PBW vs Oxiclean: Which is the Better Cleaner for Homebrewing?

When it comes to cleaning equipment, using the right products is crucial to maintain the quality and integrity of your . Two popular options for cleaning are powdered brewery wash (PBW) and Oxiclean. In this article, we'll compare the two and discuss their effectiveness and benefits.

Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW):

PBW is a specially formulated cleaner designed for brewery equipment. It is widely used by both homebrewers and commercial breweries due to its effectiveness and safety. Here are some key features of PBW:

1. Powerful Cleaning: PBW is highly effective in removing stubborn stains, residues, and build-up from brewing equipment. It can dissolve organic and inorganic compounds, such as proteins, sugars, oils, and hop oils.

2. Environmental Friendly: PBW is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It does not contain phosphates, chlorine, or any harmful chemicals that can harm the environment. This makes it a great choice for those who prioritize sustainability.

3. Easy to Use: To clean your equipment with PBW, simply dissolve 3/4 oz of PBW cleaner per gallon of 100-160 °F and soak your equipment for 25-35 minutes. Afterward, rinse the equipment thoroughly.

4. Versatile: PBW can be used to clean various brewing equipment, including carboys, buckets, bottles, and stainless steel utensils. It is also safe to use on septic systems and can even be used to clean dishwashers.


Oxiclean is a popular household cleaner that can also be used for brewing equipment. Many homebrewers find it to be a cost-effective alternative to PBW. Here are some important points about Oxiclean:

1. Stain Removal: Oxiclean is known for its ability to remove tough stains, dirt, and grime. It works by oxygenating the stains, making them easier to lift and remove.

2. DIY Alternative: If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, you can create a PBW alternative by mixing 70% Oxiclean with 30% TSP/90 (sodium metasilicate). This mixture can provide a similar cleaning power to PBW.

3. Usage Guidelines: To use Oxiclean for cleaning brewing equipment, dissolve around 1oz (by weight) per gallon of water. Heat the solution to 170°F and recirculate it through your hoses, pumps, and chiller for an hour or two. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Which is Better?

Both PBW and Oxiclean have their advantages and can effectively clean brewing equipment. PBW is specifically designed for breweries, offering powerful cleaning and environmental friendliness. Oxiclean, on the other hand, is a versatile household cleaner that can be used as a cost-effective alternative to PBW.

Ultimately, the choice between PBW and Oxiclean depends on your personal preference, budget, and availability. Some brewers swear by PBW for its professional-grade cleaning, while others find Oxiclean to be a reliable and affordable option.

Keeping your brewing equipment clean is essential for producing high-quality beer. Whether you choose PBW or Oxiclean, following proper cleaning procedures and rinsing thoroughly is crucial to avoid any residue or off-flavors in your brew. Experiment with different products and find the one that works best for you and your brewing setup. Cheers to clean equipment and great beer!

Can You Use OxiClean To Clean Brewing Equipment?

OxiClean can be used to effectively clean brewing equipment. OxiClean is a powerful cleaning agent that contains sodium percarbonate, which helps break down and remove stubborn stains, dirt, and buildup. When used properly, it can effectively clean various brewing equipment such as kettles, hoses, pumps, and chillers.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use OxiClean to clean brewing equipment:

1. Prepare the equipment: Ensure that all the brewing equipment is empty and free from any residual liquids or debris. Disassemble any removable parts if possible.

2. Mixing the solution: Fill the Boil Kettle with warm water and add a scoop or two of OxiClean powder. The exact amount may vary depending on the size of the equipment and the level of buildup. Follow the instructions on the OxiClean packaging for the recommended dosage.

3. Heating the solution: Heat the solution in the Boil Kettle to around 170°F (77°C). This temperature helps activate the cleaning properties of OxiClean and aids in dissolving any buildup or residue.

4. Recirculating the solution: Connect the hoses, pumps, and chiller to create a closed loop system. Start recirculating the OxiClean solution through the equipment, ensuring that all parts are thoroughly cleaned. Allow the solution to circulate for at least an hour or two, depending on the extent of the buildup.

5. Rinsing and flushing: After the cleaning process, disconnect the equipment and drain out the OxiClean solution. Rinse all the components thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining OxiClean residue. It is essential to ensure that no traces of OxiClean are left behind, as it can affect the taste and quality of the brewed beverages.

6. Inspection and reassembly: Once rinsed, inspect all the equipment for any signs of remaining buildup or residue. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process or manually scrub any stubborn areas. After confirming the equipment is clean, reassemble all the parts and ensure they are properly connected.

Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for both your brewing equipment and the OxiClean product you are using. Additionally, always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, when handling cleaning chemicals.

OxiClean can be a highly effective cleaning agent for brewing equipment. By dissolving a scoop or two of OxiClean powder in warm water and recirculating it through the equipment at an elevated temperature, you can remove stubborn stains and buildup, ensuring your brewing equipment is thoroughly cleaned and ready for use.

powdered brewery wash vs oxiclean

How Do You Use Powdered Brewery Wash?

To effectively use powdered brewery wash (PBW) to clean your brewing equipment, follow these steps:

1. Begin by rinsing your carboy, bucket, bottles, or any other brewing equipment you wish to clean. This step helps remove any visible debris or residue.

2. Next, prepare a cleaning solution by dissolving 3/4 ounce of PBW cleaner per gallon of water. The water temperature should be between 100 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 71 degrees Celsius). It is essential to use hot water as it aids in the cleaning process.

3. Once the PBW is dissolved in the water, submerge your equipment in the hot solution. Ensure that all surfaces are fully immersed. This soaking process allows the PBW to break down and remove stubborn stains, residues, and organic materials from your brewing equipment.

4. Let the equipment soak in the PBW solution for approximately 25 to 35 minutes. This duration allows enough time for the cleaner to work its magic and effectively remove any dirt or contaminants.

5. After the soaking time has elapsed, carefully remove the equipment from the PBW solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Make sure to wash away any remaining PBW cleaner from all surfaces.

6. Now, your brewing equipment is ready for the final step of sanitization. Use your preferred sanitizing solution, such as Star San, to sanitize the equipment. Follow the instructions provided by the sanitizer manufacturer for the appropriate dilution ratio and contact time.

By following these steps, you can effectively use powdered brewery wash (PBW) to clean your brewing equipment, ensuring it is free from dirt, residues, and contaminants before moving on to the sanitization process.


Cleaning products such as OxiClean and PBW are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of brewing equipment. These products offer effective cleaning solutions that remove debris, build-up, and stains from various surfaces, ensuring that your equipment is in optimal condition for brewing.

OxiClean is a versatile cleaner that can be used for a multitude of purposes, from cleaning carboys and buckets to stainless steel utensils and even dishwashers. Its powerful formula dissolves and removes tough stains, making it a reliable choice for deep cleaning.

On the other hand, PBW is specifically designed for brewing equipment and offers a gentle yet thorough cleaning solution. Its biodegradable and environmentally friendly composition makes it a preferred choice among home brewers. PBW effectively dissolves residue and build-up, ensuring that your brewing equipment is free from any contaminants that could affect the quality of your beer.

Both OxiClean and PBW are easy to use. Simply dissolve the recommended amount in hot water, soak your equipment for the specified time, and rinse thoroughly. Once cleaned, your equipment is ready for sanitization with a suitable sanitizing solution.

It is important to note that while these cleaning products are highly effective, it is always recommended to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal usage. Regular cleaning and maintenance of brewing equipment not only improve the quality of your beer but also extend the lifespan of your equipment.

Investing in quality cleaning products such as OxiClean and PBW is a wise decision for home brewers. By incorporating regular cleaning into your brewing routine, you can ensure that your equipment remains in excellent condition, resulting in consistently great-tasting beer. So, don't overlook the importance of cleaning products when it comes to brewing – they are the unsung heroes that keep your equipment performing at its best.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.