View Full Version : Sanitizing with Clorox

07-05-2009, 08:34 PM
I've heard that an option to sanitizing all the equipment is using 1 tablespoon of clorox for every gallon of water. Before going ahead with this method and ruining my first three batches with this, is it safe? Any precautions I should take? And how many rinses should I do to get rid of it all?

Jason Frantz
07-05-2009, 08:59 PM
rinse until you cant smell it anymore, and you should be ok..

07-05-2009, 10:54 PM
Bleach works as a sanitizer and is cheap to use but you do need to rinse thoroughly as Jason said. It's an inexpensive way to go but don't use a scented bleach to sanitize your equipment. Being a homebrewer, I use a no-rinse sanitizer such as Iodophor which is more expensive to use but it works as well and I don't have to worry about rinsing. Star San is another option for a no-rinse santizer. I personally don't use bleach to sanitize but it can work for you. Just rinse well because it's pretty high power stuff and residual bleach can affect the flavors of your finished mead. Soak in the diluted bleach solution, rinse and it can work well.


07-05-2009, 11:12 PM
Sanitizing...the bane of mead making existence!
Not to hijack, but mind if I ask Buzzer a quick question...I've had a few small bottles of Idophor sitting around for a long time but I don't know what proportions I should use of idophor to water?

Thanks, man.


07-06-2009, 08:50 AM
I've heard that an option to sanitizing all the equipment is using 1 tablespoon of clorox for every gallon of water. Before going ahead with this method and ruining my first three batches with this, is it safe? Any precautions I should take? And how many rinses should I do to get rid of it all?

Bleach can react and pit equipment made from stainless steel. These pits can end up being places for bacteria and other nasties to get into to. Bleach could be good for plastics, but keep it away from your stainless. I use hot water, anti-bacterial dishwashing detergent and One-Step...and lots of soaking and elbow grease.

07-06-2009, 10:57 PM
How much Iodophor to use in solution to sanitize? Well it depends how much water you are diluting it in. In a few gallons of water a couple capfuls will turn the water to a tannish, light brown color. If you can see it, it's in there working. After using it long enough you get to know how much to use by the color of the resulting solution.

Now a classic definition comes from John Palmer's book How to Brew, "Iodophor is a solution of iodine complexed with a polymer carrier that is very convenient to use. One tablespoon in 5 gallons of water (15 ml in 19 l) is all that is needed to sanitize equipment with a two minute soak time. This produces a concentration of 12.5 ppm (parts per million) of titratable iodine. Soaking equipment longer, for 10 minutes, at the same concentration will disinfect surfaces to hospital standards. At 12.5 ppm, the solution has a faint brown color that you can use to monitor the solution's viability. If the solution loses its color, it no longer contains enough free iodine to work. There is no advantage to using more than the specified amount of iodophor. In addition to wasting the product, you risk exposing yourself and your beer to excessive amounts of iodine.

Iodophor will stain plastic with long exposures, but that is only a cosmetic problem. The 12.5 ppm concentration does not need to be rinsed, but the item should be allowed to drain before use. Even though the recommended concentration is well below the taste threshold, I rinse everything with a little bit of cooled boiled water to avoid any chance of off-flavors, but that's me."

Personally unlike John Palmer, I don't rinse articles when using an Iodophor solution but I do let it drain. Also, if you have the means to keep the Iodophor solution enclosed so fresh air doesn't get contact with it, the color will hang in there and it remains active at killing bacteria for a longer time. If you remember when iodine was used on cuts and scrapes, the principle is the same, it is bactericidal. Hope that helps you Sunny. Just remember, the real bane of making mead, beer or wine is not adequately sanitizing your equipment and having it spoil the batch you worked so hard to make. Just be careful, iodine can stain clothes.

07-06-2009, 11:35 PM
Thanks, Buzzer!

That's very helpful! I think I love idophor! (Especially if it doesn't have to be rinsed... Not (only) because I'm lazy, but mostly 'cause I don't like to waste water. I'm always so conscious of how much water I use sanitizing everything!)

You are right...A spoiled batch would be the biggest BANE ever! (as far as brewing goes) I am very thankful that hasn't yet happened to me. That would far exceed the sadness of wasting water!


07-07-2009, 11:18 AM
While iodophor is more expensive than bleach, it's not that expensive. I pay $16 for a liter of it and it lasts me well over a year. And I use it pretty often.

IMHO, the best thing about it is that the color fades with use, telling you when it's time to mix a new batch of it. Bleach solution will smel like bleach solution even after its sanitizing properties are used up.


07-16-2009, 06:18 PM
Thanks for all the advice! I decided to go for a no rinse, star san, but I've ran into a snag. I was mopping my floor with Lysol all purpose cleaner using the sink I'd be using to sanitize. I've rinsed and rinsed with hot and cold water, but I can still smell the lysol smell. Is it safe to to go ahead and sanitize my equipment and brew?
Note: the back says it also works as a sanitizer and makes no mention of what to do if you ingest it... but it is still a chemical that I'm worried will mess up my next three batches.

Medsen Fey
07-16-2009, 06:33 PM
You can wash it out with hot soapy water, and after that, rinse it and then you should have no problem using the sink to sanitize equipment. And residual Lysol will be insignificant.