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Are Home Depot Buckets Food Grade? What You Need To Know!

Home Depot

Home Depot sells a lot of products, but their iconic orange Homer buckets are instantly recognizable. There are many potential uses for these buckets, but before putting food in them, you should check if it’s food grade or not. While Home Depot sells food-grade buckets, their orange buckets are not food grade.

What does this mean? Food-grade buckets are made with special plastic that doesn’t leach into food, which makes them ideal choices to store bulk goods like flour, rice, and more. Because Home Depot’s Homer buckets aren’t food grade, they aren’t safe to store food in. They’re more suitable for use as paint buckets or to store other non-edible items.

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Can You Store Food in a Home Depot Bucket?

While Home Depot orange buckets aren’t food grade, you can still use them to store food under some circumstances. After all, sometimes you don’t have a bunch of buckets to choose from at home.

If you want to store food in your Home Depot bucket, use a food-safe plastic liner. It’s also okay to store packaged food in these buckets because the bucket never comes into direct contact with the food.

It may be safe to temporarily store food in a brand-new Home Depot bucket as long as it was previously stored in a food-safe bucket or another sanitary environment. However, this isn’t a risk that some people are willing to take. If you want to store food in these buckets, it is always better to line it with food-safe plastic first.

Never store food in a Home Depot bucket that’s been used for paint or other toxic products. There can still be small contaminants in the bucket even after it’s been washed. Keep these buckets for painting and other odd jobs instead.

Does Home Depot Sell Food-Grade Buckets?

Yes, Home Depot does sell food-grade buckets. These are typically white 5-gallon buckets similar in appearance to the signature orange buckets. The major difference is that, somewhere on the bucket, it will say that it’s safe for food. The food-grade buckets typically cost around the same as regular buckets.

If you’re unsure of whether a bucket is food grade or not, look at its specifications on the Home Depot website or ask an associate if they can find out for you. Most food-grade buckets will have a number one through five listed on the bottom. You may also see a fork and spoon, which signifies the bucket is food grade. If you specifically need a food-grade bucket, an orange Homer bucket will not suffice.

What’s the Difference Between Food-Grade Buckets and Regular Buckets?

It all comes down to the plastic’s type and thickness. Your average 5-gallon bucket, including Home Depot Homer buckets, has a plastic thickness of 70 millimeters, and the plastic isn’t rated as “food safe.” Food-grade buckets are usually a bit thicker, around 90 millimeters thick. More critically, the plastic is considered safe for storing food.

Food-grade buckets won’t react with items put in the bucket and release toxic chemicals like regular buckets will. It might be safe to use regular buckets in a pinch, but we don’t recommend it because you risk the food getting you or someone else ill. Instead, opt for food-grade buckets that you can guarantee are safe for food storage.

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Conclusion

Home Depot’s orange Homer buckets may be recognizable, but they’re not food grade. Instead, opt for a white food-grade bucket and avoid regular buckets at all costs. If you choose to use a regular bucket, you risk food contamination.


Home Depot (Image Credit: Mike Mozart, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

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