Proper cleaning of milking equipment contributes to high-quality milk production. Goals of cleaning milking equipment are (1) to prevent microbial growth and (2) to remove residual milk solids.

Keep milking equipment cleanResidual milk solids are called “soils” and contain both organic and inorganic materials. Soils that are retained on the inner surface of the milking system provide nutrients and areas for bacteria to grow. These soils also reduce the effectiveness of the cleaning and sanitizing compounds.

The milking system includes the milking claws and inflations, receivers, pipelines, and milk storage tank – everything that comes into contact with milk. Washing the milking equipment requires that you monitor (1) time, (2) temperature, (3) pH, and (4) agitation. Ensure that liquids are flowing through all of the milking machines, that hoses remain in place, and that agitation is occurring in the pipelines (evidenced by water flowing into the receiver).

Click here to read a California Dairy Newsletter article that discusses how to monitor the cleaning of your milking equipment by using a watch, thermometer and pH paper.

Source: November 2011 California Dairy Newsletter