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How do I clean a canteen interior?


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#26 mpguy80/08

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 08:27 PM

Ok been here done this, I still carry a 45 Canteen hunting these days, what I do is one of several things, drop some house hold bleach into it with some water, give him a good shake, let him stand over night and then drain and rinse a few times and let him dry for a day or two this will remove the foulest of pongs from a canteen, or you can use a good denture cleaner Steradent or similar you know what people clean there false teeth in, another is baby bottle cleaner which we use to clean our bottle before filling with fresh home brewed beer, great stuff. I have done this for 20 years and never got a crook guts yet from it, water sterilising tablets work too, the trick it to leave the bottle dry and open when not being used.


I should have thought of the denture cleaning supplies... (speaking from Experience... nuff said http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif ) Like I said before I do have two SS canteens and I'll use them for my public displays or reenacting. I dont know why but I DO like the look of the M1910 canteen... metal cap and all.

Thanks everyone for the ideas...

Wayne

#27 wingman68

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:04 PM

I have a huge collection of old British and Australian enamelled water bottles these dont suffer the problem as the alloy US style with smell and the crystals that form inside them, I have plenty of US and Aussie style later plastic canteens, for some reason I still carry the US 1945 Canteen I have, it goes everywhere with me, I had to replace the seal in mine but some thin sheet rubber and a hobby knife soon fixed the problem, these canteens will last an eternity sadly the covers give into wear and tear good thing they make repros! Does anyone make repro canteens yet? I am after a second canteen now to display, plenty on Fleabay.

#28 hotlead

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 04:48 PM

All great suggestions fellas, and I will try some of these.

So how do you clean up a grungy plastic canteen?

I've soaked 'em in vinager and then washed in soap&water, what say you.

#29 37thguy

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 12:43 PM

Bleach and H2O with some BB's works well.

#30 orko

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:18 PM

mpguy,

your a brave man, I know guys that wouldn't drink out of the regualr issued ones!

#31 O.G-Palmer

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:23 AM

I have used a few methods to make canteens clean and safe to drink from,
Baby bottle cleaner products work a treat, as does a good soak in vinegar.

Get one of those wine bottle cleaner brushes give it a dam good scrub, then rinse
Add vinegar let it soak in rinse again, then do the baby bottle cleaner as pur instructions on the bottle, And rinse.
Repeat if needed


See
http://www.warrelics...t2.asp?id=C3044

for canteen corks.

ollie

#32 Bsquirrely

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:14 PM

Greetings.

I'd like to know what I can use to clean a WWI or WWII Canteen and restore it to a drinkable status. I have aquired a fw canteens that are pretty gnarley on the inside and would like to know how to restore these to drinkable status. I have two with bakelite caps, and one with a metal cap. The metal capped one is particularly ugly on the inside. Any Suggestions?

Thanks

Wayne


Take a generous amount of baking soda, over your sink as this will get messy. Add a decent amount of hot vinegar. Cap it really quick after letting some of it foam off. Shake it like the devil. Allow to set about and hour and rinse out.
As for a decent cork I cut one from an inner tube and use it as an backing for the cork.
Works for me all the time.

#33 General Apathy

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:39 PM

Hi Wayne, sorry I haven't tried this with canteens ( I intend to with any future dirty canteens ) but I have done so with glass flower vases that have stubborn rings of calcium stains from the water used with flowers, and it works a real treat which is highly visible being see through.

I use the little square tablets used in washing machines to keep the heating elements clear of calcium crustaceans from the water, the brand we have over here in Europe is called ' Calgon ', there are other makes as well. Crush the tablet pour in the canteen and fill with water and leave overnite.

A lot of the white substance in the canteens is Calcium deposits from untreated or unfiltered water.

Cheers ( Lewis )

#34 ColBob506

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 09:08 AM

Just my two centavos on this one.
CLR or Lime-Away will get calcium deposits off,rinse well and you'll be ok,plumbers use it to clear lines.
For disinfecting bleach works well with hot water,remember you can use it to make clean drinking water also. The bleach bottle usually has instructions for this.
I found a novel way of replacing cork gaskets,it came from making leather roundels for 1812 stuff. Take a measurement of the diameter, (either the inside diameter of the cap,or the diameter of an original gasket) buy automotive gasket material, (the cork,not rubber) it's about a buck for a yard of it.Get an 8 inch length of iron pipe of the right diameter, (inner diameter not outer) file or grind an angle on the outer edge,sloping towards the interior of the pipe, This creates a die cutter that you can reuse,place it on the material and whack it with a mallet,voila a canteen cap gasket! You can make a crap-load in a few minutes,plenty of spares,close to original,functional....heck give some to friends who need them.

#35 mpguy80/08

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:53 AM

See? Thats what I like about this forum... ask a simple question, and man do the creative juices start flowing!!! Thanks for the ideas everyone!!!

Wayne

#36 wleoff

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:55 PM

Bsquirrely came close. Use baking soda and a handful of pea gravel with enough water to slosh all this around. Top it and shake it up for a while. We used this method in the 60s. If you put baking soda and vinegar in there, it makes a bottle rocket.

#37 jpgrl

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:12 PM

Bsquirrely came close. Use baking soda and a handful of pea gravel with enough water to slosh all this around. Top it and shake it up for a while. We used this method in the 60s. If you put baking soda and vinegar in there, it makes a bottle rocket.



Speaking from experience---DON'T stand over your garbage disposal sink when you're cleaning that out using BB's http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif because then you'll be fishing all the BB's out when you spill it!

#38 Alonzo

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:53 PM

Here is another step further that goes a bit further.
I have an as new 1945 stainless canteen that I wanted to use for living history impressions.
It was fairly clean inside though it did have some corrosion at the welded/soldered seams.
I tried to clean it out with no luck.
The novel idea that I discovered thanks to a fellow laboratory employee at my work-site was to coat the interior of the canteen with a non-toxic coating to seal the interior.
I found, and used, bath tub enamel patch paint, which was epoxy based. After mixing the activator and base, I poured in about 1/2 cup and slowly rotated the canteen to ensure all interior surfaces were coated. I set the canteen in a position that would ensure the epoxy would be in contact with the seam and monitored the progress of drying. Since there was virtually no air flow through the canteen the epoxy dried VERY SLOWWWWWLY.
Which, in hindsight, was a good thing since it got thicker as time progressed. I kept rotating the canteen frequently until I could see complete coverage, and drained any remaining epoxy. The drying process took another three weeks and it held on quite well and did not impart any objectionable taste to the water. I cannot say if the coating would stand up to abuse and if it would chip off, as I was required to crawl through the trenches.

This gives you another option to make your canteen safe to use and it does not alter the exterior appearance.

Cheers

#39 mpguy80/08

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:43 PM

I have two stainless steel canteens, so I've decided not to mess with the M1910 canteen... I tried a few of the things listed here, but it didnt clean it well enough for use, so it will sit on my shel f and look nice... Thanks everyone for all the good ideas...

Wayne

#40 Johndanger

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:22 PM

what ever you use as a slurry , instead of shaking it , put it in a zip lock bag wrap it up in a towel and then a blanket or comforter and tie it up with string , then cram it in the dryer and set it on NO HEAT and let it tumble away for a while.

#41 dvl

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:42 PM

Back about 47 years ago my father asked a chemist friend how he could render his Civil War canteen usable. The chemist told him to fill it full of Pepsi and let it sit over night. He did just that and, horror of horrors, it worked! I don't know if it works on aluminum...

#42 subsystem4

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:31 PM

They make reproduction m1910 canteens, brand new, no cleaning required, for all your reenacting thirst needs.
http://onlinemilitar...p?id=3582&bc=no

Edited by subsystem4, 21 January 2009 - 03:33 PM.


#43 pwmiraldi67

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:45 PM

Thanks guys! All excellent Ideas... I'll flip some coins to see which one I use! LOL

Wayne



I'll tell ya what really works for both plastic and metal canteens is a full tab of Poedent denture cleaners, hot water and a tab works wonders over night!!!!
couldnt believe how well it worked!!! works great for old beer or soda bottles too!!!!!

paull

#44 MAEMT86

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:37 AM

I apologize for bringing this back from the dead, however I have a question for those of you that have cleaned out canteens before.

I have a canteen I acquired for reenacting, its a WW2 period German canteen. I had got it and washed it out with hot water and soap but the stalagmite looking things were still in the canteen (they were mainly white with a few hints of yellow) so I looked over this article and did the following.

Washed it out again with hot water and soap, rinsed it and hit it with the lime away that was recommended, shook it around rinsed it again, then added a handful of BB's with a lime away cold water mixture and gave it a good shake. All the whiteish deposits are gone but the metal is still pitted (which I expected)

Should I still go ahead and boil it? add water and bleach, let it sit and give it a rinse, or just from where I am now give it a good thorough soap and water rinse and good to go? Any thoughts, opinions, help would be great.

-OB

#45 UPNATM

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:33 PM

Should I still go ahead and boil it? add water and bleach, let it sit and give it a rinse, or just from where I am now give it a good thorough soap and water rinse and good to go? Any thoughts, opinions, help would be great.

-OB



I personally would not use bleach. On all my canteens I use SOS pads on the outside and around the opening. Then I use BB's mixed with a little hot water, and shake, twist and turn the hell out of it. Next I boil it with water mixed with vinegar.
Mine have all come out smelling clean with a nice bright inside thanks to the BB's. :thumbsup:

#46 Jack's Son

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

Through college I tended bar, we had a way to clean many odd shaped and glass items.
My favorite way is to put a scoop of cracked ice in the object, then add lemon juice and Kosher salt.
Put the cap back on and shake in a circular motion.
Works great in coffee pots, a thermos, any odd shaped or object with a small opening.
It won't scratch or dent any surface. ;)

Edited by Jack's Son, 21 October 2010 - 04:09 PM.


#47 MAEMT86

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:01 PM

Thanks guys,
I've made pretty good progress thus far, considering the amount and frequency that I'll be drinking out of it (which wont be all that often, 1x a month at best) I'll go ahead and try the vinegar to finish it off.

#48 mpguy80/08

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:59 AM

The main trick to all of this is to make sure you empty and dry out your canteens after each use to begin with... I'd consdier replacing cap corks at the first hint of a change in the taste of the water. I have been using my two stainless steel canteens in my reenacting and have found that boiling water with a drop or two of bleach will kill just about all the bacteria which cause the funk in a canteen... just make sure you rinse it thoroughly.

Wayne


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