Household Questions?

Okay, here’s one thing.

We have a set of old wooden bins, to store flour, salt, and other household items.

Due to an ant infestation, we need to clean them out if we want to use them.

We have been using the bags, boxes, etc. that these come in, instead of the bins, but the bags don’t open without tearing, and the boxes don’t poor well or completely, so these result in spills. If we can use the bins, we can avoid the spills, have an easier time measuring when one bag runs out, etc.


Could you bake them? We often do that to sterilize driftwood and stuff for research animals


I have something similar to this.

To prevent future infestations, I suggest a liner and a bag around the liner so you can twist tie the bag closed when then can sitar’s are not in use to seal out the bugs.

Lambow Lanbow Handheld Pressurized Cleaner with 9-Piece Accessory Set Purpose and Multi-Surface All Natural, Chemical-Free for Home, More, new version


How committed are you to the wooden bins? If they are on display and you like them for aesthetic reasons, I can relate. My house is full of choices like that.

But of the possible options, wood is the most difficult in practical terms. Wood dries out and warps, or absorbs moisture when washed (and warps), so it needs to be treated with something that is food-grade and won’t leach into and flavour the contents. For food-contact items like cutting boards or salad bowls I like a mineral oil or beeswax finish, but these are items I can quickly wipe off. For long-term storage of things like flour or sugar the inside of an oiled wooden bin would become coated with a sticky mess that would be hard to clean off. If the bin is constructed like a box, the inside corners are probably small-radius and hard to get at. I agree with @ChickieD’s suggestion of a liner, with the addendum that I like these clips much better than twist ties.

Other options:

Pottery jars have been around forever, and still work. See if you can find Grandma’s kitchen canister set (hint: the one at the garage sale may not be your grandma’s, but it’s somebody’s grandma’s).

Since tinware became available centuries ago, it pretty well took over from organic containers. There are still lots of cake and cookie tins with press-on lids at the dollar store, or see Grandma above.

Example, but maybe not exactly what you’re looking for: :grin:

My personal choice for most storage is glass, from spice jars up to suitable sizes for sugar, coffee, etc.
We use a lot of these

or mason jars. You can get plastic lids for mason jars that are easier to use than the canning lids.

Glass is easy to clean, seals really well, and you can see the contents, but I keep the jars in a drawer or cupboard away from light.

We buy flour in fairly large quantities, so I will confess to using plastic for the bulky stuff. Plastic is unbreakable, lightweight, which becomes an issue if you are talking about 3-liter containers or larger, and it doesn’t make a loud crash when you put it down on a hard counter. It’s terminally unaesthetic and uncool, but I have given up that struggle.

The best of both worlds might be if you can find tin or plastic containers that fit reasonably well inside the wooden bins.

(I apologize for not linking to Monty Python’s classic piece on storage jars, but some spoilsports seem to have blocked it on YouTube.)


If you do intend to continue using the wooden bins, as opposed to something that can be sealed tightly, I recommend keeping it in the fridge. I had weevils take up residence in the rice I kept in my cupboard a few years back, and that’s how I prevented it from recurring.

[insert obligatory “lesser of two weevils” pun]


I’m not commited to using them. Just figured that we have them, and something other than the original bags and boxes would be handy, and we don’t have the counter space to keep things around w/o using them.


Glass is my gold-standard for food storage in a pantry.


Not gold?


Gold is my platinum standard.


Then what’s… never mind.


Good call.




Alloy of adamantium and unobtanium?


Gnomium Coronide.


Just north of Baltimore.


with disk-shaped precipitates of balonium.


Naming alloys with an -ium suffix?

You’re out of your element.


If storing flour for long periods of time, the freezer will prevent it from going rancid.


I admit it happens periodically.

But your opprobrium is misplaced. I’m not alone.


Speaking of dry goods in bins…

Raise your hand if you can tell powdered sugar from all-purpose flour in a dimly lit kitchen when both are stored in unlabeled plastic containers.

So much for that frosting…

Guess I’ll just keep going and have a second cake without frosting.

Edit - the second “cake” wasn’t bad.