OK, this is a total shot in the dark that I’ll get any answers but I really don’t know how to wash this thing. I suspect that my jug for distilled water has been contaminated and I’d like to wash it. But what do I wash or rinse it with that isn’t just going to lead to future contamination? The only thing I can think of so far is to skip the soap and tap water altogether and rinse it vigorously and repeatedly with more distilled water before I add the distilled water I intend to use.
That is exactly what you need to do.
Contaminated, as in Algae, or some other tiny growy?
Toss a cup of bleach in with the water (assuming it’s 20L) and leave it for a few hours. Rinse well.
No, I think chemically contaminated.
Then you’re doing the right thing with the rinsing. Algae, which can grow in distilled water, requires harsher treatment.
What are you using the distilled water for?
General laboratory use. Making solutions. Cleaning off glassware.
It depends strongly on what it was contaminated with, what it’s made of, and possibly what you’re using the water for. There are some combinations of the three that might require you to replace the container entirely. If you’re talking about a polyethylene jug contaminated with, say, a heavy metal compound, dilute nitric acid with do the trick, and the container can then be rinsed clean. If it’s an organic, you might have good luck with methanol (depending on what the contaminant is). If it’s silicone, you might be up a creek – I’d have to search for readily-soluble cleaning reagents that won’t damage the container.
There is, however, the lowly bottle brush, which will ease your task considerably.
Sorry for the slight hijack, but I have a similar question.
I have found that ginger tea (freshly brewed), kept in a particular plastic container (in the fridge), goes ‘rancid’ after a couple of days. Keeping it in a glass water jar seems to work better - is there some reason why the plastic jug would be affecting the ginger in some negative way?