How To: Wash a Milk Machine

How To: Wash a Milk MachineĀ 

This post may be boring, but for (new) farmers, this is great! And for those of you city folk, this may just come in handy as well. You just never know when you’re going to have to wash a milk machine.

First you start by putting out the milk jars. Label them (the date and the time of day you milked: am or pm) and place a filter in the first jar.

IMG_1991 - Clean M Jars

When the milk comes in, start by wiping the top handles using a wet piece of paper towel.

Please excuse the blur; John was going a tad too fast. He knows a little too well what he is doing, when it comes to taking pictures that is.

IMG_1994 - Clean M Wash Top

And then wipe the dirty bottom, which probably got full of manure. Maybe not quite “full”, but definitely a tad too dirty.

IMG_1995 - Clean M Wipe Bottom black

Now wash this black hose by taking the wet paper towel and wiping the tube. That’s what John’s doing in the picture, just in case you couldn’t figure it out.

IMG_1996 - Clean M Wipe Black Hose

Now take off the machine and place it in a very clean sink.

IMG_1998 - Clean M in Sink

Pour the milk! Careful not to spill!

IMG_1999 - Clean M Pour Milk black


Darcy gave a full six quarts this morning. Good job, Darcy!

IMG_2013 - Milk-Full Jars

Back to the milk machine, rinse the entire machine, rinsing any manure and/or dirt on it.

Psst… The temperature of the water during the whole cleaning process is very hot, unless noted.

IMG_2004 - Clean M Rinse M

Take off the little metal stopper thingy which holds the machine parts together. Rinse it and put in on a paper towel.

Psst… You’re going to notice that I say a lot of “thingy” words in this tutorial. I don’t know what you call half this stuff is called so please forgive me. I think you could figure it out, though.

IMG_2007 - Clean M Take Stopper

Take off the metal ball thingy and put it aside.

IMG_2010 - Clean M Take Big Hose

Take the black hose off.

IMG_2014 - Clean M Take Black Hose

And take apart the parts of the black hose. Rinse them, along with the top part of the hose.

IMG_2016 - Clean M Parts Black Hose

Then take the metal insert. Rinse it and spray it with vinegar. Rinse again.

Psst… Just to note, the cleaning solution we use for our machine is pure vinegar. Much of our cleaning is the directions: rinse, vinegar, rinse. It has become my dad’s motto in life. No, not really.

IMG_2017 - Clean M Take Metal Nub

Flip this part of the machine, the handle, upside down. Take off the big, black, rubber circle. Rinse it, spray it with vinegar, and rinse again. Also rinse underneath the handle, where the rubber circle was.


Now take the transparent hose and twist it off the suction part.

IMG_2020 - Clean M Twist Transparent Hose

Carefully remove the black rubber circle in the crease. Rinse it.

IMG_2022 - Clean M Take Black Circle

Place the rubber circle on the towel with the rest of the machine’s parts.

IMG_2027 - Clean M Parts on Towel

Now take the transparent hose and hold so when you rinse, the water will go down and not overflow. Rinse it by pouring water down the tube. Now, with the water going, spray a constant stream of vinegar in the tube for about a minute. This will remove the milk from the inside of the tube and clean it. Rinse it again to remove the vinegar.

Place the handle part of the milk machine aside and rinse the top part of the suction of the machine. Spray it with vinegar, especially paying particular attention down the holes. Rinse once again.

IMG_2038 - Rinse Holey Metal Tube

Flip the machine around rinse each of the suction cups. Spray vinegar around and inside the cups. Rinse with hot water and then followed by a rinse of cold water. This lowers the temperature of the rubber so that germs will not grow on it while it dries.

IMG_2041 - Clean M Vinegar Teats

Put the machine back together. I’m going to leave you to figure this out. Just kidding, just follow the directions backwards to figure out.

Once the machine is back together, hang it somewhere (safe!) to dry.

IMG_2042 - Clean M Hanging Machine

And then say good morning to the early birds. Good morning!

IMG_2046 - Good Morning Three

Now to the can. Rinse the bottom for dirt and manure.

IMG_2049 - Clean M Rinse Bottom Can

And now rinse the sides!

IMG_2051 - Clean M Rinse Edge Can

Rinse the inside, making sure to rinse the sides and bottom.

Now pour about 1/2 vinegar into the can. Fill with equal parts water.

IMG_2053 - Clean M Vinegar in Can

Place the can on the floor and take a large brush (this one looks like the biggest toothbrush you’d ever see). Rinse the brush before placing it in the can, just for safety reasons.

Psst… The brown stuff on the brush is only vinegar… dried. Although it’s not bad or gross or anything, it just doesn’t look good. To prevent this, always make sure to rinse the brush before putting it away.

IMG_2054 - Clean M Can's Brush

Scrub the inside, sides and bottom.

IMG_2056 - Clean M Brush Inside

Now scrub the outside. Once done, rinse the brush and put it away.

IMG_2059 - Clean M Brush Outside CAn

Rinse the can again, outside and inside, rinsing it twice.

IMG_2060 - Clean M Rinse Can's Edge

Now go and hang it somewhere to dry. We hang it on our wall.

Psst… Before you go and hang it one your wall, make sure to place some sort of separator between the can and the wall. The edge will make an in the wall and ruin it. We’ve learned a lot.

IMG_2064 - Clean M Hanging Can

You’re done! Go and make yourself breakfast and coffee; eat it in bed; and pretend that you’ve been served breakfast in bed instead of waking up early to wash the milk machine.