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How To Clean Your Milk Jugs And Rinsers The Easy Way - Barista Warehouse

How To Clean Your Milk Jugs And Rinsers The Easy Way

Ever walked into a cafe and noticed a brown, slimy substance caked onto the inner walls of milk jugs? It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but there are many cafes that still don’t realize how awful it is to see as a customer. Don’t let your milk jugs fall into this disarray, and certainly don’t keep letting it happen if you ever notice it.

And here’s the thing: cleaning milk jugs is actually very simple. Scrubbing them at the end of the day is completely unnecessary, because just a few quick steps implemented throughout the day keep them nearly spotless.

We’re about to show you how you can save hours of time and hundreds of dollars on employee labor by cleaning your milk jugs efficiently. It’s so simple that you’ll wonder how any cafe could ever even create such dirty milk jugs.

Practices That Lead To Gross Jugs

Let’s start by taking a quick look at some of the practices that lead to nasty milk jugs in the first place. Some of these we’ve seen in the wild, others are documented on forums or social media posts. Here’s what they all have in common: no respect for the milk.

  • ● Letting steamed milk hang. Steamed milk is physically different from cold milk. It doesn’t just slide out whenever you tip the jug over. Because of the incorporated air, the milk clings to the sides of the jug. Naturally, this clinging gets more and more severe as time goes on.
  • ● Not rinsing out pitchers immediately after use. Those steamed milk particles can dry onto the sides of the jug, which results in the buildup of gunk over time.
  • ● Re-steaming milk for a second drink or to add heat. A well-cooked egg is delicious. A microwaved egg can become brown, rubbery, and gross. A similar thing happens to the proteins in milk, which is why cafes that re-steam sometimes find brown gunk caked to the walls of their jugs.
  • All three of these practices will lead to milk buildup in jugs, and that can be pretty frustrating to clean out. However, all three of these practices are also preventable—easily preventable.

    The First Step To Clean Jugs: Gunk Prevention

    Eliminate the causes and you eliminate the effects. With a few proactive steps built into your baristas’ regular routines, you’ll save them and you hours of time wasted on cleaning gunky milk jugs.

    Here’s how.

    The first thing to do is train your baristas on proper milk steaming practices.

    • ● Only steam what you need
    • ● Don’t over-steam and scald milk
    • ● Don’t re-steam excess milk or milk that sits for too long
    • ● Rinse out the pitchers as soon as the drink’s delivered

    But the next step is the great equalizer of milk jug cleaning: install a jug rinser next to the espresso machine. The old way of steaming milk, setting the jug in the back, and going back to wash it later is so ineffective that you shouldn’t even consider it as an option for your bar flow.

    A jug rinser lets you quickly clean the jug with fresh water. Milk foam and droplets are forcefully removed by the rushing water and fall into a small drain. It’s just a fast “Psshht”, and then it’s done. No milk left, no foam getting stuck to the jug, no brown gunk forming. Easy.

    This tiny little step lets you use the same jug for hours without needing to send it to the back because the rinsing process is surprisingly thorough and effective.

    Please, if you care about cleanliness at all, use a jug rinser.

    The Second Step To Clean Jugs: The Actual Cleaning

    Of course, you’re still going to need to clean your milk jugs at the end of the day or, even better, at the end of every shift. If you follow the steps above, this won’t be any trouble at all.

    Since there’s no milk caked on the jug walls, hot water, soap, and a regular scrub brush should do the trick. It shouldn’t take any longer than washing a plate or coffee mug.

    Every couple of weeks, take your range of milk jugs and fill them with a water and coffee cleaner solution to break up any calcium hardness that’s developing. Let the solution sit for fifteen minutes, then give them a normal wash with soapy water.

    If you’re building proper steaming technique and care into the daily routine, you shouldn’t ever need to scrub. However, if for some reason gunk does build up, some more of that coffee cleaner water should help loosen it up for easier cleaning.

    And Don’t Forget To Clean The Jug Rinser Itself

    Rinsers are powerful cleaning tools, but they too need to be cleaned from time to time. Milk particles and sugars can build up in the lines, causing blockages or at least reduce draining speed (which can really hurt in a rush).

    Thankfully, treating rinsers is also very easy and straightforward.

  • ● Rinse and wipe at closing. Pour some hot water down the drain (bonus points if you use water with coffee cleaner in it). Unscrew the star and wipe down the rinser walls with a clean rag.
  • ● Use a dedicated milk cleaner every few weeks. The best way to keep that line clear and healthy is to pour a dedicated milk cleaner down it every two to four weeks. This does a particularly good job of breaking down gunk buildup in the line that you cannot get to any other way.
  • As you can see, keeping your milk jugs and rinsers clean is very simple and pretty straightforward. With just a hint of proactivity, you’ll never have to worry about customers being grossed out by brown gunk building up on your jugs.

    Previous article Dandelion Tea
    Next article The Complete Guide To Cleaning And Maintaining Cafe Equipment

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