The importance of the right cleaning tools cannot be emphasized enough. Using the proper tools for cleaning does not only help improve plant hygiene levels, but also helps food processing facility staff perform tasks more efficiently. With that said, determining which hand brush is best for a job becomes far easier when you understand the role that different brush styles, bristle types, and bristle/block attachment plays in how they perform.
Hygienic Bristle/Block Attachment
Drilled and stapled brushes
A hole is drilled into the block of a brush for creating drilled and stapled brushes. As the name suggests, bristles are then stapled into the block. You can evaluate the quality of the brush easily by seeing the size of the gaps near the point of attachment. Brushes with higher quality generally have smaller gaps than their low-quality counterparts, making them a better option for not trapping contaminants.
Bristles are known to fall out of brushes that are of lower quality. Needless to say, the larger gaps around the point of attachment in low-quality brushes also leave a lot of room for dangerous microorganisms and bacteria to live and reproduce.
High quality drilled and staple brushes prove to be a good option for food processing needs.
Unlike their high quality drilled and stapled counterparts, resin-set brushes pose a number of different concerns when it comes to hygiene. Resin-set brushes are manufactured by drilling holes into the block of the brush. Next, filaments are stapled into the brush. Finally, resin is added to the brush for increased stability and security of the bristles in the brush.
Resin can be potentially dangerous in a food plant because it is not approved for food contact, The resin in resin-set brushes can get stuck between the bristles of these brushes, and sometimes fall out, causing a source of contaminant. For these reasons, these types of brushes aren’t recommended for food manufacturing or use in food processing facilities.
Ultra Safe Technology (UST) Brushes
Manufactured by Vikan, these brushes do not only have a great track record for brush hygiene, but also have practically unmatched statistics for bristle retention. Additionally, these brushes also embody innovation and have a unique design.
Ultra safe technology brushes are manufactured by molding bristles into individual units. After the bristles have been attached, units are molded into the brush block without drilling any holes, hence reducing the possibility of contamination. Because of their unique manufacturing technique, the bristle security units of ultra safe technology brushes can be arranged in a way that allows the brush to be easily cleaned, without compromising on the cleaning efficiency that it offers.
Being highly effective cleaning options with minimal risks, these brushes are great for food production plants that cater to infant formulas, ready-to-eat food, and baby food.
Stiffness of Brush Bristles
While soft bristles are highly effective in cleaning tiny particles of contaminants and dirt, they aren’t as effective when it comes to larger contaminants. This is primarily because soft bristles are not rigid enough to deal with larger pollutants. On the flip side, while stiff bristles are highly effective against larger debris, they don’t quite get the job done in situations that involve fine powders or tiny particles that need to be cleaned. The application that the brush needs to be used for, therefore, is of key importance when deciding which brush to use.
Soft bristles are on the finer and longer side. That is exactly why it is easy for them to remove and clean small particles and powders like salt, flour or dust. They can also be used for cleaning surfaces like counter tops and benches quite effectively, when used in combination with cleaning agents or water.
Medium bristles are great for both dry and wet use. Even though they aren’t as efficient in cleaning up small particles and powders, they are highly effective with large particles in food production and processing plants including vegetable and fruit peelings.
Stiff bristles are not only ideal for cleaning large food particles, but they are also highly effective against stuck-on messes. Brushes with stiff bristles, when used with cleaning agents, are great at removing even the most problematic of contaminants and debris.
As the name suggests, soft / split brushes have split ends that help them hold larger amounts of cleaning agents and water to clean surfaces like benches and counter tops.
Types of Brushes
Bench and counter-top brushes often have a rigid brush head that can be used effectively in tightly-spaced areas. These brushes are not only great for sweeping, but also come with a multitude of bristle options, allowing them to be used in various situations.
Hand or scrub brushes need pressure to be applied to the block of the brush in case of, so they can only be used in applications when the surface that needs to be cleaned is within an arm’s length. These types of brushes can be used to clean conveyor belts, buckets, and chopping boards to name a few. There are also variations of hand brushes that have angled bristles that make it easy to clean surfaces with corners.
Short handled brushes can be used by holding the short handle or the brush head itself. Their ergonomic handles help prevent fatigue and the brush head of short handled brushes make washing and scrubbing easy. In situations where you think extra cleaning is required, force can be applied directly to the brush head. These brushes come in a variety of bristle types and can be used on all sorts of surfaces and for a multitude of reasons.
Long handled brushes feature long ergonomic handles that make it easier to clean inside machines, containers, deep buckets, or anywhere that requires a long reach. They can be held by the handle or turned around and held by the brush head.
Utility brushes are highly effective for specialized cleaning. Some brushes feature hand guards that allow you to clean bowl cutters safely, without disassembling it. Bottle brushes allow you to easily reach inside and clean valves, tubes and bottles that are present in food processing facilities.