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21/03/2024 Latest News  | Home & Lifestyle

Enhancing Dairy Farm Hygiene: A Focus on Washing Practices

With dairy farming, maintaining impeccable hygiene isn't just a goal; it's a cornerstone of ensuring the health of cows and the quality of milk. A recent Teagasc report, provided insights regarding washing practices on Irish dairy farms. We look at these and identify how Calor and Rinnai instant hot water gas heaters can provide a practical and efficient solution for these problem areas found on dairy farms.


Establishing Effective Wash Protocols

First things first: it's been observed that approximately 50% of dairy farms may benefit from refining their milking machine wash protocols. Establishing a clear, effective protocol ensures that every step of the cleaning process is thorough and consistent, ultimately contributing to the overall hygiene of the operation.

Another aspect to consider is the washing volume per unit. Around 30% of farms are currently falling short of the recommended minimum of 9 litres per unit. By ensuring adequate washing volume, the efficacy of the cleaning process is enhanced, and the risk of bacterial contamination is minimised.

Maintaining proper hygiene standards involves conducting the necessary hot washes each week. However, it's been noted that about 60% of farms are not meeting the requirement of 3 hot washes per week for powder or 7 hot washes per week for liquid. By adhering to this frequency, farmers can effectively sterilise the milking equipment and mitigate potential health hazards.

Both problems can be solved with Calor’s instant hot water solution, just one heater can supply 11 litres per minute of 85 degrees hot water, eliminating the need for hot water storage. Rinnai hot water gas heaters can be used with all types of dairy washing systems and are suitable to use with chlorine free detergents.


Achieving Optimum Temperature & Adequate Rinse Volumes.

Temperature plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the cleaning solution. Unfortunately, approximately 70% of farms are struggling to achieve the recommended start temperature of 75 degrees Celsius. Ensuring that the solution reaches the appropriate temperature is key to maximising its sanitising properties. Rinnai instant hot water heaters provide 12.5 litres of water per minute at 75 degrees.

Lastly, Teagasc looked at rinse water. It's been found that 60% of farms have inadequate volumes of rinse water. Sufficient rinse water is essential for removing cleaning agents and residues, leaving the equipment clean and ready for the next milking session. Teagasc recommend a minimum of 14 litres per unit for rinsing.

Rinnai instant hot waters can provide temperatures of up to 85 degrees instantly, with temperature control within 1 degree. The control panel allows the temperature to be managed at the touch of a button. Their A rated efficiency ensures that unnecessary costs are eliminated.


Maintaining a clean environment and equipment.

In addition to the washing of lines, Teagasc recommend keeping collecting yards clean. They found that 40% of farms had ‘dirty’ collecting yards, with only 33% cleaning the collecting yard after every milking. They found that 66% of farmers confirmed they cleaned it either daily or every second day.

Maintaining the cow’s environment in a hygienic state is essential to minimise the incidence of thermoduric bacteria.

Calor’s instant hot water solution provides farms with unlimited hot water for milking parlours, calf rearing mixing, farmyard cleanliness and general hygiene, supporting best practices and quality milk production.

By improving washing practices, following best practice, and prioritising hygiene at every step of the process, this can ensure the well-being of cows, the safety of milk, and the sustainability of farms for generations to come.

Calor are committed to supporting customers on a pathway to sustainability with their portfolio of fuels, from LPG which can reduce carbon emissions by up to 11% versus oil* to introducing BioLPG, a renewable alternative to LPG, reducing carbon emissions by up to 78%.

To find out more about our tailored energy solutions visit


Report Ref; The employment of best practice TBC and thermoduric management strategies on dairy farms; Lorna Twomey & David Gleeson, Livestock Systems Department, Teagasc Moorepark.

Full report can be found


*BioLPG Carbon value of 58.07 gCO2 per kWh is based on actual BioLPG feedstocks and deliveries in 2023. All other fuels values - reference SEAI Carbon emission factors 2023.