spelling problem.....

-- jd (, December 08, 1998.

...and a couple more things...

Desiccant (not disilicate) is a material for drying (read about it a I understand that it will hold the mositure level to 15-20% until it is saturated.

Concerning the cans. I found Looks like they have it all.

Tune in later for another installment of 'as the can turns...'. :)

-- jd (, December 08, 1998.

1. Paint cans.I'm buying the cans from my True Value hardware store, for $1.25 each. At that price, it costs me $6.25 to can 5 gallons, versus $4.87 for using 5 gallon pails, with lids, from US Plastics. I can also get 2 gallon buckets, with lids and oxygen absorbers from Glitchproof for $3.58 each.

2. Plastic liners. In spite of all the hoopla about using food grade plastic liners, if the container is food grade (the buckets I've mentioned are -- and so is the 1 gallon paint can, with an enameled surface) a liner really isn't needed. Put one in if it makes you feel better, but it really isn't needed. [Just be sure you've cleaned the container out before you use it, using a bleach mixture, and rinsing well.]

3. Desicants are only needed if the food being packed might be too moist. Rice and beans don't need it as they're normally dry as they are packed in plastic bags in stores. Dessicants will take the moisture content way down -- much below the 10% level. BTW the 10% moisture level is a threshold for grains and other long term storage foods......they should have less than 10% moisture to keep well.

The most common desicant is silica gel. You can find this in Walmart, in the hobby area, and it is used as a flower drying agent. Bake it at 375 degrees for an hour or two until it turns blue. Put it in an envelope and seal the envelope. Put the envelope in the container. That's all. BTW the desicant turns pinkish or white when it has absorbed moisture.

4. Oxygen absorbers. Now, you do need to protect the food from oxygen, which is needed for spoilage. So, drop oxygen absorbers into each container. These are available from or from Various sizes, from 300cc to 1000cc (volume of oxygen that is absorbed) available. Oxygen absorbers have a life span of only 6 months....don't order a bunch now to use in June..

They also can only be exposed to the air for 20 minutes before they've captured all the oxygen they can hold. Pack all the food you're going to pack at one session, open the absorbers, drop them in, seal the containers quickly. Put unused absorbers into a canning jar. If necessary, fill unused air space with food such as a bit of rice or powdered milk, just to get rid of air (and oxygen). Seal the jar.

5. This is good for those of us who aren't ordering in huge quantities from suppliers.......using the paint cans and 2 gallon buckets I can buy a little, pack a little, and get everything I've purchased packed and put away before the next trip to the store.

Hope this helps. For more detailed information I suggest the information pages at


-- rocky (, December 08, 1998.

Rocky has every thing there mentioned that you need to know. The one thing I might add is, you can go to Wal-Mart and purchase hand warmers, which will do the same thing as the oxygen absorbers. The important thing is to make sure you purchase ENAMEL lined paint cans. They are purchased cheapest at your local paint store. When they ask questions just say there for your childrens class, for time capsules. Good Luck

-- flierdude (, December 08, 1998.

Rather than buying buckets, you should contact the bakery dept. at your local grocery store or any bakeries or coffee shops. They usually have an abundance of white buckets which they receive frosting and other baking goods in. You just clean them out good with bleach and use them just like you would the new ones in the store. Make sure they give you the right lids to go with the buckets.

-- Diane (, December 08, 1998.

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