Main function and purpose of cleaning

The main function of cleaning a milking machine and a milk cooling tank is the removal of milk residues and the cleaning and disinfection of the system. The cleaning is performed with water of drinking quality.

Structure of the cleaning process

A complete cleaning process consists generally of a minimum of three disinfection stages (pre-wash, main washing with detergent and rinse). The hot water temperature should not exceed 80 ° C in the main wash, because standard detergents can lose its effect at temperatures above 80° C, and the milk protein may condense and is difficult to remove.
The rinse cycle in the tank cleaning is used for rinsing of detergent residue and cooling of the tank.

In winter, the milk room must be frost-free, so that the rinsing pump and the water line do not freeze. A residual amount of water in the cooling tank after cleaning has the result that the freezing point of milk can change, and this must be avoided. A so-called boiling water treatment (ABS) is not recommended for the cleaning of milk cooling tanks.


Detergents should always be stored above freezing to avoid flocculation. The function of acid detergent is to remove scale and so-called milk stone. The function of alkaline detergent is to remove fat and disinfection.
Alkaline and acid cleaners must be used alternately or in cycles depending on the water quality. The detergent dosage / rinsing water temperature depends on the manufacturer's instructions in relation to the rinsing water. Acid detergents should be used, depending on the hardness of the water, in alternate cycle, but at least once a week, with alkaline detergent. During the periodic maintenance of a milk cooling tanks with automatic cleaning and automatic detergent dosage, the water valves, the right amount of water, if necessary rotation of the rinsing pump, dosing pumps and cleaning of the rinse water, should be checked. The milk cooling tank should have a slope towards the outlet so that the tank can be emptied quickly and fast drainage of the rinse water is guaranteed after cleaning.

Faktoren Reinigungsresultat

Influences on the cleaning result


Besides water, there are four other factors of significant influence on the cleaning result:

  • Cleaning temperature
  • Cleaning time
  • Detergent
  • Mechanical power

The right combination of these four factors provides an optimal result.

The water

For cleaning, you need clean water of drinking water quality and in sufficient quantity. Because the ETSCHEID cleaning machine can be supplied with its own heating, hot water in sufficient quantity is not necessarily required. However, it is recommended to connect the cleaning machine to the hot water supply, so that no unnecessary time is lost with the heating of cold water. With very hard water a descaler can prevent calcification.

The water temperature

The cleaning temperature depends on the detergents used and the type of pollution. A higher temperature usually reinforces the effect of the cleaning agent and supports the removal of dirt.

The cleaning time

The detergent needs enough time to act effectively. It is important that after pre rinse the remaining milk residues are removed and after post rinse the detergent residues are completely removed.

The detergent

Detergents exists in many varieties and qualities. The distributor of milking machines is the specialist for good advice. The packaging of the cleaning agent provides information on dosage and optimal cleaning temperature. Cleaning agents can be divided into two categories:

  • Alkaline detergent
  • Acid detergent

Note:Do not mix alkaline and acid detergent with each other! Always wear protective clothing and protective goggles while handling the detergents.

Alkaline detergent

This detergent is used for cleaning, disinfecting and removal of dirt. Alkaline detergent has a high fat-dissolving effect. The dosage depends on water temperature, water quantity and water hardness.

Acid detergent:

This detergent is used for descaling and the removal of milk stone. Milkstone is deposited, and depending on water hardness there is more or less calcium deposited. On these deposits dirt and bacteria can accumulate or germs can settle on it. With time the deposits of milk and lime-stone reduces the diameter of the flushing lines, so that the proper operation of the cleaning machine is compromised. The dosage depends on the amount of water and water hardness.

The cleaning power:

Standing water has only a soak effect. However, when the water comes with great force on the surface to be cleaned (e.g. pressure washer), it provides a much more efficient cleaning. It is therefore important to prevent a lake forming in the cleaning tank (due to too much water) which causes a not optimal cleaning of the cooling tank bottom.

Sequence of cleaning

A Etscheid cooling tank cleaning consists of five wash cycles:

  1. Pre-wash
  2. Main wash 1 with alkaline detergent and usually with heating
  3. Intermediate rinse
  4. Main wash 2 with acid detergent
  5. Post-rinse

Optionally, with the ETSCHEID cooling tank cleaning machines 3 wash cycles can be activated to reduce the cleaning time: pre-wash, main wash with alkaline or acid detergent and usually with heating and post-rinse.

Note: At robot-cooling tanks usually a shortened 3 wash cycle is used as washing program.

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