Gamma Seal Lids (UPDATED), also known as simply “gamma lids“, will effectively modify the typical 5 gallon plastic bucket into a reusable container that’s fairly leak proof with a mostly airtight seal. But, with the convenience of a screw on lid.
Also, 5 gallon gamma lids fit UN Standard 3.5 Gallon, 5 Gallon, 6 Gallon, and 7 Gallon Buckets with a 12″ Diameter.
Once installed, Gamma seal lids enable easy-on, easy-off because they simply screw-on and screw-off (spin).
Gamma seal lids convert 5 gallon plastic buckets into airtight storage containers with easy access – of which the benefits and uses are numerous.
Note: When I say “airtight”, it’s not perfect, or the same as using a sealed Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers inside (which obviously remove oxygen). However, gamma lids are quite effective for an airtight container. And the convenience factor is great!
The following looks to be the best price as of this post for a set of six 5 gallon food grade buckets.
Durable 90 Mil thickness:
How To Install & Use Gamma Seal Lids
The outer ring “snaps” to the top of the bucket with the help of a rubber mallet.
First remove the inner threaded lid from the ring (the two pieces come screwed together).
Place the bucket on a solid surface. Tap the portion of the gamma lid with the O-ring – hard enough to seat it all the way around the bucket’s diameter.
Work your way around the ring until it all ‘snaps’ in place.
Tip: It will be easier with a warm bucket and lid rather than cold.
Then, simply spin on the detachable lid portion.
Tip: Before installing the snap-on ring, be sure there’s a gasket (O-ring) seated inside. This is what provides the main bucket-to-lid air-tight seal. Also be sure there actually is an O-ring around the perimeter of the spin on/off lid (in case it fell out). This provides the air-tight seal of the removable lid.
Gamma Seal Lid Features
- Air tight to a reasonable extent (due to the rubber gaskets)
- Easy and Fast to open (spin on/off)
- Variety of colors may assist inventory control
- Stack-able to an extent
- Re-sealed over and over again
- Protects contents while providing easy access
- Keeps dry foods fresher longer (eg dog food)
- Leak proof (two gaskets, one on each part)
- Keeps insects and moisture out
- BPA free and Food Grade safe
The Many Uses For A Gamma Seal Lid
- Dry pet food storage
- ‘Working’ inventory storage of dry foods (rice, wheat, beans, oatmeal, etc..)
- Very handy when accessing every day items
- Emergency supplies
- Camping and Fishing gear
- Bulk Laundry Detergents (larger sizes save you money)
- Potting/Planting Soil Mix
- Boating (keep towels dry, part spares, etc.)
- Pesticides, Chemicals
- Chicken Feed
- 100’s of other uses!
This is what I use gamma lids for around here…
For us personally, we have primarily been using the gamma seal lids for our bulk working inventory of wheat berries (for bread and pizza crust!), rye (mixed with wheat for bread), rice, sugar (though we don’t use that much sugar around here).
Tip regarding sugar storage: Some time ago I had purchased a big bag of sugar and dumped it in a 5-gallon bucket. Eventually it turned into a brick. Maybe because I kept it on a cold concrete floor – possibly creating condensation to some extent (enough to brick the sugar). Nowadays I just buy the small bags (4 pounders?) and set them in the bucket without dumping. Set bucket on piece of wood resting on concrete floor.
We used to use gamma lids for dry dog food too. Though our dog is now on “wet” canned food.
A Few More Tips
STACKING: With Gamma Seal Lids, avoid stacking buckets too high if the contents are heavy. This puts additional stress on the threaded lids. A typical 5 gallon pail of rice or wheat weighs about 30 pounds. If you stack them more than two high I would simply place a board between each one so the weight is transferred to the bucket’s edge (no problem).
LABELS: While color coded gamma lids help, we label each and every bucket. It’s easy if you use “white artist tape” because it will peel off readily later on, and a Sharpie writes on it quite well.
LUBRICATE GASKETS: To extend longevity and pliability of the rubber O-ring gaskets, DO NOT use petroleum jelly or petroleum based lubricants because this will eventually ruin (eat) the rubber. Instead use a silicone lube such as silicone plumbers grease:
Gamma Seal Lids are available from a number of sources, and their prices vary by quantity.
Are Gamma Seal Lids Worth It?
Are they worth the money? Yes, I believe they are worth it.
In my opinion there are uses where it’s so convenient that it is worth the money (see example list below).
If you seal a bucket with the standard snap-on lid, it becomes very difficult to remove and is certainly NOT convenient for accessing its contents from time to time.
Tip: For standard lids, you need a special tool (bucket lid wrench / pail opener). This one is a better one because it’s metal (aluminum). Whereas the plastic one’s aren’t as good:
Winco Pail Opener
What about you? Do any of you use Gamma Lids?
Like I said earlier, we like them for our working inventory of dry goods and others that we access from time to time. Easy in, easy spin.