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Is it safe to use a 1911 canteen for drinking water for re-enactments?


G.I.1943
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G.I.1943

I have an original 1911 U.S. Army canteen and wondered if it would be safe enough to drink water from during re-enactments after properly cleaned up or would I be better off buying reproduction? 

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Fiziwater

I used a WWII canteen as my water bottle for a while. I washed it thoroughly with hot soap and water, and then swished a lot of rubbing alcohol around in it for good measure. Be sure to clean under the cap as well.

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I would use a 10% solution of bleach and water. That is what medical labs use to clean and disinfect with.  An internet search will give you all kinds of information on it. Rinse thoroughly with lots of fresh water and enjoy a nice clean drink of water while reenacting!

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earlymb

Early canteens were soldered with lead, so keep that in mind. It probably won't matter for a few days per year, if you change the water regularly.

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suwanneetrader

My kids and I used 4 WWII canteens for camping from about 1955-1990.  And I continued to use mine Relic Hunting until about 2010.  Canteens and web belts still in Den closet.  As far as I know they caused us no harm.  Just as stated above clean as you would any old aluminum pot etc not used in a long time or dirty or possibly contaminated.   Common sense.  Richard 

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I'd keep the lead soldering in mind if you want to use it on the regular. Then again, probably not much worse then what's in some towns water. Some east coast cities still have water pipes in use from late 1800's

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G.I.1943

Yeah I know about the lead, which is why I was asking if it would be alright for re-enactments which only happen once or twice a month for 2-3 days for my unit. Thanks for all the help everyone. 

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collector

All us kids used canteens our fathers provided all during our childhoods, no ill effects after washing first.

 

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a lot of water companies put additives in water to react with lead and produces a protect layer between the water and lead pipes

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Like others here, I used my Dad's old canteen a lot as a kid. And I came out just fine... Ummmm, on second thought,  I'm pretty sure it wasn't the canteen's fault anyway. 

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earlymb

The lead soldering applies only to the older, aluminium canteens; the stainless steel canteens are fine.

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collector
15 hours ago, mikie said:

Like others here, I used my Dad's old canteen a lot as a kid. And I came out just fine... Ummmm, on second thought,  I'm pretty sure it wasn't the canteen's fault anyway. 

 

Same here, can't blame the canteen.

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