One of the most common questions we get is what products we use to clean our system with. Below will be an outline of how we clean our system in a process that works well for us. You will have to find a process that works for you and your herd. You will partially know your process works if your milk stays fresh for at least a week. There are dairy labs that conduct coliform and standard plate counts for around $30 that would be the best way to know if your cleaning system is working.
We use 4 products for cleaning our system:
1. Dishwashing liquid
2. White vinegar
3. Household Bleach
4. Cable Brush Kit
We use two 2.5 gallon buckets for our cleaning process, the first one gets lukewarm water and the dishwashing liquid (about 1 tsp per 2 gallons of water). You want your first step to be something other than hot water as that will set the milk proteins into your hose.
The second bucket gets hot bleach water (approx 2 tsp per 2 gallons of water). You want this water to be very hot as this is your sanitizing step. One thing to note about the bleach is that the little bit that may be left in your lines after sanitizing becomes inactive once organic matter touches it, in this case the milk, you will not have any bleach in your milk.
Every 3rd day we also do an acid rinse using the white vinegar (approx 1/2 cup per 1.5 gallons of water).
Once a week we also run a cable brush kit through our milk lines as we find that it helps keep our lines extremely clean.
After our lines are sanitized, we hang them to dry next to our machine.
After we clean our lines we scrub our jars and lids in the sink and allow them to air dry on a towel next to the sink.
If you do not have a dedicated milk room you can still clean your system where you milk by taking 2 buckets of cleaning solution to your milking area from your house. After your lines are clean, hang them to dry and cover them with a towel to keep them clean.
If you have any questions just let us know and we will be happy to answer them, thanks!
Jesse and Cristen Sullivan