Pallets are used every day in warehousing, material handling and retail operations. Given the frequency with which they come into direct contact with your products, it’s worth thinking about how clean they are.
Pallet washing is an important safety consideration in any operation that handles food or requires sanitary conditions. It’s also just good business, regardless of your industry and application. Here’s what you need to know about pallet washing, and how to go about it without interrupting your productivity.
What Types of Pallets Are Easiest to Wash?
Pallets come in all shapes, sizes and materials, and some are better-suited for certain applications than others. However, when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation, plastic is the best choice. Washing plastic pallets is fast and easy.
Unlike wood or metal products, they can be hosed down and dried quickly, without affecting their structural integrity. As well, some plastic pallets — such as the hygienic pallets available at Polymer Solutions International, Inc – have antimicrobial features that make them suitable for use in ultra-hygienic applications.
What Are the Benefits of Cleaning Plastic Pallets?
Regularly disinfecting and cleaning plastic pallets is a critical part of a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) program. Even if you’re not required to clean your pallets, doing so can prevent the outbreak of foodborne illness or other contamination issues that can lead to liability issues and reputational damage.
As well, keeping your plastic pallets clean can extend their life and potentially improve workplace safety. Built-up dirt, grime and grease can wear down your pallets, and in certain instances create unsafe handling conditions. Ultimately, a clean workspace is a more productive workspace — pallets, like any other material handling equipment, are a big part of that.
How Are Pallets Cleaned?
There are many options for cleaning a plastic pallet. Doing so with a minimal amount of downtime is essential. Operations will simply wash them with a regular hose or pressure washer. This method is fast and straightforward, and it requires little additional investment.
For high-volume applications, automated pallet washers are an option. These machines quickly process multiple pallets at once, cleaning away dust, dirt, grease and other contaminants. Some include a high-temperature steam system for ultra-hygienic applications. Be aware that these products might not fit all pallets — check your size and capacity requirements before purchasing any machine.
What to Look for in a Sanitary Pallet
Whether or not you use an automated washer system is just one factor that goes into choosing the best pallets for your needs. If sanitation is your primary concern, you’ll also want a pallet that contains no hollow areas or other spaces where bacteria can accumulate. A non-porous material, ideally with an antimicrobial coating, is also critical.
Polymer Solutions International, Inc. manufactures a range of different products that are easy to clean and built for long-term productivity. Keep browsing our website to explore your options or start a Live Chat session with us online or call us directly at 610-325-7500 for assistance.