scrub brushes

How to Choose the Right Brush for Food Processing

Proper cleaning tools can increase plant hygiene and make it easier for food processing facility staff to do their job. Finding the right brushes for each job is easier when you understand the role bristle stiffness, brush type, and bristle/block attachment play in how a brush functions.

Hygienic Design of Brushes

Drilled and stapled brushes are made by drilling a hole into the brush block and stapling bristles into it. Higher quality versions will have only small gaps near the attachment point, making it less likely for contaminants to become trapped. Low-quality versions may have issues with bristles falling out and will have larger gaps around the fiber attachment points, making it easier for microorganisms to hide and multiply. For many food processing needs, a high-quality version of this type of brush is appropriate.

Resin-set brushes pose a variety of hygiene concerns. For this brush, holes are drilled in the block, filaments are stapled into them, and resin is added for extra bristle security. Resin itself isn’t approved for food contact and often gets trapped in between bristles and falls out, creating a source of contamination. This type of brush isn’t suitable for food manufacturing.

Ultra Safe Technology (UST) brushes from Vikan improve bristle retention and brush hygiene. These innovative brushes have a unique construction and design. Bristles are fully molded into individual bristle security units. Those units are then molded directly into the brush block, eliminating holes, gaps, and contamination traps. Because of this production technique, bristle security units can be arranged in patterns that allow brushes to be cleaned easily while maximizing cleaning efficiency. These ultra-hygienic brushes are ideal for food production plants that make infant formula, baby food, and ready-to-eat food.

Brush Bristle Stiffness

Soft bristles can easily sweep up fine particles, but they lack the rigidity needed to clean up larger debris. Stiff bristles can move these large particles, but they’re prone to missing fine powders. Picking the right bristle stiffness for each task can make an enormous difference in the efficiency and usefulness of the brush.

Soft bristles are long and fine, allowing them to sweep up powders and small particles like dust, flour, and salt. They’re also ideal for use with water and cleaning chemicals to wash benches and countertops.

Medium bristles are ideal for wet and dry use. They can sweep away larger food particles like fruit and vegetable peelings and are somewhat efficient at sweeping powders.

Stiff bristles are great at clearing away large food particles or scrubbing up stuck-on messes. They can also be used with water and cleaning chemicals to remove even the most difficult debris.

Soft/Split bristles have bristles with split ends to hold more water and cleaning chemicals for washing countertops and benches.

Types of Brushes

Bench/Countertop

UST bench brush
These narrow brushes are used for sweeping and cleaning counter and bench tops. The brush head is great at reaching tight spaces areas, such as the sides of a conveyor belt and the rubber seals of refrigerators. Bench brushes are excellent at sweeping and come with a variety of bristle types to accommodate different particle types and conditions (fine, large, damp, dry). They may also be used with a dustpan.

Hand/Scrub
scrub brush
These brushes require pressure to be applied directly to the brush block, making them suitable for areas where the cleaning surface is within arm’s reach. These brushes are often used to scrub tables, conveyor belts, chopping boards, and buckets. Versions with angled bristles are ideal for reaching into corners.

Short-Handled Brush
short-handled brush
Ergonomic grips prevent hand fatigue while the brush head promotes scrubbing and washing motions. Can be used with the short handle or by gripping the brush head. They come in three bristle types, making them suitable for use on all types of equipment, tables, and walls.

Long-Handled Brush
long-handled brush
Ergonomic long handle allows for easy access into machines, deep buckets, containers, and anywhere that may require a longer reach. They can be used as a scrub brush when turned around to grasp the brush head.

Utility/Misc.
bottle brush
These brushes allow for specialized cleaning. Brushes with a hand guard make cleaning a bowl cutter safer and allow the machine to be cleaned without being disassembled. Bottle brushes reach into tubes, valves, and bottles. They’re often used as a multipurpose scrub brush.

 

The right tools make cleaning more efficient and effective. If you need help choosing the right brush for your needs, contact Remco Products at cs@remcoproducts.com.