In this article we address everything you need to know about Detail Cleaning Equipment and the difference it could make to your food production site.

With targets to hit, costs to cut, and deadlines to meet, finding the time to explore new and innovative solutions can be challenging. That is why so many food production sites stick to what they know when it comes to Detail Cleaning equipment.

Unfortunately, this can lead to ineffective cleans, frustrated operatives, lengthy hygiene windows, and potential non-conformities. In contrast, the right Detail Cleaning equipment could breathe new life into your Hygiene Team, transforming once difficult and dangerous jobs into quick and easy tasks.

With this in mind, we have put together an article that covers everything you need to know about Detail Cleans. From basic questions such as: What is Detail Cleaning? and What is the official guidance relating to Detail Cleans? to direct guidance on industry pain points like removing stubborn residues and cleaning inside vats, this guide has it all.

There is even the option to share your specific challenges with a panel of industry experts who will take a look at your pain point and put together a bespoke solution.

Throughout this article, we will be covering the topics listed below. Although there is valuable content in each section, you also have the option of using the following buttons to skip to the issue most relevant to your operation.

What is Detail Cleaning?

Detail Cleaning typically involves the removal of stubborn residues, the intricate navigation of machine parts, or the difficult task of reaching into awkward areas at near impossible angles. If a site has the right equipment and processes in place, Detail Cleans will be a regular occurrence, with Hygiene Teams carrying out an efficient and effective job every time. However, if Detail Cleaning is a real pain point for a site, it could go overlooked. Hygiene Teams may be forced to skip important jobs, achieve sub-par results thanks to broken or damaged utensils, and strain or hurt themselves whenever a Detail Clean occurs.

Why is Detail Cleaning so important at a Food Production Site?

Auditors will often head straight for the hard-to-reach areas of your site, aware that these are the places that are most likely to be missed by your Hygiene Team. Although compliance is hugely important, it’s also vital to remember why auditors adopt such a thorough approach. Ultimately, they are trying to help your site prevent a food safety incident, not to mention a serious or even fatal consequence for the consumers of your product. This becomes all the more important if your site has high risk zones or handles allergens and Free From products. If this is the case, standards will be higher and Detail Cleans should be prioritised.

What is the official guidance relating to Detail Cleaning?

Early audit data from BRCGS revealed that, as it stands, Clause 4.11.1 is proving to be the top minor non-conformity for audited sites. It states:

“The premises and equipment shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.” [EXTRACT].

In a recent BRCGS webinar, Foram Mehta, the organisation’s Technical Manager, suggested that along with staff shortages and increased production demands, a key reason for this early trend could be the fact that hard-to-reach areas are going overlooked.

During a second webinar, Foram, along with Klipspringer’s Director Alex Carlyon, encouraged Hygiene Teams to thoroughly investigate those awkward or out-of-site areas – highlighting the importance of searching under machines and checking the voids behind anything that is mounted on the wall. They also stressed how much of a difference it can make if sites equip their Hygiene Team with the right cleaning utensils.

So, what is the best way to approach a difficult Detail Clean?

With over two decades of experience in supporting food production sites, we have an in depth understanding of just how varied and complex a task Detail Cleaning really is. With this in mind, we have shared a list of the common pain points below.

In the interest of helping your site to identify the right equipment and revolutionise your approach to Detail Cleaning, we have also provided solutions for each area of concern.

Detail Cleaning: Stubborn residues

One of the most common pain points relating to Detail Cleaning is the removal of stubborn residues, especially if a site is unable to use water or cleaning chemicals to ease the process. When it comes to finding the right utensil for this task, a long-length handle may not be necessary (unless, of course, the residue is in a hard-to-reach area). Instead, a shorter handle will allow for increased leverage and pressure. Equipment with an ergonomic design will also make life easier for your operatives, with features like finger/thumb contouring acting as a strong defence against conditions like Repetitive Strain Injury.

As mentioned above, it is also possible that stubborn residues will form in the hard-to-reach areas of your site, making the task of removing them all the more difficult. In this instance, you should consider a brush with a ‘scraper nose’ at its tip, as this design feature can be used to lift up dirt and debris, without scratching the surface underneath.

Another option is to choose a brush with a mixture of bristle types. Typically, a brush of this style will have softer bristles at the back for sweeping up light debris, then extra-stiff bristles at the front to loosen the more stubborn materials.

Detail Cleaning: Inside vats and tanks

If a Hygiene Team is forced to clean inside vessels such as vats and tanks with standard brushes, it will be near impossible for them to drive standards of effectiveness and efficiency. What’s more if they are having to reach far down into the vessels at awkward angles, they could be at risk of serious strain or injury.

As a result, this particular task may go overlooked, with Hygiene Teams carrying it over until a Deep Clean takes place. In the meantime, your operatives could be making do with an ineffective clean, simply unable to work around the mechanisms or obstructions inside each vessel.

Luckily, the right equipment can prevent this from happening. For example, Tank Brushes and Tube Brushes both have a symmetrical profile to ensure the effective cleaning of cylindrical vessels, with the tank brush also suited to the curved or right-angled connections between your factory walls and floors. The tank and tube brushes we supply here at Klipspringer are compatible with any of our handles, so this should also solve the issue of operatives having to reach down into the containers.

Depending on the size of the vessel being cleaned, another option to consider is a Side Bristle Deck Scrub. The design of this multi-directional brush places two lengths of PBT filaments at different angles. This means it can thoroughly clean a container, without your operatives having to do lots of awkward manoeuvring. As a combination of a flat broom and tank brush, it could transform your site’s approach to cleaning large vessels.

High reach pipes and ledges

It can be extremely difficult to clean an area from far below and without a clear line of vision. It is also hard to apply pressure from a distance, so this is yet another area where your Hygiene Team could be at risk of hurting themselves. They will also be at risk of conducting an ineffective clean, with significant amounts of dirt and debris left behind.

The best way to approach this challenge is to equip your operatives with handles that are the right length for the job. You could even opt for Telescopic Handles, as this will allow your team to adjust their utensil to the perfect length every time.

You should also think carefully about the utensils that will be attached to the end of your handles. After all, your operatives will struggle to dislodge dirt with a standard brush head that has been designed with flat and smooth surfaces in mind.

One option to explore is a flexible pipe brush, as this particular utensil can be bent to reflect the contours of the surface being cleaned. Imagine your Hygiene Team needs to clean behind a pipe that runs across the ceiling of your site, this tool will allow them to navigate any obstacles – reaching up and around the pipe to cover every possible area. This brush head could also be used inside a complex piece of machinery, as the flexibility will allow it to be moulded to suit the specific application.

Behind/Between your machinery

Next, you should consider the gaps behind and between your machinery. Often these spaces will be incredibly narrow and impossible to reach with a regular brush. As a consequence, there is a risk of them going overlooked by your Hygiene Team.

How much of an issue is this? Well, these harbourage points are the perfect place for bacteria, dirt, and even pests to hide, with all three a serious risk to food safety. There is also a high possibility of auditors checking these spaces – viewing them as a good indication of just how thoroughly your site has been cleaned.

In order to make it easier for your Hygiene Team to tackle this challenge, they will need access to narrow brushes with long-length handles. The ‘scraper nose’ and bristle mixes mentioned above could also prove invaluable when it comes to lifting stubborn residue.

Another factor to consider is how well your chosen brush holds shape under a variety of conditions, as depending on the design, the bristles of your brushware may splay if they are exposed to water. However, the bristles of a bannister brush, for example, maintain a straight profile in both dry and damp conditions, affording them easy access through narrow spaces.

A final point to prioritise is a diameter guard. Essentially a built-in health and safety device, this feature will allow your operatives to probe deeply between and behind machines, without risk of accident or injury.

Detail Cleaning: Underneath your machinery

During the BRCGS webinar with Foram and Alex, the underside of machines (e.g. food production belts) was highlighted as a space that is frequently overlooked by Hygiene Teams, but regularly checked by auditors.

The Side Bristle Deck Scrub referenced in our earlier section on vats and tanks is a good pick for this application, with the multi-angled bristles perfect for dislodging dirt quickly and with minimal effort from your operatives.

Another important step is to equip your Hygiene Team with LED torches and protective knee-pads that will allow them to inspect under each machine – investigating any small or dark crevices. You should also highlight the importance of internal audits, making them a key part of your site’s culture, as this process is likely to reveal any areas that are in need of further attention.

Detail Cleaning: Tight/Narrow spaces

Last but not least are the tight and narrow spaces around your factory. This is a task where long and thin utensils such as Bottle Brushes will come in handy, capable of tackling spaces with internal diameters ranging from 7-8mm to 60mm. There is also the option of working with a detachable version that can be attached to a long, flexible handle. This length and flexibility will allow your operatives to manoeuvre any obstacles as they reach far into the tightest of spaces. All of the thin and narrow utensils mentioned throughout this article will also be suited to the cleaning of tight/narrow areas, it is simply a case of choosing the right shape and size for each task.

Detail Cleaning: Specific Applications

Although we have addressed a lot of the common Detail Cleaning applications above, we recognise that every site is different, with each Hygiene Team facing a unique set of challenges.

To account for this, we wanted to give you the chance to share your pain points with a panel of experts. Using the form below, you can share your Detail Cleaning challenges, along with any supporting images of the areas you are struggling to clean.

You can either share your contact details or remain anonymous.


    Please upload your image(s) - preferably in JPEG (.jpg) or PNG (.png) format. Maximum file size 20mb.

    How do you ensure your team are carrying out effective cleans?

    A common concern surrounding the introduction of new equipment is employee engagement. In some instances, this will require in depth training and ongoing support. However, in the case of Detail Cleaning equipment, the support of your operatives is almost guaranteed. After all, the right equipment will resolve pain points that your team may have been struggling with for months or even years. It will make life easier for your operatives, helping them to achieve a more effective clean in less time and with less risk to their personal safety.

    As a result, your main focus should be on ensuring your team know about the new equipment, highlighting its arrival with Visual Management, updated Cleaning Instruction Cards, and perhaps a quick demonstration of how the utensils work.

    You should also consider bringing your equipment out into the open with highly visual storage solutions like shadow boards. All too often, we hear of sites investing in new equipment only to lock it away or store it in a location that is inconvenient for their operatives. By clearly displaying your Detail Cleaning equipment, you can ensure it is front and centre of your operatives’ minds. You will also be able to identify any broken or damaged equipment before a food safety incident occurs and re-order utensils using the QR function.

    Shadow boards

    Shadow board Inspiration Guide

    Want to learn more about shadow boards? From engineering tool boards and storage for your spill kits to PPE bases and change part stations, there are over 70 shadow board designs to explore in our Inspiration Guide.

    An Introduction to Klipspringer’s Range of Detail Cleaning Equipment

    In the interest of supporting your site’s colour-coding and segregation plans, the equipment within our Detail Cleaning range is available in a selection of different colours.

    Long-handled Slimline Brush

    • Flexible and durable handle
    • Scraper nose and extra-stiff bristles at the front to remove stubborn residues

    Hand Scrubs

    • Available in different sizes
    • Raised handle and pointed nose (available)
    • Hanging eye (available)

    Hand Scrapers/Spatulas

    • Stainless steel or food contact approved polypropylene
    • Hanging eye for storage

    Churn Brushes

    • Rubber edge to avoid damage (available)
    • Extended bristles around leading edge (available)

    Utility Brushes

    • Long handle for hard to reach areas (available)
    • Short handle for maximum pressure (available)

    Tank Brushes

    • Symmetrical profile for cleaning of cylindrical vessels, plus curved and right-angled connections

    Bannister Brushes

    • Up to nine colours
    • Two filament strengths
    • Maintains straight profile in dry and damp conditions

    Tube Brushes

    • 70, 80, 90, 105, and 120mm sizes available
    • Compatible with all Klipspringer handles

    Machine/Cutter Brushes

    • Built-in Diameter Guard (available)
    • Choose between two sizes

    Side Bristle Deck Scrub

    • Mix of two filament lengths
    • Multi-directional (ideal for curved intersections and awkward angles)

    Dishwash Brushes

    • Scraper nose (available)
    • Round nose for working down into smaller vessels (available)

    Flexible Pipe Brushes

    • Food contact approved
    • Bend to contours of surface being cleaned
    • Reach pipes and ledges

    Detail Brush

    • Ergonomic handle
    • Scraper nose to remove stubborn residues
    • Short handle for leverage
    • Extra-stiff bristles

    Bottle Brushes

    • Cleans internal dimensions from 7-8mm to 60mm
    • Ergonomic, polygrip handle
    • Available in seven colours
    • No exposed sharp ‘wire’

    So that brings us to the end of our guide to Detail Cleaning, we hope that it has suitably addressed the key areas of interest. However, we want to treat this article as an ongoing project that evolves to meet your specific requirements. So, if you have any ideas in terms of the content we could add or any points where you would like us to go into more detail, we would really appreciate your feedback.

    We would also like to hear from you if you want to know more about our range of Detail Cleaning Equipment or you are currently evaluating the cleaning processes at your factory. We have been partnering with food production sites for over twenty years, so this is an area where we can provide support. You can contact us on 01473461800 or Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form below and one of our friendly team members will be in touch. 

    If you would like further guidance relating to the problems or solutions mentioned in this article, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.