Count on me for OxyClean unscented powder. I put a scoop in a 5 gallon bucket of hot water to clean bottles. It makes the labels come off instantly and loosens any dirt inside. I put 5 boxes of empties through that one bucket of soap last week and they came out sparkling clean.
Oxiclean is widely available, but PWB is even stronger. Both will be fine. OxiClean is worth it. This cleaning agent is very effective and can even be used to remove beer labels when collecting bottles from breweries.
I use 1-2 tablespoons per 6 gallons of fermenter in hot water (do not use hot water for carboys). Rinse thoroughly after use.
About once a year we do a thorough cleaning of this hot-side brewer by heating and dissolving a scoop or two of OxiClean powder in the Boil Kettle and circulating it through all the hoses, pumps and the chiller for an hour or two 170F to get rid of buildup.
One of the most respected books on home brewing, How to Brew by John Palmer, recommends using a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water and soaking the bottles for 20 minutes; others suggest using two tablespoons per 5 gallons and soaking for 10. I myself have used the Palmer method. Rinse the bottles after soaking.
Mix 1-4 scoops of OxiClean per gallon of hot water. Use a scoop of OxiClean and add just enough drops of water to form a paste.
Soak in a solution of bleach and hot water. Rinse thoroughly with distilled water. Dry in a clean, hot oven and further sterilize . Fill and cap bottles immediately to avoid contamination.
The problem is: Oxiclean just doesn’t work as well as PBW. It doesn’t remove buildup as well as PBW, it doesn’t rinse off as easily, and if you have hard water it can leave scale on your gear.
How much OxyClean is used per gallon of water? I use 2-3 heaping tbsp. per barrel.
A common cleaning agent in breweries is caustic soda, which is either sodium or potassium hydroxide (NaOH or KOH). It is used at concentrations between 1% and 4% and should be used at temperatures between 50°C and 70°C (120°F – 160°F).
These calculations suggest that OxiClean consists of 34.1% sodium carbonate and 65.9% sodium percarbonate.
The active ingredient in OxiClean is a generic white powder called sodium percarbonate. Generic sodium percarbonate is better than OxiClean because OxiClean is only half sodium percarbonate. The rest of the product consists of soda ash (see above) and inert fillers.
Sterilizing baby bottles with bleach
Mix 1 teaspoon of unscented bleach in 16 cups of hot water. Submerge the bottles in the solution, making sure there are no air bubbles at the bottom emerge of the bottles. Soak the bottles for two to five minutes, then remove them with clean tongs.
Sanitizing homebrew equipment with unscented household bleach as an alternative disinfectant is very effective, but it doesn’t take much – Charlie Papazian recommends using 1-2 ounces of regular, non-concentrated bleach per gallon of cold water, and soak and dry for about 30 minutes.
To clean beer bottles, start by filling a tub with cold water and 4 tablespoons of bleach per 1 gallon of water and submerging the bottles in the solution for 15 minutes. To remove the labels, soak the bottles in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach per 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes, then air dry upside down.