How To Clean IBC For Drinking Water: Step-By-Step Guide

When cleaning an IBC tank, getting to the key areas is crucial. Additionally, it is vital to provide safety and appropriate sanitization for essentials like drinking water.

So how to clean IBC for drinking water? Start by emptying the tank first and then rinse the tank’s exterior with a microfiber cloth and clean water. Then, open up the tank and scrub it with a food-grade cleaning agent solution. Lastly, rinse the tank again and use a chlorine solution to sanitize it before cleaning it with fresh water.

However, you need clarification about the ratio of the chlorine and cleaning agent solutions. Well, don’t worry because we will walk you through everything step-by-step. 

How To Clean IBC For Drinking Water?

In this section, we will look at a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning IBC for drinking water. We promise you that it’s the easiest and one of the most effective methods out there. Let’s check it out.

Table: Materials Required

Here’s a table of all the materials required to clean an IBC tank.

Material Use
Empty Container To collect the remaining water before cleaning
Microfiber cloth or lint-free cotton cloth To rinse the tank
Wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers To disassemble the tank
Warm water and food-grade cleaning agent To make the cleaning solution
Another empty container To store the warm water and the cleaning agent
Any type of stirrer To mix the warm water and the cleaning agent
Brand-new soft-bristled brush For scrubbing the tank properly
A gallon of water and One teaspoon of odorless household bleach To make the sanitizing solution

Safety Precaution Before Cleaning IBC For Drinking Water

Before you start cleaning the IBC tank, there are a few safety precautions that you need to follow. They are;

  • Wear goggles to protect the eyes against potential splashes from cleaning agents or contaminated water.
  • Wear gloves to provide a physical barrier between the hands and the chemicals.
  • Wear a mask to save yourself from inhaling harmful fumes and particles when cleaning.
  • Work in a well-ventilated space or consider adding exhaust fans.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean IBC For Drinking Water

Here are the steps you need to follow to clean an IBC tank effectively.

Step 1: Emptying

Before cleaning, you must empty any remaining liquid in the IBC tank. However, ensure that a suitable container is placed beneath to collect the liquid to avoid any mess.How To Clean IBC For Drinking Water

Step 2: Water Rinsing The Tank’s Exterior

There are a lot of ways to rinse your tank, but water has to be the one that is both effective and economical. When it comes to the material you will be rinsing with, microfiber cloth or lint-free cotton cloth is the way to go. You must rinse till the tank is free from any visible debris.

Step 3: Open Up The IBC Tank

You need to open up the IBC tank to access the dirty spaces. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s handbook for disassembling. 

Initially, open the vent cap or valve on top of the tank slowly to release any built-up pressure. Disconnect any accessories attached to it, such as hoses and valves. Later on, remove any straps or screws securing the cage to the pallet and lift the cage off the pallet.

Now, forcefully detach the top cap using a wrench and separate the inner container from the base. 

Step 4: Prepare The Cleaning Solution

Using the wrong solution can lead to harmful substances in your water and hampers the safety of your drinking water. So, simply take a container, mix some warm water with some food-grade cleaning agent and mix it with a stirrer.

Adding cleaning agent

Step 5: Scrubbing

Use a brand-new brush that has soft bristles and soak it in the cleaning agent solution. Slowly scrub the tank and take special care of the corners and hard-to-reach areas.

Step 6: Rinsing The Interior

Now that you have scrubbed the tank clean, it’s time to rinse it with clean water. Simply rinse the entire tank in a circular motion with clean water. 

Ensure that you are also considering the areas such as valves, fittings, and lids to rinse.

Step 7: Sanitizing The Tank

The tank must be sanitized following a thorough cleaning because it involves drinking water. You can use the chlorine solution method for this one. Simply combine one gallon of water and one teaspoon of odorless household bleach

Once the tank is filled with the solution, let it in for 45 minutes before cleaning it off again with fresh water.

Step 8: Drying

Let the IBC tank sit in a well-ventilated area for an hour or two. It ensures that no moisture is left inside the container, as it can cause bacterial growth.

Step 9: Put Everything Back On

Your cleaning process is done here. Remember how you opened up the IBC tank? Simply reverse your steps to put the tank back together.

Here’s a video that will help you visualize the cleaning process;

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s check out some commonly asked questions regarding cleaning an IBC tank.

Q: Why should I clean an IBC tank for drinking water?

You should clean an IBC tank holding drinking water to eliminate any impurities that can affect the water’s quality and safety. This includes bacteria, algae, or chemical residues.

Q: How often should an IBC tank used for drinking water be cleaned?

The quality of the source water, the surrounding environment, and consumption patterns are just a few of the variables that affect how often cleaning is required. However, it is generally recommended to clean the tank at least once every six months.

Q: Is there any alternative to chlorine solution as a sanitizing solution?

Yes, you can use white vinegar solution as an alternative. Just put white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and let it sit inside the tank for 45 minutes.


To conclude, we hope you found out how to clean IBC for drinking water easily and effectively. Disassemble it after getting rid of any remaining water and rinsing the exterior out. Warm water and a food-grade cleaning chemical should be combined to create a cleaning solution.

Rinse the inside using a microfiber cloth and clean water. Lastly, don’t forget to sanitize it as it’s the most crucial thing after cleaning it. Simply take one teaspoon of odorless household bleach and a gallon of water to make the chlorine solution into the tank. 

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