When you're making kombucha, it is essential that you sanitize your brewing and fermentation equipment. If you don't sanitize your equipment, you can introduce harmful bacteria into the mix and end up making yourself and/or others sick. *
There are several ways you can sanitize your equipment.
For cloth (such as the tea towel / dish rag and the optional cheesecloth), a regular machine washing with hot water should suffice, but you can also use bleach if you'd like.
For your glass fermentation vessel, storage bottles or jars, and spoon, you can sanitize with pure apple cider vinegar, a bleach solution (made of one gallon water and one tablespoon bleach) or a commercial sanitizer (such as quaternary sanitizer
or a barware / beer brewing sanitizer
If you're using apple cider vinegar to sanitize your equipment, be sure to expose all of the brewing / fermentation surfaces to the sanitizer and then allow them to air-dry before you use them.
If you're using a bleach solution to sanitize your equipment, soak each item in the bleach solution for two minutes, then rinse and air dry.
If you're using a commercial sanitizer, follow the sanitation instructions provided.
* Wait to sanitize your storage bottles until after the kombucha has fermented. Just be sure not to forget! Also, be sure to wash your hands well before you work on your kombucha, and sanitize your hands with apple cider vinegar each time you plan to handle the SCOBY.