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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: gmac on April 25, 2011, 07:23:57 pm

Title: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: gmac on April 25, 2011, 07:23:57 pm
I was given 4 glass carboys. One has some algae growth in it, the others just need a darn good cleaning. What is the best to really get these sparkling clean. Normally, I'd wash them out with TSP and bleach the heck out of them but is there a better option?
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: tumarkin on April 25, 2011, 07:25:56 pm
PBW (powdered brewery wash) by five star chemicals. the stuff rocks, easy to use, very effective.

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/PBWTech2.pdf
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: denny on April 25, 2011, 07:43:12 pm
I use Oxiclean most of the time and PBW for the critical cleaning (like fermenters).  Even the stuff I clean with Oxiclean gets PBW every 3-5 cleanings.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 25, 2011, 07:53:40 pm
I, too, use a lot of Oxy Clean.  For stubborn gunk, though, I just use Cascade detergent, or whatever unscented brand I can get on sale.

I think I gave PBW a whirl some time ago and didn't find it to be much more effective than Cascade.

Anyway, I have a tub somewhere of some brewery wash I bought years ago.  I rarely, if ever, have used it in the last 5 or more years.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: bluesman on April 26, 2011, 03:40:26 am
+1 to PBW.

Aside from the expense, it is my "go to" cleaner. Oxiclean will do the same level of cleaning but it lacks the "wetting agent" that PBW utilizes.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: Pinski on April 26, 2011, 03:46:12 am
I've found that a nice variety of brushes; carboy, bottle, 1/2" and 1/4" long and short stem for corny tubes, makes my cleaning chores much easier.  PBW and StarSan are my cleaner and sanitizer of choice.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: nateo on April 26, 2011, 04:29:39 am
+1 to PBW. Remember to wear your goggles. Alkali cleaners can really mess up your eyes. I went to the ER for getting a non-brewing related solvent in my eye, and he told me the worst accidents he sees relate to alkali products. Drain-o is strongly basic, and will "turn your cornea into oatmeal," apparently.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: denny on April 26, 2011, 03:38:56 pm
+1 to PBW. Remember to wear your goggles. Alkali cleaners can really mess up your eyes. I went to the ER for getting a non-brewing related solvent in my eye, and he told me the worst accidents he sees relate to alkali products. Drain-o is strongly basic, and will "turn your cornea into oatmeal," apparently.

PBW isn't an alkali, is it?   :o
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: Slowbrew on April 26, 2011, 04:23:13 pm
+1 to PBW. Remember to wear your goggles. Alkali cleaners can really mess up your eyes. I went to the ER for getting a non-brewing related solvent in my eye, and he told me the worst accidents he sees relate to alkali products. Drain-o is strongly basic, and will "turn your cornea into oatmeal," apparently.

PBW isn't an alkali, is it?   :o

According to the description on Northern Brewer it is.  "PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) is a patented alkali cleaner originally developed for Coors, ..."

Paul
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: bluesman on April 26, 2011, 04:25:10 pm
+1 to PBW. Remember to wear your goggles. Alkali cleaners can really mess up your eyes. I went to the ER for getting a non-brewing related solvent in my eye, and he told me the worst accidents he sees relate to alkali products. Drain-o is strongly basic, and will "turn your cornea into oatmeal," apparently.

PBW isn't an alkali, is it?   :o

Yes it's considered a "buffered alkaline detergent". So it uses active oxygen to penetrate carbon and protein soils.

One of the best cleaners on the market IMO.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: denny on April 26, 2011, 04:25:42 pm
Thanks....here's the info from 5 Star if anyone is interested....

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/PBWTech2.pdf
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: bluesman on April 26, 2011, 04:28:30 pm
Thanks....here's the info from 5 Star if anyone is interested....

http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/PBWTech2.pdf

Great info Denny.

I got this info from a Brewstrong show sometime ago when they had a rep from fivestar chemical on the show.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: nateo on April 26, 2011, 04:31:08 pm
Edit: Bluesman beat me to it. Here's the MSDS also:
http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/PBWMSDS2.pdf

The MSDS for PBW recommends rubber gloves and goggles or safety glasses, so it's probably a good idea. MSDS for Star-san requires safety goggles.

I use goggles whenever I handle PBW or Star-san. Probably overkill, and at the recommend dilutions it's probably not THAT big of a deal, but no one ever plans on getting chemicals in their eyes. The last time I went to the ER it cost me about $180 out-of-pocket, which is way more expensive than just wearing my $10 chemical goggles. I also couldn't see for a couple days out of one eye. That's pretty terrifying.


Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: gmac on April 26, 2011, 07:16:58 pm
I'm reading on my phone so I can't open the MSDS sheets. What's the active ingredient?  I wonder if there is a suitable alternative in the dairy industry.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: nateo on April 26, 2011, 08:35:14 pm
Sodium Metasilicate is the active ingredient.

5 star makes a lot of chemicals for the dairy industry too, so I wouldn't be surprised if they used the same compound. With a few simple precautions PBW is as safe as anything else. Definitely safer to use than an automobile.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: BrewArk on April 26, 2011, 09:52:58 pm
Since metasilicate is the main ingredient of the TSP substitutes in hardware stores, the original post offering TSP and bleach should be sufficient if they are on hand.  I'd support that approach.

Personally I find the cost of PBW to be rather high and Oxiclean does not recommend using their product on food contact surfaces.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: punatic on April 27, 2011, 03:14:38 am
I'm a fan of sodium hypochlorite for glass and plastic.  Cheap and effective.

For stainless I use iodophor.  Cheap and effective.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: tumarkin on April 27, 2011, 10:35:21 am
I'm a fan of sodium hypochlorite for glass and plastic.  Cheap and effective.

For stainless I use iodophor.  Cheap and effective.

iodophor is a good sanitizer - but not a cleaner. it's a great for sanitizing stainless, not so great for plastic tubing which ends of taking on the color after soaking.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: blatz on April 27, 2011, 01:20:33 pm
Since metasilicate is the main ingredient of the TSP substitutes in hardware stores, the original post offering TSP and bleach should be sufficient if they are on hand.  I'd support that approach.


I actually use Oxyclean/TSP Sub 50:50 which is approximately what PBW is, less some surfactants.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: denny on April 27, 2011, 03:20:56 pm
Personally I find the cost of PBW to be rather high and Oxiclean does not recommend using their product on food contact surfaces.

I can't imagine why it would be a problem since you rinse it thoroughly.  No doubt a legal thing.  I've been using Oxiclean on brewing equipment for years with no ill effects other than this pesky 3rd arm.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: nateo on April 27, 2011, 04:41:08 pm
Personally I find the cost of PBW to be rather high and Oxiclean does not recommend using their product on food contact surfaces.

I can't imagine why it would be a problem since you rinse it thoroughly.  No doubt a legal thing.  I've been using Oxiclean on brewing equipment for years with no ill effects other than this pesky 3rd arm.

Pesky? Sounds like you'd be able to stir the mash and hold a beer at the same time.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: Mark G on April 27, 2011, 05:22:58 pm
Since metasilicate is the main ingredient of the TSP substitutes in hardware stores, the original post offering TSP and bleach should be sufficient if they are on hand.  I'd support that approach.


I actually use Oxyclean/TSP Sub 50:50 which is approximately what PBW is, less some surfactants.
I do something similar, but use a ratio of about 65:35 Oxyclean to TSP substitute. PBW works great, but the Oxyclean/TSP sub. mix is a fraction of the cost.
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: weithman5 on April 27, 2011, 05:39:04 pm
with no ill effects other than this pesky 3rd arm.

now if i can get that third leg to grow... 8)
Title: Re: What's the best cleaner?
Post by: ajk on April 27, 2011, 07:33:49 pm
Oxiclean will do the same level of cleaning but it lacks the "wetting agent" that PBW utilizes.

Are you talking about a surfactant?  OxiClean has surfactants, but I don't know if they're the same ones or in the same quantities as PBW.

I've more often heard it claimed that OxiClean doesn't have a chelator, leading to inorganic deposits when used with hard water.  I solve that by using it with water run through an ion replacement system ("softener").