I've acquired a handful of different size carboys over the years and all of them are serviceable, but one has some deposits/staining inside. It's near the top of the vessel, a few inches down from the neck and looks sort of like hard water deposits. I'm not sure what it is, but I know that the following haven't removed it: hot soap/water + carboy brush, bleach water, white vinegar, muriatic (dilute HCl) acid. I've brewed in this vessel, and I don't believe the deposits are going to have an adverse affect on the product, but the obsessive side of me would like to get it cleaned up. Any tips on stubborn carboy stains/deposits?

3 Answers 3


Hot PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash from Five Star Chemcials) takes off everything I've thrown at it.

  • Can you expand the acronym PBW please? Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 11:50
  • Powdered Brewery Wash, from Five Star Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 12:12
  • I finally got around to trying this over the weekend. it didn't fully remove the stain, but it made much better progress than anything else. I'll probably give it a second dose this week to see if it full clears up. Thanks for the tip! Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 21:54
  • Actually, the trademarked name of the product is just PBW. The phrase "Powdered Brewery Wash" doesn't appear anywhere on the product or on its tech sheet. Perhaps that was the origin of the name, but it's not currently used by Five Star.
    – Hank
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 18:50

For carboys, bottles, and bottling buckets I've had good success with OxyClean. I always rinse and sanitize right after.

  • Me too. And I already have it on hand for laundry - unscented is best.
    – danafr4
    Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 19:03
  • I just washed a bunch of old returnables in OxyClean this weekend, and while it did a great job of removing crud from the bottles, I wound up with a powdery residue on the bottles. Another scrub and rinse removed the majority of it, but there's still some. Is this common? Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 21:55
  • Hadn't run into that myself. Perhaps the concentration of oxyclean was too high??
    – mummey
    Commented Jan 9, 2011 at 21:19

A 20-minute soak in Diversol has never let me down. It sanitizes, too!

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