Inefficient wash routines could be costing the dairy industry up to £3 million per year.
David Horton, of Deosan, says a large part of this cost comes from temperature loss, when energy consumed to heat water is wasted due to the temperature dropping even before even it is introduced to the parlour.
He adds there is also the cost associated with incorrect chemical use.
Mr Horton says: “In addition to overuse of chemicals and inefficient water temperatures, there is also the cost of accelerated deterioration to equipment and milk liners.”
He explains that an effective wash cycle can be split into four equal areas: temperature, contact time of the chemical to clean, correct chemical dosage and mechanical action.
He says: “An efficient parlour wash is essential to ensure milk soil and bacteria are removed. Typically, aiming for water leaving the boiler at a temperature of 77-82degC should deliver a good temperature profile across the whole wash cycle.”
However, findings from Deosan showed that, on average, 18degC was lost between extraction of the hot water from the heater to the start of the wash.
"Some simple modifications to the water heater outlet or the parlour intake arrangement can be made, which are a minimal cost solution. If maintaining higher temperatures is difficult, look for chemical options that work at lower temperatures.
“Frequently checking temperatures at all stages of the wash should be adopted; at the minimum this should be done seasonally, as outside temperatures will have an impact on your wash temperature.
"The study also found that 33 per cent of farms circulated the water in excess of eight minutes and/or allowed the water to fall below 45degC, risking reintroduction of debris to the system.
“It is important to be careful with chemical dosage – 54 per cent of farms introduced a chemical to the final rinse at a higher rate than required.
"It is advisable to routinely check how much chemical is used to ensure over-dosing is avoided as it can lead to milk fat and scale deposition, biofilm formation, bacterial growth, equipment deterioration, teat damage and ultimately income loss.”
The cost of incorrect cleaning routines
Figures taken from a Deosan-designed app used to study cleaning efficiencies on UK dairy farms: