How to store liquids

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One thing everybody learns at one point in their early adulthood is just how needy inanimate objects can be. It sounds weird, we admit to that fact, but there is no denying just how sensitive and demanding things can be. The first thing that would come to a person’s mind as being a fitting representative of this fact is electronic devices. They are vulnerable to dust and moisture. Subsequently, they have to be well taken care of. Food is also something that pretty much everyone will think of, things that are perishable. However, there are also other things that can be surprisingly demanding. In this case, we are talking about how to store liquids. Let us go over the process of planning, storing, and packing liquids.

Make a plan on how to store liquids

Your first step should, of course, be planning. There is more to the answer to the question of how to store liquids than simple packing instructions. Like any other storing or moving, storing liquids with the help of local movers Rockville MD or DIY will also exurb some planning time from you. However, that is not to say that the planning phase will be demanding. It is not the same thing when you are planning to move house as opposed to storing juice or water bottles.

writing down a list about how to store liquids
You need a plan!

What will the plan look like? First off, take inventory of what you have. Chances are that, if you are looking for ways how to store liquids, you are really in need of a storage unit for more than a few liquids. Therefore, it is a good thing to have a pen and paper at hand for this phase of the process. Be sure to write down all that you have to store. Furthermore, read up on the instructions for the proper storage of the liquids themselves. Namely, on the labels on the bottles of most liquids. Also, think about what packing materials Rockville MD has available. You will need a lot of specialized containers for this situation.

Are you storing flammable or non-flammable liquids?

An important thing to note is if there is a sign that says that the liquid in question is flammable, then it is not allowed to be stored in a storage unit. For reasons of safety and liability, storage facilities will not allow such items to be stored in their storage units. That means that things like car fuel or gas will not be eligible (together with other flammable materials in all forms, with firearms included). Also, be on the lookout for hazardous liquids. If the label claims that the material is hazardous (poisonous) then, more than likely, it cannot be stored in facilities provided by moving and storage Maryland. For both of these, however, there are proper procedures in the case of at-home storage.

looking at bottles and thinking about how to store liquids
Storing flammable liquids requires more attention

Primary shelf life is the most important thing to consider before storing liquids

When you are wondering about how to store liquids one of the most important factors you need to consider is shelf life. There is no point in storing liquids that have a short shelf life. So before you even start considering what liquids to store you need to check how long they can last in storage. For example, non-alcoholic beverages last much shorter than alcoholic ones. If you are storing some other types of liquids like chemicals or gasoline, their shelf life will vary depending on their type and formulation.  You also need to be aware that there is primary and secondary shelf life. Here is the primary average shelf life of different types of liquids:

  • Bottled water – 2 years
  • Non-alcoholic beverages – 6-12 months
  • Unopened alcoholic beverages with more than 20% alcohol content – indefinite
  • Unopened chemicals – 5 years

These are, of course, general numbers that cannot be applied evenly across all products. Some products will have shorter life spans but there will also be those with longer life spans.

showing how to store liquids
There are many factors that affect products’ shelf life

Alcoholic beverages’ average shelf life

Alcoholic beverages have a very long shelf life.  Spirits that have more than 20% of alcohol content have an almost indefinite life span. Unfortunately, wine doesn’t fall into that category because it usually has around 15% alcohol content. So contrary to a popular belief, wine found on sunken wreckages usually cannot be consumed safely.

  • Vodka has an indefinite shelf life, but it can lose its taste after 10 years
  • Whiskey and Bourbon have an indefinite shelf life if  they are unopened – if opened shelf life shortens to 6 – 24 months
  • Rum has indefinite shelf life if you keep it unopened. When you open it, it gradually starts to lose flavor
  • Cognac, similarly to vodka, has an indefinite shelf life but will lose flavor after 10 years
  • Tequila has an indefinite shelf life if you store it unopened
  • Fine wine has a life span of 10–20 years (depending on the quality) if you store it properly in a wine cellar or appropriate storage unit

Non-alcoholic beverages’ average shelf life

When it comes to non-alcoholic beverages, they can often last somewhere between one and three years. Here are some examples:

  • Energy drinks have an average shelf life of 18 – 36 months if unopened. When opened, the shelf life shortens to a few days
  • Iced tea can last somewhere between 18 – 24 months if unopened. When you open it, you cannot store it for longer than a few days
  • Sparkling water has an average shelf life of 12 – 18 months in unopened.
  • Coconut water can last 9 – 12 months if you leave it unopened
holding a bottle
Non-alcoholic beverages usually don’t last more than 3 years

Bottled water shelf life

Storing bottled water can be a smart move in this day and age. Of course, you do not have to store years’ worth of water. However, having a supply that can last you a few days can be a smart move. But how long can you store water? Normally, water cannot go bad. It has an infinite shelf life and you can generally store it indefinitely. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates bottled water, does not require a shelf life to be listed on the packaging. However, since bottled water usually comes in plastic bottles and containers its shelf life is usually considered two years.

You see, plastic degrades over time releasing toxic chemicals into the liquid, especially at higher temperatures and when it is exposed to sunlight. So, if you are storing water for the doomsday scenario, our recommendation is to replace it after 2 years. However, even if you do not do it, you will probably be ok. If you want to be completely safe, on the other hand, buy water in glass containers.

Average shelf life of flammable liquids and chemicals

When it comes to the average shelf life of flammable liquids and chemicals, it’s usually around two years. However, whether an original packing has been opened or not also plays a significant role here. So bear this in mind when thinking about how to store liquids.

paint cans
Flammable liquids’ primary shelf life is usually around 2 years

Shelf life explained

We mentioned that there is a primary shelf life and secondary shelf life. But there are also required shelf life, maximum shelf life, and display shelf life. Primary shelf life refers to unopened products. Unopened products usually last over a year. On the other hand, when a product is opened, you need to consider its secondary shelf life. Here is a detailed explanation:

  • Primary shelf life is the time between the manufacture and packaging of a product to the point at which the product first becomes unacceptable for usage. To find the product’s primary shelf life, search for an expiration date on the label.
  • Secondary shelf life is the time after a product’s packaging has been opened and during which it keeps an acceptable quality norm. You can usually find it under a fine print notice on the warning label.
  • Required shelf life is the minimum amount of storage time that a product must have to be profitable on the market. This is something that you shouldn’t be concerned about.
  • Maximum shelf life is the most extended amount of time that a product will last if the best possible packaging and storage are applied.
  • Display shelf life is the amount of time that a product can be stored under specified or expected store display conditions

What affects products’ shelf life?

It is important to be aware that primary and secondary shelf life refers to products that are being kept in optimal conditions. There are many factors that can affect products’ shelf life and shorten it significantly. The most important things that can affect the product shelf life are initial quality, packaging quality, transportations and storage conditions, formulation, processing methods, and consumer handling. If all those factors are optimal, you can completely rely on the product’s expiration date that you can find on the label. Unfortunately, perfect conditions are often not met entirely. So you can often find products that have gone bad before their intended shelf life expired.

looking at thermometer while thinking about how to store liquids
Temperature is something that greatly affects products’ shelf life

Pick a storage

Once you have checked the list and downsized (either by selling away what you don’t need, throwing it away, or, if possible, giving it to some of the Maryland charities) you can now focus on what kind of storage you want to put your liquids into. Of course, if you have appropriate storage space, you can store your liquids at your home. For example in your garage or basement. However, it is important to understand that this solution is not without risks. Especially if you are storing flammable liquids. So make sure that you take all measures of precaution and that you do it properly if you decide to store them at your home.

On the other hand, you can find some moving services Rockville MD that offer storage solutions and keep your items there. Still, most storage companies do not allow flammable liquids to be stored at their facilities. So you will have to do good research before you find commercial storage that will allow you to do that.

a women pointing out a checklist
What kind of storage do you need?

Storing flammable liquids at home

In order to safely store flammable liquids and chemicals at home you need to be very careful. Read warning labels carefully in order to avoid potential hazards and review chemicals’ MSDS/SDS for proper storage procedures. Here is how to do it:

  • Never keep glass chemical containers on the floor
  • Chemical storage areas need to be well-lit and appropriately ventilated
  • Keep chemicals away from heat sources and away from the exit
  • Apply a first-in, first-out system by sorting the oldest chemicals first to avoid the degradation of older
    chemicals and their containers
  • Make sure that you inspect stored chemicals frequently for expiration, deterioration, and chemical integrity
  • Make sure that the shelves are securely fastened to the wall and have lips or other suitable methods to prevent bottles from falling in the case of an earthquake
  • Do not store any chemicals above shoulder height
  • Don’t store large containers of 1 gal or larger, liquids, and corrosive materials higher than eye level.
  • Do not overcrowd and overweigh the shelves with dangerous chemicals
  • Store flammable liquids in a flammable storage cabinet
  • Label chemical storage cabinets appropriately

Storing flammable and dangerous chemicals in refrigerators and freezers

Storing flammable and dangerous chemicals in refrigerators might be a good idea. Especially auto flammable liquids. Here are some things that you need to pay attention to if you decide on this option:

  • Do not store chemicals in office, domestic, or personal refrigerators
  • Never store chemicals and food together
  • Store flammables only in an approved explosion-proof or flammable storage refrigerator
  • Frequently check stored materials to defrost occasionally and prevent chemicals from becoming
    trapped in ice formations

Types of storage facilities

There are many types of storage facilities that you can find in Rockville, MD. Here are some of the types of storage facilities that you can find:

  • Outdoor. Good for all-weather access, but bad for transporting liquids that require special attention and darkened rooms at all times.
  • Indoor. Good for all-time access and special care, and bad for accessing heavy items.
  • Climate Controlled. Almost a must these days, especially with liquids in storage that could produce a lot of moisture and create mold.
  • Specialized. Does your liquid happen to be wine? Ask for specified storage!
  • On-site storage units. Storage containers delivered to your address.
storage units
Find appropriate storage

How to pack them

When preparing to store liquids for storage, or packing them for long distance movers Rockville MD, you first have to think about the content of the liquid. If it’s water, you can literary pack it wherever. Water is a non-perishable, highly stable liquid. However, some other liquids will lose their usefulness over time. For example, fuel will become useless over extended periods of time, even in good reserves. Sugary juices will also go bad quickly. Even water can be polluted by mold, bacteria, and other living things if it is left open and exposed. Therefore, when packing items, always:

  • Be aware of where you put them – Always try to get them away from light. Not all liquids will have trouble under sunlight, but a lot will, and sometimes it is just not worth the risk.
  • Have them sealed. Storing a liquid in open, without a cap, is not a good answer for how to store liquids. That way you are encouraging chemical reactions with the air, spillage, or even infestation of the pest.
  • Don’t put anything over stored liquids. Most containers that you will see in storage Rockville MD for liquids are plastic. We will talk about why that would matter in the next part of the text. However, even if it is something tougher, do not put anything over the liquids. It is just a disaster waiting to happen. Even if the liquid itself is not toxic or particularly hard to clean up, you will find that it is just annoying, not to mention potentially it can affect the moisture levels in the storage unit should it spill and you fail to notice for a few weeks.
  • Don’t store anywhere near anything that is negatively affected by water. This holds especially true for storing them near electronic devices.

Packing material

When you are looking for packing material for the things people regularly pack, it is not a hard thing to find them. Cardboard boxes and plastic containers. However, when you are looking at liquids, you will find that you need something more reliable. Of course, you can always find some good residential movers Rockville MD to provide you with proper packing materials or even help you with packing.

5 bottles of various shapes and colors
What will your packing material be?

Still, you will need specialized containers. In the same way, those highly rated moving companies present in moving company reviews have specialized containers for the regular stuff they relocate, you will need bottles and closed cups. Do not put them in anything different, and especially don’t put your liquids in plastics that disintegrate over time. Glass and metal are preferred for most liquids. Still, the best way to store liquids is in original containers.

Packing hazardous liquids

If you are storing dangerous chemicals you should also use secondary containers to avoid spill cross-contamination. Here is how to use secondary containment:

  • For secondary containment use polyethylene or stainless steel trays. This will help to separate incompatible chemicals stored in the same area and provide spill containment
  • Make sure that you provide secondary containers for storage of solvents and concentrated acids and bases
  • If you are storing hazardous chemicals on the floor use secondary containers

Packing materials for storing hazardous liquids

When storing liquid food, you can use glass or plastic containers that most packing services Rockville MD can provide. However, when you are storing hazardous chemicals you need to find a specialized packaging solution depending on the type of the chemical. Here are some examples:

  • Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and phosphoric acid need to be stored in n a corrosive storage cabinet or in secondary containment away from bases and cyanides
  • Ammonium hydroxide, sodium, and hydroxide should be stored in a corrosive storage cabinet or in secondary containment away from acids
  • Acetone peroxide and trinitrobenzene should be stored in a secure location away from all other chemicals and Flammable liquids, oxidizers, acids, and bases
  • Flammables like acetone, benzene, and ethanol should be stored in n flammable storage cabinet within secondary containment away from oxidizers
  • Water-Reactive chemicals such as sodium metal, potassium metal, and lithium metal should be stored in a dry, cool location, protected from water fire sprinkler and away from aqueous solutions, and oxidizers

Transporting liquids to storage

When choosing the place for storing liquids, and thinking about whether to keep them at home or in a specialized storage facility, you also must not forget about transport. Keeping your liquids in your home storage helps you avoid that question altogether. However, if you are moving in Rockville MD, for example, no matter where you will keep your liquids, transporting them will not be avoidable. So if you need to transport your liquids, we strongly recommend that you find professionals that will help you with that.

Getting rid of hazardous chemicals

If it happens that you have some liquids that have expired and that you do not want to get rid of, you need to find a proper way to do it. Of course, when getting rid of liquid food, things aren’t as complicated as when you are disposing of hazardous chemicals and flammable liquids. If you are doing it on your own, take all measures of precaution to prevent problems during transport. Also, make sure that you find appropriate chemical waste in Rockville MD where your chemicals can be properly secured.

Let professionals help you dispose of hazardous liquids

If you are not sure that you can transport your chemicals to the waste site on your own, you can always find some junk removal Rockville MD has to offer. Professionals know how to properly handle this type of waste. So it will be easier and more secure if you let professionals handle it.

Now you know how to store liquids. As you can see, there are many things that you need to pay attention to in order to do it safely. Hopefully, this article will help you with that.

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