Three Ways to Prevent Rusty Steel Pails

August 4, 2022 | By Jeff Swan | Topics: Covers, Fittings, Litho Pails, Plain Pails
With summer now upon us, I wanted to share three separate ways you can prevent your steel pails from developing rust while in storage. 

While they are still stronger and more durable than plastic pails, steel pails can develop rust if not correctly stored or maintained. This can lead to a few pails, whole pallets or truckloads being left unusable, and claims of rust are often due to the storage environment and not the manufacturing process.

So here are three ways YOU can prevent your steel pails from rusting this summer.

Avoid Storing Steel Pails in Trailers


Whether it’s a semi-truck trailer or an ocean shipping container, we highly discourage our customers from storing their steel pails in anything but a warehouse.

I’ve seen an entire truckload of steel pails go wrong over a weekend due to being left in a trailer!

The temperature variation is the biggest problem with storing steel pails in any trailer or shipping container. Pails can quickly become damaged from moisture, as seen here:

Here is a great article that explains how you can help prevent “trailer rain” here.

*Remember, pallets are a big factor in properly storing your pails too!*

Utilize Warehouse Space as Much as Possible

I understand warehouses are filling up fast, but the best place to store your steel pails is still within any sort of warehouse. 

However, the following can be dangerous areas to store your pails even when in a warehouse due to the increased chance of temperature variations:

  • Near dock doors
  • By large fans
  • Under industrial HVAC systems

If you can, place your steel pails on your warehouse floor away from any potential outside elements or moisture. Even an exterior man door left open for long periods can allow water to begin building up and let rust start forming.

Don’t Put Steel Pails Outside 

While steel pails hold up great on the job site, storing pallets of them outside is never a good idea.

Even if you live in a warmer climate, the temperature variations outside can wreak havoc on steel pails, particularly when they are stacked tightly together and possibly even wrapped in plastic. Once that moisture starts, it can quickly rust out both the interior and exterior bodies of a steel pail and make it totally unusable.

And that’s it! 

If you ever encounter any rust or have a question about long-term steel pail storage, please feel free to contact your Regional Sales Manager here.

Jeff Swan

Hey there! My name's Jeff Swan and I'm the Sales and Marketing Specialist at Cleveland Steel Container.

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