The topic of this bulletin is cleaning and the steps necessary in a proper wash up. I hope that you find it interesting and informative.

There are several components to a proper wash up of your dairy. These include temperature, chemical concentration, and washing action; if any of these factors are ignored they will eventually lead to major problems. The surface being cleaned also needs to be taken into consideration.

The first thing I would like to do is define two terms that are sometimes used interchangeable. That is cleaning, the removal of dirt, and sanitizing, the treatment of a cleaned surface usually with a chemical agent in order to kill bacteria. Remember that a surface can appear clean, but if it has not been treat with a sanitizing product it has not been sanitized.

Temperature is very important in any cleaning operation. Research has shown that for every rise in temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit the effectiveness of cleaning doubles, this is true to a point. Butterfat begins to melt at 98 degrees, but to fully be in a liquid state the temperature should be 100-110 degrees. To ensure that all the fats and proteins are flowing freely the return water should be at least 130 degrees. However, it is very important to remember that the pre-rinse of the system is done with cold water. If hot water is used instead of rinsing away the milk residue it will be cooked inside the pipes making its removal harder.

Chemical concentration should always be in manufactures recommended amounts. To little will not be affective and to much will be harder to rinse out of the system, maybe harmful to your equipment, and will be a waste of your money. One example of over using a cleaner is chlorine. High amounts will cause the deterioration of rubber fitting and gaskets. Chlorine is corrosive to nearly everything it comes into contact with, especially stainless steel and rubber. Its use should be limited and controlled. Remember NEVER mix chemicals, some chemical when mixed can producer poisonous gases.

The action or physical force exerted on the surface to clean it is another factor to consider. The degree of action in pipes is determined by the velocity or pressure inside the pipe. If there is not enough pressure to completely fill the pipe only the bottom half will get cleaned and a bio film will build up on the top half and in bends.

The question is not, Can we save some time and money now? But should we spend a little time and money now, or a lot more later trying to fixed the problems caused by improper cleaning. I hope that this information will be helpful in the management of your dairy.