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Cleaning Your Shipping or Storage Container

06.05.2012 - Posted by Updated On 06.05.2012    

Used shipping containers that are being converted into storage units, housing projects, or even hydroponic farm boxes will typically need some attention before they are habitable for their new purpose in life.

Giving your shipping container a small amount of maintenance and upkeep can extend the life of the container and insure that everything you put inside is clean, secure, and free from any unwanted interference.

  • Sweeping:  Make sure that any dirt, dust, or other forms of detritus are removed from your shipping container.  We suggest using a strong bristled broom and work your way from the back end of the container.  It may be dusty inside, so we also recommend that you wear a dust mask of some form.
  • High Pressure Washing:  If you have access to a pressure washer, or can borrow or rent one, it will expedite the cleaning process greatly.  For safety, we recommend wearing some type of goggles or safety glasses.  You’re going to be working in a confined area and anything you spray loose may bounce around – eye protection is important.  Again, start at the back of the container and work your way towards the doors.  Pay special attention to the corners and seams.  Also, keep an eye open for any signs of excessive wear in the floor.  Once the inside dries you may want to consider repairing any potentially weak spots.  After the inside is sprayed out we recommend cleaning the outside next.  The high pressure hose will expose and possibly remove any loose paint or corrosion on your container.
  • Rust Treatment:  Inspect both the inside and outside of the shipping container for signs of rust or corrosion.  If you do find any rust it can be treated with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, a natural rust remover.  Apply the vinegar to the rust and rub it with a cloth or strong brush. If vinegar doesn’t do the trick or isn’t fast enough for you, try rubbing the rust spots on your cargo container with aluminium foil.
  • Painting a Shipping Container:  Once the container is completely dry, inside and out, go over the shipping container with a medium grit sand paper.  Either an orbital sanderorbital sander or belt sanderbelt sander will speed up the process.  You don’t need to remove all of the paint, but we do recommend attacking any spots on your container where the paint is peeling, flaking, or showing signs of wear.

    After you’ve finished sanding your shipping container apply a primer coat of paint.  The primer coat will help give it a stronger seal and base to prevent any moisture or corrosion in the future.

    Finally, after the primer coat is dry apply a thick, exterior paint to the inside and outside of your storage container.  Most exterior paints will work, however if there’s any question it’s best to ask a professional or sales associate at the place where your purchased the paint.

Once these steps are completed and your shipping container is completely dried, you should have a great storage unit that looks great, needs little maintenance, and will provide a great amount of security for everything that you keep inside.



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