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Thread: Sanitizing with alcohol

  1. Default Sanitizing with alcohol

    Any thoughts on wiping down equiptment with either cheap vodka or rubbing alcohol? Getting tired of mixing relatively large(couple of gallons to soak stuff) amounts of Iodophor to be used once then tossed away only to mix more a couple of weeks later.
    Thanks, Jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Brisbane Australia

    Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    I use sodium Bi-meta (at much stronger levels than what you add to your mead) for sanitizing, but I re-use it until I feel that I need some fresh stuff. It is usually mixed strong enough to burn your nose if you sniff it.

    The clean-ness of the sodium bi-meta is dependent on what I have cleaned in it over the past month. I also like to rinse after sanitizing (that's a lot of boiled water), so that no off flavours get imparted by the bi-meta.

  3. Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol


    Sanitizing with alcohol should work just fine.

    Whatever you use, you may find it easier to use a spray bottle. That way you don't use as much and you don't have to mix up new stuff for every batch.


  4. Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    The spray bottle(with rubbing alcohol)was something I just started using last night for the hose and "stone" of the O2 system. That and the hydrometer and other assorted little repetitive stuff are what is a pain. I don't mind mixing a few gallons for the bucket or carboy and a bunch of stuff all at once.
    Thanks, Jon

  5. #5
    Alkane Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    Isopropyl seems to be doing just fine for me. I use a commercial mixture used for cleanroom environments called Septihol (sp?)

    But, there are some considerations for mixing it up yourself

    Make sure you are using at least a 70% mixture, if you dilute from 100% try using distilled water.

    I personlly like isopropyl better than ethanol (for cleaning only ) Isopropyl is more viscous than ethanol and hangs out on surfaces longer.

  6. Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    I didn't even dilute it, I just poured plain old 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol into a handy spray bottle(read used and well cleaned Windex bottle) sprayed it on and wiped it off allowing the remainder to quickly evaporate.
    Thanks, Jon

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    I would strongly advise AGAINST using rubbing alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, to sanitize anything which will be used for making mead or anything to be consumed by a person. If you use alcohol get some cheap vodka or something about 140 proof or 70% ethanol. This level of ethanol is used in cell culture situations to kill anything which might be on growth media, work surfaces, etc and to maintain sterility.

    Isopropyl alcohol is NOT good for people and according to a material safety data sheet on the stuff

    70% Isopropyl Alcohol
    Emergency Overview
    No data available.
    Route(s) of Entry: Inhalation? Yes , Skin? Yes , Eyes? Yes , Ingestion? Yes
    Potential Health Effects (Acute and Chronic)
    No data available.
    Carcinogenicity: NTP? N.A. , IARC Monographs? N.A. , OSHA Regulated? N.A.
    Carcinogenicity/Other Information
    No data available.
    Signs and Symptoms Of Exposure
    Early to moderate CNS depression may be evidenced by giddiness, headache, dizziness and nausea; in extreme cases, unconsciousness, respiratory depression and death may occur.

    Medical Conditions Generally Aggravated By Exposure
    Pre-existing eye and/or skin irritation, respiratory, and/or digestive disorders.

    Basically please use ethanol to sanitize your equipment so you can enjoy your mead...

  8. Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    I appreciate your concern. Given that the wiped off alcohol evaporates immediately, I doubt ingestion is a huge concern. That being said, I'll check into higher octane vodka as most of the stuff I've seen in the state store is about 40%.
    Thanks, Jon

  9. #9
    Alkane Gotmead Visitor

    Default Re: Sanitizing with alcohol

    Yeah, Yabodie has a good point.
    You want to be careful using IPA (isopropyl alcohol).
    There are some considerations when using this method.

    - Always use in a well ventilated area.
    - Rinse everything well. IPA has a strong aroma and can easily be detected with just a quick "whiff". If you even think you smell it, rinse some more.
    - All it takes is just a quick mist to sterilize most surfaces. No need to drown anything in IPA.
    - And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! keep away from open flames. As most of us know alcohol will burn nearly invisible in sunlight.

    And by no means am I saying this is the best way to sanitize your stuff, I'm just saying that if this is the method you choose, please use caution.

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