Using sunlight to help clean a closed-head barrel. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

We have a barrel that smells like it was used to store oil. We wanted to clean it out and use it for something else, but it has a closed head and only a standard-sized bung hole to look through. Flashlights weren't bright enough to see the bottom of the barrel very well.

I put the barrel between myself and the sun, tilted it toward myself with one hand, and reflected sunlight into the bung hole with a small hand mirror. It was like shining a spotlight. By manuvering the barrel and the mirror a little, I was able to see the entire bottom of the barrel and quite a bit up the sides.

What looked like oil caked the bottom. I put some gasoline in there, tied a long string to a rag, and dropped the rag through the bung hole. I used a long stick to push the rag around the bottom of the barrel and checked now and then with the hand mirror.

The result is an almost new-looking barrel on the inside. Paint on the outside and a new bung cover will finish the job.

Does anyone know where I can get a new bung cover??

-- helen (, December 07, 1999


Let me recommend for cleaning out barrels -- going to the car wash and using the wand to spray it out thoroughly. Works for us, both on tightheads (bung hole type) and the open ones.

Homesteader in KY

-- homesteader (homesteader@kentucky.hills), December 07, 1999.

What are you going to put in it? A pipe expansion plug should work. This consists of two round metal plates holding a rubber doughnut, with a wingnut through them all. When the wingnut is tightened the rubber expands between the plates, fitting against the inside of the bung hole.

Just have to match the hole size to the appropriate plug.

-- Gary S. (, December 07, 1999.

The large bung hole are a 2" pipe thread. A 2" pipe plug will fill it nicely and a pipe "bushing" will allow you to put a regular pipe and valve to the bung to draw off contents.

Plastic threaded pipe plugs are available also. Genova is one brand name.

The small hole is 3/4" pipe thread.

Best regards,

-- Joe (, December 07, 1999.

Thank you for all of your advice. It has helped a lot.

-- helen (, December 07, 1999.

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