Basic Plastic Container And Pallet Cleaning Instructions

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"Guest Blog by Mike Kilpatrick, Saeplast" The aim of this blog post is to provide general cleaning instructions for your plastic hand held and bulk containers and plastic pallets. This document should not be construed as a guarantee to properly sanitize all containers in every application. Consult an expert in sanitization to ensure risks are mitigated. Carefully cleaned containers and pallets last longer, especially where optimum hygiene is a basic and vital requirement. Well cared for containers and pallets also encourage employees to material handle the product with greater care and increase respect for them as a valuable asset.

Two Methods of Cleaning Totes & Pallets

There are two methods of cleaning your plastic products – either by manual cleaning using employees to perform the washing or by an automated container or pallet washer, that can be purchased from a reputable company, that does the washing for you. Either way, it is ideal to have a dedicated room to perform the cleaning to contain all the excess dirt in one location. The basic process is to rinse, clean, rinse, sanitize. Sanitizing depends on the application for use.

Manual Cleaning

  1. Place the product to be cleaned in an area that is drained, where the drain effluent goes to a water treatment system or municipal drain.
  2. Open all drain holes of the container, if applicable, to allow for ease of discharge of cleaning fluid.
  3. Pre-Rinse the product using a high pressure washer with the optimum pressure of 30-80 bars (450-1100 psi) at a temperature of 49-60·c (120-140.F).
  4. Apply a food-approved general purpose cleaner, by spray or foam, to all accessible surfaces. If dirt is heavy or particularly difficult to remove, the cleaner should be sprayed over the container and allowed to soak in for a short time. For information on the optimum blend and length of use, consult the soap manufacturers’ instructions.
  5. Post-rinse using a low pressure washer with optimal pressure of 4-15 bars (50-200psi) at 49-60°C (120-140.F) for all accessible surfaces until the effluent water runs clear.
  6. After washing, containers and pallets used in the food industry may be required to be sanitized, depending on the regulations of the branch of the industry concerned. Sæplast containers and pallets are designed to withstand all main types of food approved chemicals used in sanitization, when used at normal strength.
  7. Allow the part to dry.

Automated Cleaning

When cleaning containers or pallets using automatic machines, the manufacturers’ instructions should be followed carefully, particularly with regard to water temperature. If hot water is used, Sæplast does not advise the use of water hotter than 70°C. If soap or chemicals are required, consult their manufacturer or your Sæplast agent for further details. If there is any doubt as to whether a container or pallet can withstand a given type of chemical, contact Sæplast, our agent or representative (DACO Corp), or the manufacturer of the chemical in question.
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