Friday, June 17, 2011

Opening 5 Gallon Buckets

I know you probably saw the title of the post and thought; Really? How hard is it to open a 5 gallon bucket? But until you have ever tried for 45 minutes to pry the lid off of one of these suckers you won't appreciate the tips I'm about to share.



Bulk grains usually come in 5 gallon buckets when you buy it for food storage. Food-grade 5 gallon buckets are great. They have an airtight seal and are hard and thick enough that rodents can't gnaw their way through.

That is great for long-term storage but makes it a pain for short-term storage.

I keep my flour in a 5 gallon bucket and use it to replenish my pantry container when it gets low. The only problem is that if it is the middle of the day and I run out of flour, I have to wait for my husband to get home from work to get it for me.

Now I will admit that I have never had very strong arm muscles. My arms fall asleep if I put my hand in a fist. So I'm sure there are a lot of people a lot stronger than I am but I literally cannot open a 5 gallon bucket by myself. If by some miracle I get the lid off, I haven't ever been able to get it back on. I'll stand/jump on the lid and think of anything I can to get it back on but it's impossible for me.

I was getting so frustrated with not being able to get my flour when I wanted it. Luckily, my church announced a group deal they were arranging where you could buy a bucket wrench/ lid opener. I'd never heard of it before but was sure glad to get one. I have since found them at Walmart for about $4 or you can get one online here. Right now it's $2.57.

It is pretty handy. My husband used a flat-head screwdriver to help get off the lid before we got this. I definitely think this is great to have if you have long-term food in 5 gallon buckets but it doesn't solve my problem with getting the lid back on.

Enter the Gamma Seal Lid


This is the coolest thing ever! It still maintains the airtight seal with the rubber gasket around the ring. But the center of the lid twists off easily, let me repeat, easily to access the food inside and twists right back on to close. 

Now these are obviously more expensive than regular lids but have made my life so much easier. I got mine for $7. My grocery stores carry them when they hold their case lot sales. You can also get them off the web here.

They also come in an assortment of colors so you can color code your food if you want. I decided to just get a few. I don't need them on every bucket. When I need to open a new bucket, I will take off the old lid and replace it with the gamma seal lid from my last empty bucket. That way I'm reusing the gamma seal lid over and over instead of being left with extras once my 5 gallon bucket is empty like I would if I got them for all of my buckets.

I love things like this and hope it helps you too.

7 comments:

  1. Yipee!!! Seriously. I've been staring down my mystery lids FOREVER trying to figure out on and off. I'm saved. Thank you!

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  2. Oh my goodness I could kiss you I am so excited to see this! I have sat in tears as I massacre my fingers and hands trying to get a bucket open. THANK YOU!!!

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  3. The worst part is I have one of those handy tools-I bought it over a year ago. I just can't find it! Argg! I may have to try a screwdriver...

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  4. Heidi
    Shoot that is frustrating, hope you find it soon

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  5. Yes i had also purchased the opening tool, but know unable to find out so i will try screwdriver to open the lid.

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  6. I can't get the lid on the 5 gallon food grade bucket I bought. How did you do it? Thanks

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