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Top tips on cleaning out a refrigerated trailer

With the nature of products transported within refrigerator trailers, from foods to pharmaceuticals, ensuring the cleanliness of your trailer is kept to the highest of standards is crucial, all year round. 

But what do you need, and how often should do it? Find out below.

Cleaning Your Trailer – The Equipment

Firstly, make sure you gear yourself up with the right equipment. The tools required are inexpensive and easily purchased:

  • protective eye mask & rubber gloves

  • heated electric power washer & extendable hose

  • solid trailer broom with rigid bristles and a notched shape

  • industrial refrigeration detergent (mixed with water to the advised ratio)

Once you’ve gathered what you need, it’s time to prepare the trailer for its wash-out. 

Time to Clean

First, ensure the refrigeration unit is off. You can then take out all the removable hardware located within the cargo space - this may include pallets, meat hooks, shelving etc.

Now you’re ready to clean out your refrigerator trailer:

1. Using a high-power spray with a low-heat setting, filled with your detergent mix, begin on the ceiling and work your way from the front of the trailer towards the rear door

2. Then, begin to work your way down the walls, starting at the top of each wall and working your way down.

3. Sweep out any ground water.

4. Drain any remaining detergent mixture from the power washer and refill the unit with water, setting the spray to high.

5. Spray from the front of the trailer towards the rear, again starting high and working your way towards the floor.

6. Sweep out any puddles on the floor and allow the container to dry.

Easy, right?

How Often Should I Clean the Trailer?

The short answer - it depends how often you’re carrying goods in it. It’s compulsory to do a complete wash-out whenever you change the type of cargo that’s being hauled. This could mean as frequently as every day if one day you’re carrying fish and the next you’re carrying vegetables. 

But even if you regularly carry the same cargo, you need to ensure that problems don’t have the chance to occur. As a general rule of thumb, we’d recommend a full wash-out of your refrigerator trailer at least twice a month, accompanied by a weekly once over to ensure the sanitary standards are kept as high as you’d want them to be.

Cleaning the trailer regularly will help avoid potential problems, such as:

  • Mould and mildew

  • Cross-contamination

  • Food-borne illnesses

  • Rodent and insect infestation

We can all agree these are to be avoided, so keep your refrigerator trailer in tip top condition. Or, if you’re in the market for a new or used trailer, or just looking to hire one, we can help. Get in touch with us today.



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