Reusable Plastic Container Cleaning
Best Practices for Cleaning Reusable Plastic Containers
Using reusable plastic containers to sort, store, carry and deliver manufactured parts saves manufacturers thousands of dollars in packaging costs. Additionally, reusable plastic containers are better for the planet, keeping disposable packaging out of landfills and reducing your company’s carbon footprint.
But, like any industrial surface, Reusable Plastic Containers (sometimes called RPCs or dunnage) must be cleaned and sanitized to ensure that they are safe and sanitary for use – and will not present hazards for workers or contaminate parts. RPCs are best cleaned using commercial sanitation equipment, since the manufacturing process can leave dirt, grease, grime, labels, and debris that regular washing may not thoroughly remove.
Since most manufacturing businesses do not have the space or the budget for dedicated reusable plastic container cleaning equipment, dunnage washing is typically best outsourced to a third party that specializes in this.
In this article the reusable plastic container cleaning experts at Clark Logic in the Grand Rapids area discuss the best practices for reusable plastic container cleaning.
5 Best Practices for Reusable Plastic Container Cleaning
#1. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Container cleaning workers should wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and safety eyewear during the cleaning process to prevent skin contact with cleaning solvents, airborne particulates and debris.
#2. Label Removal from Reusable Plastic Container
Many parts containers are labelled for storage, distribution, or shipment with adhesive labels (or packaging tape) that leave sticky residue. If the labels (or tape) are not removed completely between uses, the tacky residue that is left accumulates dirt and grime that can contaminate parts and make your containers look unsightly when delivered to your customers.
Fully removing labels also prevents any misidentification of containers – and avoids mistakes due to old storage or shipping information being left on dunnage.
In many cases labels must be painstakingly removed “by hand”. At Clark Logic we have the trained staff and special “goo-removing” solvents to manually remove old labels completely when necessary – so that your plastic containers look like new every time.
#2. Pre-wash Reusable Plastic Containers with High Power
Pre-washing reusable plastic containers using high pressure clean water will remove loose dirt, debris, and waste from the manufacturing process – such as swarf, chips, turnings, filings, shavings, or slag – that can lead to parts contamination.
It is important to keep in mind that some common manufacturing materials (e.g. beryllium) are hazardous when particulate, so appropriate measures should be taken to remove them from reused packaging to prevent human exposure.
#3. Choose the Right Solvent to Clean Reusable Plastic Containers
Selecting the right detergents and solvents to clean your reusable parts containers will depend on the type of packaging, the material it is made of, and the type of grime, grease, oil or other contaminants on the dunnage.
Choosing the best solvent also includes using plant-based bio-surfactants and bio-solvents whenever possible, to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Bio-surfactants and bio-solvents are derived from renewable and sustainable earth-grown products, including corn, soy, citrus and other vegetable and plant-based products.
The reusable plastic container cleaning experts at Clark Logic have the experience to select strongest detergent or solvent for your dunnage washing needs – while maintaining the highest level of environmental compliance possible.
#4. Use State-of-the-Art Plastic Container Washing Equipment
High pressure pumps, thermostat-controlled water heating, and sprayers with adjustable directional nozzles are essential for achieving best practices in reusable plastic container cleaning.
Adjustable directional spray nozzles can be angled to precisely target the inside, outside, and “nooks and crannies” of each container’s unique shape and size – ensuring that every surface is thoroughly cleaned. And extremely high-pressure water delivery can loosen and remove debris by “blasting” it away – so that fewer detergents and solvents are needed.
#5. Advanced Dunnage Drying, Such as Air Knives
Cleaning a container is only fighting half the battle of protecting parts if containers are not also thoroughly dried. Even the smallest amount of moisture left in parts containers after washing can lead to rust and erosion that degrades metal parts.
The advanced reusable plastic container cleaning equipment at Clark Logic incorporates powerful “air knifes” that ensure your packaging is thoroughly dried to your exact needs and specifications.
Reusable Plastic Container Cleaning | Grand Rapids Area
Clark Logic’ proprietary, customized dunnage washing offers the ultimate in turnkey Reusable Plastic Container Cleaning solutions for our customers in Southwest Michigan, including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Portage, Battle Creek, Sturgis, and St. Joseph County.
Call us to today to see how we can wash, dry, pickup, deliver, sort, package and store your returnable industrial containers – according to your exact specifications – with one simple phone call.
Additionally, because Clark Logic has warehousing facilities across all of Southwest Michigan, our pickup and delivery times are the fastest in the Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Portage and Battle Creek area.