You may think that a shipping container is a set-and-forget storage option, but like many things, they require regular maintenance to keep them in top shape. 

When it comes to cleaning your shipping container, there are a few different options you can choose from, and it really depends on how dirty your container is and how much time you have. Let’s explore these three options in a bit more depth. 

Pre-Clean Process

Before you start any cleaning, take a walk around your container, both internally and externally, looking for spills, stains, and any contaminants. This may change how you tackle cleaning your container and whether you do it yourself or have a professional clean it for you. 

While you may only want to clean the exterior of your container, it should be regularly cleaned internally to prevent a build-up of dust and debris. This can easily be done by sweeping down the walls of the container before moving onto the floor. Make sure the doors of the container are open, and sweep from back to front, removing dust, debris, and any residue. If you prefer, you can use a leaf blower or industrial vacuum for this part. 

Basic Clean – Soap and Water

This one is nice and easy – you can even get the grandkids on the task. Start by giving your container a good scrub down with a heavy-duty cleaner and water. This will help to remove any dirt, dust or grime that has built up on the outside of the container. 

All you’ll need for this step is a good scrubbing broom and a bucket big enough for the broom to fit into. This type of cleaning should be done regularly to maintain your shipping container. 

Deep Clean – Pressure Wash

If it’s been awhile since you cleaned your shipping container or you simply want to do a deep clean, a pressure washer is the way to go. Pressure washing your container will remove any tough stains or built-up dirty that a scrubbing brush alone won’t be able to remove. 

When doing a pressure wash on your shipping container, it is best to wear some sort of eye protection and old clothes – there’s a good chance that you will get covered in dirt (the general nature of pressure cleaning), and you don’t want to get that into your eyes. 

If you don’t own a pressure washer, think about what else you will use it for before you buy one. While buying the biggest you can afford may sound like a good idea, it may be too overpowered for smaller jobs you may need to take on. A smaller pressure washer may take a little longer when cleaning a shipping container but it may be better for other tasks. 

You should deep clean your shipping container at least once or twice a year. 

Professional Clean – Hire a Container Cleaner

If you don’t have time, don’t have the equipment or just don’t feel like cleaning your container yourself, then you can always hire a professional cleaning company to do the clean for you. These cleaning companies have the experience and expertise to get your container looking like new again – all you need to do is provide them with the size and type of container you have, and they’ll take care of the rest. 

You may like to utilise this option if you are selling your container, or it needs a really good clean before being used. 

Inspect Your Container

A great time to inspect your container for rusted areas or damage is after you have cleaned it – after all, you won’t have dirt and grime hiding anything. Take a walk around your container and inspect for damage, holes, and large amounts of rust. If you spot small amounts of rust this shouldn’t be a problem – generally, it can be easily removed with a rust remover and white vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well if that’s all you have on hand). Apply the solution and rub it with a brush or clean cloth. 

By following these three easy steps, you can ensure that your shipping container is clean and ready for use. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, make sure you put in the time and effort to get your container looking its best.