Which Sterilizer or Cleaner Should I use?


What is the difference between sterilizers and cleaners for homebrewing and wine making?


Means that all the organic material and debris are removed for the container in which you are cleaning. Simply put, all the crusty and stickies are off the container.

Quick Tip: it is a lot easier to rinse out a bottle or carboy when it is recently emptied. Thoroughly rinsing the sediment out with a: bottle washer, bottle brush or carboy brush.

Sterilizing (Sanitizing)

Although Sterilizing is a word that is commonly used for home brewing, “Sanitizing” is the proper term, as Sterilizing requires you to boil everything or autoclave it. Sanitizing removes that yeast and bacteria that is on the equipment.

Available Cleaning Products at Danny's Wine & Beer

DIVERSOL (also known as B-Brite)

Diversol Powder - Used for cleaning wine and beer equipment

Diversol (AKA B-Brite) is a chlorine based cleaner, great for removing stain for bottles. The generally cleaning solution is 50g / 1 Gallon (4 Litres) of water. But you can make this solution stronger if need be. Remember to rinse thoroughly after applying diversol.

Quick Tip: If the stains are on the base of the bottle, add a teaspoon of diversol and add 20 - 50 mL of water. Agitate the bottle so that the diversol dissolves and let the solution sit (Even over night if need be) you will see the stains lift off the bottle.

Sanitizer's to buy at Danny's

Sodium Metabisulfite

Sodium Metabisulfite - Sanitizer for wine making

Sodium Metabisulfite is generally used for wine making. The generally solution is 50 g / 4 Litres (1 Gallon) of water. You want to coat everything that the wine / beer touches, ensuring it kills bacteria and wild yeasts. This solution can be reused – as long as the sulfur smell is present the solution can be used.

Potassium Metibisulfite

is also used to sanitize, but it costs more. Potassium Metibisulfite is also used for stabilization in small amounts.

Aseptox / Oxy San / Percabonate Bases

Aseptox Cleaning solution for wine and beer making

There has been a move away from sulfites in wines and Aseptox is a good alternative for both wine and beer making. Since it is a percarbonate base, there is little to no smell and it is considered a “no-rinse”. Aseptox cleans on contact but cannot be used multiple times (compared to the sulfite bases)


Used mostly for beer making, has been known to stain equipment. It works well and only a small amount is needed - about 1 tablespoon for 5 Gallons. It is recommended that you soak the equipment in the solution for 10 minutes for it to be sanitized.


Aseptox is a newer generation sanitizer and we have been happy with the results for both beer and wine making, it is reasonably priced and does the job as good, if not better than the others. Sodium Metibisulphite is still a main stay as it is the most commonly known as used for wine makers.


  • Clan

    Hi Danny,
    Good pages and a lot of pertinent info. However, being a teaching microbiologist, I am sensitive to precision. Sterilization is not only the question of boiling (which could still be insufficient) or of using an autoclave. Other methods exist, and it has to do with either “killing” all the living cells (bacteria, yeast, or penguins) or with physically (and completely) removing the living cells (for example, by filtering). Sanitation should be viewed as a “good removal, …but not necessarily the perfect one”.

    Still, you are making a great job. Cheers!

  • Andre Morin

    I have used oxy San To clean wine carboy. Is it going To affect wine quality.?

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