How to Clean the Milking Machine
Note: We use our milk for our own consumption and do not sell it. I am not sure of the requirements for a proper dairy operation. The following information is simply to inform others how we clean our equipment for our own use. Thanks for reading!
Now, let’s get cleaning.
After the cow has been milked and turned out onto pasture with her calf it is time to clean up.
Look at the beautiful, fresh milk.
#1 Pour the milk from the milk bucket into a portable milk can
We transfer the milk out of this enormous milk bucket and into a can so we can transport it to the house.
We use this one.
It holds over 2 gallons. It has a lid. We usually don’t get more than 2 1/2 gallons at a time. If I do get more than that, the pigs are really happy. And, the dog is happy. And, the cats are happy too. I can only transport 2 1/2 gallons to the house, so the extra goes to the other folks hanging around or is used as fertilizer. On the grass.
Now I have to clean the milking system. The teat cups, the claw, the tubes, the milk bucket, everything must be cleaned. We have a 3 step cleaning process at our place.
3 Step Cleaning:
- Rinse with hot soapy water
- Rinse with hot bleach water
- Rinse with hot water
We use a 5-gallon bucket from Walmart. It is filled with screaming-hot, soapy water. Why soapy water? I was having a problem with this disgusting, scaly, milky buildup in my claw. I could see that something wasn’t getting completely removed when I was cleaning my system.
I asked a guy who owns a dairy here in Kentucky. He milks about 120 cows every day (2 times a day). When I asked him about the white, gunky stuff building up in my claw you won’t believe what he said. He told me to use hot water & Dawn dish soap.
Guess what? It worked.
#2 Rinse System with Hot Soapy Water & Dump out the Water
Add about a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap to 3 gallons of hot water.
Dump the entire claw into the soapy hot water & turn on the pump. That hot, soapy water will be drawn into the inflations, through the claw, through the tubes, and into the milk bucket. This will rinse the entire unit.
In 10 seconds that cleaner will flush the teat cups, the claw, the little window, the tubes, and the giant milk bucket.
Once the hot, soapy water has flushed through the system into the can, turn off the pump.
I grab a hold of the milk bucket and slosh the hot soapy water around like crazy. The goal is to have that water rinse every square inch of the inside of that giant can. I am rocking the can back and forth so the water splashes around.
Now I dump the soapy water out of the milk bucket.
#3 Rinse System with Bleach Water & Dump out the Water
Now fill the 5-gallon bucket 1/2 way with more super-hot water and add about 1 cup of bleach and turn the milk pump on again. This will send the bleach water through the teat cups, the claw, the little window, the tubes, and the giant milk bucket.
Once it’s all flushed through, turn off the pump. Grab the milk bucket and shake the daylights out of it to cleanse the interior of the whole thing with the bleach solution.
Pour out the bleach water.
#4 Rinse System with Hot Water & Dump out the Water
For the last rinse, I use lots of clean water. No soap. No bleach. No nothing. Just water this time.
Fill the 5-gallon bucket 3/4 full (or more) with water. Turn on the pump and run that clean water through the entire system. The goal here is to get any bleach that may have been left behind. No one wants bleach residue in their milk. Ick!
After it’s flushed through, turn off the pump & shake it again.
Pour out the clean water and smile because you are done! The milking system is all clean.
Hang it all up to dry until the next milking.
Stay tuned because we have some milk to strain.
Get old-fashioned tips and recipes delivered straight to you! Just subscribe via email (here).