Author Topic: What's the best cleaner?  (Read 1962 times)

Offline gmac

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What's the best cleaner?
« on: April 25, 2011, 12:23:57 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?

Offline tumarkin

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 12:25:56 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
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline denny

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 12:43:12 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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 12:53:40 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.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 08:40:26 PM »
+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.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 08:46:12 PM »
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.
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Offline nateo

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 09:29:39 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.
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Offline denny

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 08:38:56 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.

PBW isn't an alkali, is it?   :o
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 09:23:13 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.

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
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Offline bluesman

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2011, 09:25:10 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.

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.
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Offline denny

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 09:25:42 AM »
Thanks....here's the info from 5 Star if anyone is interested....

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

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2011, 09:28:30 AM »
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.
Ron Price

Offline nateo

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2011, 09:31:08 AM »
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.


« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 09:33:43 AM by nateo »
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Offline gmac

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2011, 12:16:58 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.

Offline nateo

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Re: What's the best cleaner?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 01:35:14 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.
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