Cleaning Agents

Here are a few sanitizing and cleaning agents available to the brewer, and their uses
Cleaning Agent



Chlorine Bleach


Sodium Metabisulfite or Potassium Metabisulfite

Washing Soda


Can be used to wash bottles and containers, but is difficult to work with because of strong odor. 1 cup per 5 gallons for washing. DO NOT COMBINE with chlorine cleaners! This creates chlorine gas!

A cleaner that is especially made for surfaces in contact with beer. Follow directions on container.

This is what I prefer, and use for sanitizing purposes. 2 ounces in five gallons is all you need, but higher concentrations will remove gunk rather well, especially leftover gunk in primary fermentors. Rinse thoroughly with hot water anying that is in contact with chlorine.

A good detergent can be used to wash the surface of glass or plastic.

Both of these are available as a powder or as tablets (Camden tablets). They are widely used in wine making but neither of these is suitable for beer brewing because they depend on the acidic content of the solution to be effective

Can also be used to wash glass and plastic containers. It is especially good for removing labels from bottles. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup per 5 gallons

This can be added to water to create a sanitizing solution. Soak cleaned items in the solution for 2 minutes to sanitize. Solution is good as long as some color remains. Do not use as a cleaning agent.