PBW Vs OxiClean (Performance, Price, Pros, and Cons!)

Thick Brush Stroke
Thick Brush Stroke

PBW is a more effective brewing equipment cleaner than OxiClean. PBW is specially formulated to work with brewing equipment and while it may be more expensive than OxiClean, its inclusion of sodium metasilicate makes it a better option for homebrewers. 

Since PBW was specifically created with the beverage industry’s cleaning needs in mind, it is a better choice for brewing equipment than OxiClean.  

What is PBW?

PBW stands for Powdered Brewery Wash, and it is specifically formulated for brewing equipment. It was created by Five Star Chemicals, a company that has been servicing breweries, wineries, distilleries, and other beverage-related businesses since 1980.  

What are the ingredients of PBW?

Sodium carbonate: an alkaline salt frequently used in cleansers and detergent Sodium carbonate peroxide: when combined with water, it bleaches and oxidize Tetrasodium iminodisuccinate: a plant-derived rinsing aid and water-softener

Trisodium dicarboxymethyl alaninate: a stabilizing agent used in detergent Sodium metasilicate: effective at removing organic matter Polypropylene glycol: a wetting agent, used as lubricant Sodium lauryl sulfate: a cleansing and foaming agent frequently found in shampoo  Dimethicone: a silicone-based smoothing agent Sodium hydroxide: Neutralizes acids and is frequently used in cleaners and bleaches.


PBW is highly effective at cleaning brewing equipment without causing hard water scaling or leaving behind residues after rinsing


– Environmentally friendly and biodegradable – Very effective cleaner – Will not cause hard water scaling on equipment – Can be used for other household cleaning, like cleaning out a dishwasher or washing machine – Can be used to clean aluminum pot


– More expensive than other cleaner – May not be gentle on skin – Must be rinsed off equipment

Is OxiClean the same as PBW?

Oxiclean is less alkaline than PBW, so the two are not the same.  

What is OxiClean?

Oxiclean releases sodium carbonate to bind organic or inorganic material to clean them away.  

What are the ingredients of OxiClean? 

As they aren’t required to disclose all of their ingredients, much of what makes up Oxiclean is considered a trade secret. However, Oxiclean has many of the same ingredients as PBW, save for the sodium metasilicate. 


Oxiclean works well to clean all sorts of surfaces, equipment, and laundry. However, without that sodium metasilicate, it is slightly less effective than PBW at cleaning brewing equipment


– Widely available – Significantly less expensive – Biodegradable – Can be used for other things throughout the home, including cleaning surfaces and laundry


– The fragrance free version may not be as easily found – Cannot be used on aluminum brew pot – Can irritate skin – Must be rinsed off equipment

For more posts like this, visit Learning to Homebrew