How to clean your farm flooring and why it is important
Barry Crackett, from cleaning brushware retailer Brushtec, tells us why cleaning our farm flooring is important and what we can use to clean our floors effectively.
Keeping your farm clean is important, especially if you’re responsible for meat or dairy products. You’ll no doubt want to keep all of your animals safe and healthy, but if any of your produce will be used for human consumption, you’ll need to keep in line with the following food safety laws:
To do this, your farm should be cleaned regularly to reduce the likelihood of bacteria and diseases entering the food chain. All surfaces should be cleaned often, but you should pay particular attention to your floors where dust and debris can gather. In this article, I’ll be giving you my advice on how you can clean your farm flooring.
A well-maintained pen is essential to the wellness of your livestock. Before cleaning, all debris must be removed from the area, including hay and faeces. You can get specially designed brushes from Sweepertec® which can be attached to your farm machinery, like forklifts, tractors and telehandlers, and can be used to sweep away any loose debris from your farm flooring before you clean — they also double as a handy snow plough in the winter. Once everything is cleared, you can start to disinfect the surface.
For this you’ll need to spray a mixture of hot water and disinfectant over the whole of the floor — always dilute the disinfectant according to the instructions on the bottle. You’ll then need to scrub the floor to loosen any dirt. To make the job easier and ensure that you’re working as efficiently and effectively as possible, a rotary floor scrubber driver can help. You can use a general floor scrubbing brush attachment for this but, for particularly stubborn areas, you may need to use something a bit tougher like a heavy industrial scrubbing brush.
Always make sure that the surface is fully dry before restocking with fresh hay and straw. You should also be careful to avoid disinfectant coming into contact with these materials, as they could be harmful to animals if ingested.
If you’re in charge of a dairy farm, your milking parlour should be cleaned every day to avoid the spread of bacteria and the build-up of milk, which could cause your floors to become slippery over time. Again, this task will require hot water and disinfectant.
Since this is an area that requires strict hygiene standards, I’d advise against using natural fibre brushes. These have naturally occurring ridges in their bristles which can trap dirt and bacteria. For your milking parlour, synthetic bristles are a much more hygienic option.
Because the milking parlour can be susceptible to slippery flooring, you might have opted for studded or rubber flooring for grip. But these surfaces can hold onto dirt a bit more than smooth floors. Luckily, some brushes come with varying sized bristles to allow the different levels of these surfaces to be cleaned at the same time.
When cleaning your farm flooring, you shouldn’t just be focusing on the agricultural areas. After walking around on your farm all day, any dirt and bacteria your shoes have picked up along the way can be transferred into your home, too. Place a boot scraper mat beside your door so you can brush off any loose dirt before you enter your home.
To clean domestic flooring, industrial cleaning brushes aren’t feasible, so you’re best sticking to a trusty mop. However, soft textile flooring can be cleaned effectively using a carpet shampoo machine. These use specially designed brushes to work the shampoo deep into the carpet fibres to ensure a more thorough clean.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your farm flooring is clean, your animals are happy, and your produce meets legal hygiene standards.