Complete cleaning for food facilities: What equipment do you need?

You know that proper cleaning is key for food safety, worker safety and regulatory compliance. Hopefully, you also know that mops, brooms and shop-style vacuums aren’t sufficient to achieve the level of cleaning required in food plants today.

So, what equipment do you need?

Four main machines make up a complete cleaning solution for food facilities:

  • High pressure washers
  • Industrial sweepers
  • Industrial scrubbers
  • Industrial vacuums

Here are our recommendations for equipment in each category.

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High pressure washers

High pressure washers are the workhorses for Zone 1 cleaning, meaning cleaning direct food contact surfaces, from dairy tanks to conveyors used in RTE food manufacturing facilities. They’re also commonly used to clean the exterior of equipment, as well as walls and loading docks. Some new processing equipment is even being built specifically for high pressure washing — the operator removes the parts and places them on a cart, and then pressure washes the entire assembly.

Tasks for high pressure washers

  • Cleaning the interior and exterior of stainless steel tanks
  • Cleaning food preparation surfaces
  • Removing food residue from conveyor belts
  • Removing baked-on surface deposits from thermal processing equipment
  • Removing food deposits from size reduction equipment
  • Cleaning the walls of production areas
  • Cleaning outdoor areas

Recommended high pressure washers

  • MH 4M-2800 Hot Water Pressure Washer — The MH series machines are ideal for all hot water industrial cleaning tasks. They offer best-in-class efficiency thanks to the patented EcoPower™ boiler, and they’re highly mobile for easy maneuverability around processing equipment. These models can burn diesel/kerosene and not get black soot smoke build up, increasing the longevity of the equipment.
  • MC Series Cold Water Pressure Washers — These pressure washers are capable of accepting high incoming water temperatures up to 185℉. They’re robust and durable, but also intuitive and ergonomically designed for ease of use.

Industrial sweepers

Industrial sweepers remove dust and other dry debris from the floors. Compared to manual methods (i.e., sweeping with brooms), sweepers are much more efficient, so you can clean a large area in a fraction of the time. They’re also highly effective at capturing and containing dust, rather than dispersing into the air, which can lead to cross-contamination and create a combustible dust hazard. Sweepers are available as walk-behind machines (for smaller facilities) and ride-on machines (for larger facilities).

Tasks for industrial sweepers

  • Cleaning the floors surrounding production equipment
  • Cleaning outdoor areas (e.g., front entrance, loading dock)

Recommended industrial sweepers

  • SW900 Walk-Behind Sweeper — This battery-charged sweeper can be used both indoors and out. It’s easy to use and maneuver and can clean for up to 3 hours on a single charge.
  • SW8000 Rider Sweeper — This ride-on sweeper has a 77” sweep path, making it ideal for larger facilities. Crucially for the food industry, it features Nilfisk’s patented DustGuard™ system to minimize the risk of cross-contamination and combustible dust hazards.

Industrial scrubbers

Industrial scrubbers clean the floor with water and detergent, like mops. But, again, scrubbers are much more efficient, saving you time and money. Scrubbers dry as they go, so you don’t have to worry about leaving behind slick floors for employees to slip on, minimizing slip-and-fall accidents. Scrubbers also come in both walk-behind and ride-on models.

Tasks for industrial scrubbers

  • Cleaning the floors surrounding production equipment
  • Cleaning hallway and office floors
  • Cleaning cafe / eating areas
  • Cleaning warehouse floors

Recommended industrial scrubbers

  • SC500 Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber — The SC500 is a compact floor scrubber perfect for cleaning in hallways and offices, as well as production floors in smaller facilities. The optional EcoFlex™ System saves you money on water and detergent while maximizing your runtime.
  • SC750 Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber — The SC750 is a slightly larger floor scrubber perfect for cleaning production room floors. It also features the EcoFlex System for green cleaning and allows for 84 minutes of continuous scrubbing to maximize productivity.
  • CS7010 Rider Sweeper-Scrubber — This powerful machine takes care of the sweeping and the scrubbing all in one pass, reducing labor costs significantly. It’s also a hybrid, which saves you up to 30% in fuel costs. The CS7010 incorporates the latest  innovations, including DustGuard, EcoFlex system and more.

Industrial vacuums

Industrial vacuums are critical for maintaining food and worker safety in food manufacturing facilities. Beyond cleaning the floors, they can also be used to remove dust from walls, pipes and equipment, as well as collect trim from packaging machines. Vacuums used in facilities where combustible dust is present must meet certain design requirements to ensure compliance with NFPA 652.

Tasks for industrial vacuums

  • Cleaning the floors in the production area, warehouse, hallways, and offices
  • Cleaning the walls
  • Removing dust from overhead pipes/sections of equipment
  • Collecting excess trim and scraps from packaging lines

Recommended industrial vacuums

  • VHT EXP Series Three-Phase Vacuum — These continuous-duty vacuums are explosion-proof/dust ignition-proof for collecting explosive dust in general cleaning and process-integrated applications. They are CSA-certified for use in Class I, Group D and Class II, Groups F and G environments.
  • VHS110 EXP Single-Phase Vacuum — Recommended for cleaning walls and overhead piping, the VHS110 EXP vacuum line is also CSA-certified for use in Class I, Group D and Class II, Groups E, F & G environments.
  • VHS110 Class II, Division 2 Vacuum — Ideal for cleaning in the warehouse, this vacuum is NRTL certified for Class II, Division 2 classified (hazardous) locations for the safe collection of combustible dust.
  • R Series Trim Collection Vacuum — The R series was specifically designed to remove excess lateral trim and scraps during packaging processes in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
  • GD 5 Battery Backpack Vacuum — The GD 5 is a lightweight, but powerful, backpack vacuum for cleaning areas like offices and hallways. It’s completely battery operated and features best-in-class upstream HEPA filtration.

Are you ready to invest in your company’s safe future by investing in new cleaning equipment? Visit our website to learn more, or download our brochure: Cleaning Equipment for Wet, Dry, or Dangerous Applications.

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