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Step 1: Food-grade Pickle Buckets
I regularly visit a nearby chain burger joint, and its manager has his buckets rinsed and set aside for me to pick up when I drop by. I offer them free to friends and neighbors and to a charity that helps local folks. You could do the same in your neighborhood, or just get a few for yourself. Bakeries, donut shops and the cake departments of grocery stores also get ingredients in buckets, and they are all much easier to clean than buckets used to ship paint and drywall compound.
Step 2: Clean the Buckets
A plastic band is zipped off the lid when a bucket is first opened, and without that band, a lid will not reseal as tightly as its original seal. You can get a pretty good reseal by pressing the edge of the lid down all around. Opening a sealed lid can be tough on the fingertips, but you can buy a simple one-piece plastic tool for opening buckets at Sprawlmart, home center or paint store.
If you want to try to sell some buckets, it would probably be a good idea to remove all its paper labels.
Click to visit the official web page of the International Pickle Bucket Rescue League, featuring official spokespail "Bucky." The Buckster and I are pleased with the way it turned out, http://www.webstarts.com/FreeBuckets