Cleaning versus Sanitizing Proper sanitation is the most important step to successfully crafting your own wine. Poor sanitation is the number one cause of spoiled wine and can be easily avoided with the proper attention. Cleaning is NOT the same as sanitizing. Cleaning uses water, cleaning agents (e.g. detergents), and mechanical means (e.g. water pressure or bristle brush) to remove organic and inorganic matter. Cleaning agents break down, solubilize, and disperse contaminants into water, so the contaminants can be washed away. Sanitizing uses specialized chemicals to inhibit/kill micro-organisms, such as yeasts and bacteria, down to an acceptable level. Poor cleaning and sanitizing regimens are common causes of problems, typically microbial spoilage. Download Cleaning & Sanitizing PDF Clean and sanitize ALL equipment that will come into contact with juice/wine. Use appropriate cleaning and sanitizing agents for the type of material, i.e. glass, stainless steel, plastic, oak barrels, etc. Some products include cleaning and sanitizing agents to perform both steps into one. NOTE: If you are also a beer maker, some products may not be adequate or suitable for winemaking equipment and vice versa.