Plastic Containers to use with Multi-Etch

We often stress the importance of using and storing Multi-Etch in plastic containers, never in metal or glass. First time users will receive dry Multi-Etch powder and a plastic gallon jug. This jug is extra robust and perfect for mixing and storing Multi-Etch. Use a funnel to dispense the Multi-Etch powder and distilled or deionized water into the jug. Add a gallon of water for regular strength or 1/2 gallon for double strength Multi-Etch. You can use water heated to 150–160°F in the jug to mix the solution.

05 PP plastic triangle recycling symbol

When using heated Multi-Etch in either a double boiler or in a custom tank, there are a number of types of plastics that can be used. For small users (one gallon or less,) you can find suitable plastic containers at big box or grocery stores. Look on the bottom of containers to see a number inside a triangle. Most of these containers will have a number 5, for polypropylene. These can withstand up to 230°F.

Multi-Etch in a #2 white polyethylene plastic container.

For those of you building your own containers, several other plastics besides #5 can be used:

#2 white polyethylene can be heated to 160°F. This is what our Multi-Etch jugs are made of.

#3 PVC types 1 and 2 are also an excellent choice.

#7 is usually polycarbonate and can be heated to 212°F but #7 does include other plastics so sometimes means a type other than polycarbonate.

If you will run larger tanks of 5-20 gallons, we recommend IPEC Global who can construct complete customized systems which can include tanks for cleaning, rinsing, Multi-Etching, rinsing, and anodizing. Check them out at and see videos of their systems.

Check out the video below for a more in depth guide to using double boilers.

We welcome your questions and comments about plastics compatible with Multi-Etch.