OK, I said I’d give an honest review of the Carboy Cleaner™ that I won at Homebrewtalk.com so here it is!. First of all, I was notified that I had won on Sunday December 1tth 2011. I quickly provided my mailing address so they could get it shipped the next day. At least that was what they told me in a message on the forums. Looks like they were true to their word too. I received the Carboy Cleaner™ on Friday December 16th 2011. Considering that this is the Christmas season and mail normally takes forever, I was very happy to see that tube sticking out of the mail box!. Packing was a standard shipping tube from the USPS. Nothing to worry about there. The Carboy Cleaner™ itself is very well made. a shaft of stainless steel with the cleaning pads attached to one end. The packaging had simple instruction on how to use it and if you’ve ever seen their video it says pretty much the same thing. Nothing elaborate or fancy but don’t forget this is a cleaning tool. How well does it clean? read on…..
I wanted to put the Carboy Cleaner™ through a rigorous test so I grabbed that carboy which has been sitting in a closet for the last 5+ years. You know, the one with stuff (unknown what it is) hardened to the bottom and side. This is it here before cleaning. Now for a bit of a background on the carboy, I have 2 others (and 3 buckets) that I have been fermenting in. The other 2 were in as bad shape when I resumed brewing after a break that lasted a bout 3 years. To clean the others I soaked them in a bleach solution for several weeks, then scrubbed and scrubbed with the infernal carboy brush. I would rinse and repeat until it was spotless. This took a LOT of time which is why I only cleaned 2 of the three. My expectations of the Carboy Cleaner™ at this point are frankly low. After all I KNOW how hard this crap is to get off with prolonged soaks and endless scrubbing.
So I begin by adding 4-5 cups of hot water and some Oxyclean™ as the direction indicate (add 4-5 cups of water and you favorite cleaning solution/powder). I let this sit for a couple minutes so the powder would dissolve as much as it could before inserting the Carboy Cleaner™. After a minute or 2 I stuff the Carboy Cleaner™ into the neck of the carboy. Let me tell you this thing was a tight fit! Just as I started to entertain thoughts of it being stuck, it popped in. I lowered it into the water/oxyclean and let the pads soak some up liquid. Then it was time to clean! I squeezed the trigger of my cordless drill and the carboy started to jump. Now at this time it was on the table because it made taking pictures easier. I realized that wasn’t a good idea and moved it to the floor. This time when I hit the trigger everything spun just like the video. I moved the cleaner up and down and into the neck and repeated a few times. Pulling the Carboy Cleaner™ was harder than inserting it since the pads had absorbed liquid and increased their size slightly. In a way that was a good thing as it makes sure the neck is cleaned real well. As the pads came out the neck of the carboy the excess liquid was squeezed out. Next it was time to rinse and see how well cleaned. Here’s the after pic. Now remember, on the other 2 carboys I had to soak for weeks and then scrub, rinse and repeat. This is after cleaning for maybe 2 minutes of time. Did it get every thing out? Sadly no. However, it got out a LOT more than I expected. This stuff was hardened on and has been there for a LONG time. It did get about 95-98% of the crap off and I’m sure if I let the carboy soak for an hour and then clean it everything would have come out.
In all I’m very impressed with the Carboy Cleaner™ as it performed as advertised and did much better than I had hoped for a carboy that was in horrible condition just 2 minutes before. On a normal carboy that only has fresh crud from fermentation in it this will clean it spotless in just a couple minutes of time. I’m so impressed that I will be getting the Keg Cleaner™ to help make sure my serving kegs are spotless as well. With that I would like to say THANKS!!! to the fine folks at Carboy Cleaner™. You have an incredible product and it truly transforms the task of cleaning a carboy from one that was dreaded to one that I look forward to doing as soon as the carboy is empty. I also want to thanks Homebrewtalk.com for allowing vendors to do these giveaways. Pick up a Carboy Cleaner™ from Brewmasters Warehouse