Water going bad
March 26, 2020 7:56 AM   Subscribe

I’ve read here that water stored in reused plastic jugs can go bad/grow bacteria. Will it go bad in reused glass bottles kept outside the fridge?

If I put water in a glass bottle and store it outside the fridge, will it go bad? I have to put water in my dog’s food, so I was refilling a plastic jug and keeping it next to his bowl. It smelled funky one day, and then I found on here that this is not a good idea. Can I avoid this problem with a glass bottle?
posted by dianeF to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was just reading up on this as well. First thing to know is that you can generally only store a closed container of water for 6 months before it starts getting funky. To store long-term (not fill-refill, capped and closed) you can use anything food-safe though there are plastic containers meant for that purpose that can withstand the weight and have easier fill/dispense hardware.

For a vessel that's filled and refilled like your dog's water, that's not storage in the long term sense. You're exposing the surfaces to air and then water again, you'll need to clean it out with soap periodically (ideally weekly). I actually keep a 5-gal garrafon of spring water on a plant stand with a USB-rechargeable pump in it for those purposes - the containers are sterilized and the pump cap keeps the bottle "closed" and the water gets used before it gets funky.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:15 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

In my experience, when storing tap water at room temperature, algae forms inside glass bottles more readily than plastic.
posted by Rash at 8:29 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]

IME, it's storing it in clear or translucent containers that is the problem. Cover it up with a cloth.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:07 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

Treated water from a municipal tap lasts longer. Well or stream water only stays good for 2 to 3 months.
posted by ananci at 9:24 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

Yes, it is true. Normal chlorinated tap water is disinfected not sterilized. To store it as long as possible, put water in a non-porous container (with a very tight lid) that has been cleaned with dilute bleach or sanitized in a dishwasher. Fill the container as full as possible (little to no air) and keep the lid as tight as possible. Keep in a cool, dark place.
posted by jraz at 9:43 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

You can add bleach (6-8 drops per gallon of water, depending on concentration) to disinfest the water for drinking. Add more if it's intended to be used for washing hands or flushing toilets, if you want, but don't then drink it without diluting.

I had to look up garrafon. It appears to be Spanish, garrafón. We'd probably say carboy in most of the anglosphere, and while there's no particular standard for the term, it can refer to the big jugs that go into water coolers, which are probably 5 gal. Neato! Thanks for the new word, and for giving me the second opportunity today to use "ó".
posted by Sunburnt at 11:50 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]

Thanks, guys!
posted by dianeF at 2:54 PM on March 26

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