How to Clean a Jockey Box: A Guide for Fresh Beer Every Time

Jockey boxes are an excellent way to dispense cold beer and are perfect for any outdoor event or party. However, it is essential to keep them clean and well-maintained to ensure that they work correctly and provide you with the best possible drinking experience. Jason, an expert in the beer industry, will guide you on how to clean and prepare your jockey box to maintain its functionality and extend its lifespan.

Items needed

Cleaning pump or keg

To effectively clean your jockey box and its components, you will need a few key items. First, you'll need a cleaning pump or keg that you can use to flush the cleaner and sanitizer through your jockey box. Look for cleaning kegs that have Sankey D connections, as this will enable you to clean your stainless steel coils, beer couplers, beverage jumpers (beer line), and beer faucets all at the same time.

Our small, portable cleaning pump with a Sankey D cleaning cap attachment is perfect sidekick for outdoor events and can even double as a sprayer to clean other items, like a drain tray or drip tray.


When it comes to cleaner, it's important not to cut corners. Dish soap and ordinary household solutions are not suitable for internal use and can cause damage. Instead, opt for an environmentally-friendly alkaline cleaner that is safe on all of the components and effective in removing organic buildup. We like PBW (powdered brewers wash) for this job.

"A clean system is simply good business. You never want to allow beer or any other beverage to sit idle inside the coils after a day's use, so again to be really clear, jockey boxes should be cleaned immediately after every use." -Ley


For sanitizer, we recommend using an odorless, flavorless, and biodegradable acid-based sanitizer that is high-foaming, like StarSan. This type of sanitizer is particularly effective in penetrating hard-to-reach nooks and crannies and can be applied to other surfaces like couplers and gas and beer lines with a spray bottle and soft cloth.

cleaning pump with coupler attachment

Step 1: Clean Your Jockey Box

The first step in the cleaning process is to use our cleaning keg, which is specifically designed to clean jockey boxes. Our cleaning keg has two Sankey D-style coupler connections, which allows you to clean two lines at the same time. Here's how:

  1. Prepare your cleaning solution: Dissolve (1) 10g tablet of PBW per gallon of hot water. Remember, always add the chemical to water and never the other way around.

  2. Add your cleaning solution to the cleaning keg and seal the lid. Give it a couple of shakes to help dissolve the solution.

  3. Attach and engage your couplers just like you would to a normal keg.

  4. Open your faucet to dispense the solution through your jockey box until it fills the coils completely, and let it soak for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Rinse Your Jockey Box

After cleaning your jockey boxes, it's important to rinse the entire system with hot water to remove any alkaline cleaner residue. Here's how:

  1. Disengage and detach the coupler from the cleaning keg.

  2. Fill your cleaning keg with hot water.

  3. Reattach your coupler and exhaust the rinse water through your jockey box.

Step 3: Sanitize and Purge

Once the system is clean and rinsed, it's time to sanitize it. Sanitizing your jockey box helps eliminate any remaining bacteria or contaminants. Here's how:

  1. Mix your sanitizer solution by adding 1 oz to every (5) five gallons of water.

  2. Add your sanitizer solution to the cleaning keg and seal the lid.

  3. Attach and engage your couplers just like you would to a keg.

  4. Open the beer faucet and allow the sanitizer to be in contact with the coils for at least 1-2 minutes so it can do its job.

  5. Since you’re using a no-rinse sanitizer, all you have to do is let your cleaning keg run dry, leaving CO2 to purge your coils.

cleaning keg with sankey d connections

Setting up the next person for success

By following the proper cleaning procedures you’re doing the right thing by setting up the next person who uses it for success. Taking care of your jockey box by cleaning it regularly will protect your investment and provide a lifetime of reliable use.

Click over to this post for recommendations for end of day procedures, including dumping ice, exterior care, and how to store your jockey box when not in use.

About the author: Jason Ley

Meet Ley - Marketing Manager for G4 Kegs, the largest independent supplier of stainless steel kegs in the beverage alcohol industry. Ley is also a former CEO and author, with over 15 years of executive management, sales, and marketing experience in various industries.

Ley is a Certified Cicerone®, Executive Bourbon Steward, Certified TIPS® Trainer, published freelance journalist, brand consultant, keynote speaker, and creator of an Emmy-nominated non-scripted reality show called Modern Ahabs.

Keep up with Ley on or social media @jasonley


Cleaning after each use ensures that any residual beer or other beverages are removed and that the system is free of any buildup that could affect the quality of the beer being served. It also helps prevent contamination and prolongs the life of the system.

Supplies needed include a cleaning keg, PBW cleaner, Star San sanitizer, and hot water.

No, it's important to use a specialized cleaner like PBW that is safe for all the internal components and effective in cleaning organic material that can build up over time.

We recommend cleaning and sanitizing your jockey box after every use to ensure optimal performance and safety. However, if you are using it frequently, you may need to clean it more often. Additionally, if you notice any off-flavors, it may be an indication that your jockey box needs cleaning.

Yes, StarSan can also be used to sanitize couplers, beer tubing, and beer faucets.

Yes, a cold plate can be cleaned the same way

No, pressurized gas or pumps can push the cleaning solutions through your system. No electricity is needed.