Get the Free Video Training:”Master Your Email: Inbox Zero Training”

Properly Clean Your Raw Milk Machine

Many raw milk producers I consult with find it difficult to get profitable – they just can’t seem to charge enough to cover costs + a profit margin.

And 98% are out of business within a few years.

I’ve got help.

I’ve got a pricing series over on my podcast with my spreadsheets I use on my farm to calculate the price, plus the strategy to increase your prices without losing customers.

Tune in to part 1 of 3 parts here & be sure to get the spreadsheets:

#009 How to Price Your Farm Products for Profit (Part 1)

In the video below, I’m demonstrating the process I’ve developed over the years, with the help of raw dairy consultants, to clean and sanitize our equipment to ensure safe raw milk production.

I list the proper chemicals, amounts, and processes.  And, if you’re just getting started and don’t have access to dairy chemicals, I list what you can substitute from your local grocery store.  As always, your monthly test results are your “check” that your process is working.


Would LOVE if you’d share this video by forwarding to those you know milking cows who will be grateful to have learned something that might help them!

Thanks for viewing and see you in the comment section!!

Want More?

Join our private FB group The Profitable Mindset to connect with other raw milk producers just like you.

Remember, if you produce raw milk you do GREAT work!! Providing raw milk to your family and community is a tough job and you are creating healthy, happy families by doing so.

Warm Hugs,

PS:  Proper amounts for store-bought chemicals when you don’t have access to proper dairy chemicals:
1)  1 T dish soap in 4 gallons luke-warm water
2)  4 cups white vinegar in 3-4 gallons hot water
3)  1 cup chlorine bleach in 3-4 gallons luke-warm water (hot water will inactivate it.)

Proper Dairy Chemical Amounts:
1)  CIP, 1 ounce in 3 gallons lukewarm water
2)  Pink Foaming Dairy Acid, 1 ounce in 3 gallons HOT water
3) 1 cap-full (yes, cap-full, not cup-full) food grade bleach in luke-warm water

Last step – sanitation – is done right before milking.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Dusty December 19, 2013, 6:38 pm

    I ran an FDA kitchen for 6 years;
    We clean much as you do; but in our FDA kitchen we used 1 tsp of bleach (Clorox) in 5 gallons of water for a final rinse of all our equipment. We also air dried after we did the final rinse.
    In our barn we have hot water at 165 degrees. We run about 3 gallons through the equipment before we milk, so that would replace your bleach step before milking. This should touch everywhere in the system, so after we run it through we then turn the bucket so that all the hot water touches the surface of the bucket. We also pour the milk in our clean kitchen area. Just a suggestion but if you put your bucket on a hand truck you could easily move the full bucket into your clean milk room area to pour and clean. If you are pouring in your milk parlor you are getting dander and germs, especially from the lip, into your milk?
    Thank you so much for these videos, I realize how much time and effort you put into it and do not want to appear to be critical, just helpful I hope. We all have our standards and are all learning

  • Charlotte Smith December 19, 2013, 6:46 pm

    Thanks, Dusty – I appreciate all comments!! We do not pour in our milk parlor. We have a clean room for all processing. I didn’t show that since this was just a vid on cleaning… my goal is for the videos to be short and compact so more people will sit through them 🙂

    Also, as I mention in the video and the blog, testing will check that all systems are working. Sounds like yours are, too. Thanks for watching and sharing and advising!

  • Tara December 19, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Do you do your milk testing yourself or through a third party? We have our first cow and I don’t know what to buy or where to go to get our milk tested.


    • Charlotte Smith December 19, 2013, 7:17 pm

      Hi Tara – we send milk overnight mail to Udder Health Systems in Bellingham, WA and I get a coliform count and a standard plate count. Tremendously helpful!! costs me $30 per month and well worth it for peace of mind and also to indicate improvements to be made.



  • Shawna Bar December 20, 2013, 1:11 am

    Great information as always Charlotte! I love that you demonstrate how to create a very sound plan without a bunch of fancy equipment.

    Our methods are very comparable with yours. We salvaged a stainless-steel 3 hold sink from a restaurant that we use in the place of your buckets, but that’s about the only variation.

    Mt. Shasta hit a low of -8 last week…taking the milking regime to all-time levels of “not fun.” Even the hot water froze….

    I’ve already linked to your video on our website! Thank you so much for providing this much-needed nuts-and-bolts kind of instruction. It is greatly needed, and greatly appreciated!

    • Charlotte Smith December 20, 2013, 3:52 pm

      Thanks so much for your support, Shawna!

      I try not to complain about the weather because I know no matter how cold/hot we are there are always people milking cows in far more extreme!! -8 is crazy! I might just tell the cows they’re on their own!!

      Hope you and your family have a Wonderful Christmas!!

  • Susan@The Abbey Farm December 20, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Hi Charlotte,

    Is it possible for you to share the location of the De Laval store where you buy your milker cleaning supplies. We are a micro-dairy in Estacada and finding a local store to buy dairy supply has been a challenge and shipping charges on these heavy items is not very cost effective! Any help you could give us would be appreciated!

    • Charlotte Smith December 20, 2013, 3:53 pm

      Hi Susan – thanks for writing – yes, DeLaval is in Salem (Brooks exit) 503-390-8488 and they have been so very helpful to us raw dairy producers. I buy my inflations and teat dip there, too. They have a great teat dip for this rainy climate – it’s thicker and stickier 🙂

      • Susan@The Abbey Farm December 20, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Thank you sooooo much! Your videos have been so helpful. You really are a Micro-Dairy Rock Star! Hope we can visit one day via phone. Managing a micro-dairy is a whole different animal than a 200 head grade A Dairy! The learning curve has been huge and I am thankful you have decided to share your knowledge with those of us who are striving to produce the best raw milk we can! Again thank you!

  • Tom Ramler February 10, 2014, 10:24 pm

    Good Afternoon Charlotte

    Once again, thank you for your continual investment in the dairy producers community.

    Do you have separate milk buckets for each cow or do you empty them in between each cow?

    Thank you

    • Charlotte Smith February 21, 2014, 9:52 pm

      Hi Tom – just saw your comment, sorry for the delay. I pour the milk in between each cow out of the same bucket. If I have a cow with an issue, mastitis or something, I milk them last so it doesn’t contaminate the rest of the milk. Hope you are well!!


  • Sher B in Ky March 17, 2014, 4:58 pm

    This is such a wonderful video and has helped me tremendously with understanding and feeling comfortable with the cleaning process. I would like to get more information on how to clean the teat cups as I understand that periodically I need to do a thorough cleaning of them. Any tips would be so appreciated!

  • Sharon March 23, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Very nicely done, Charlotte…. I’d like to make one suggestion: It would have helped me to see a typed out list of cleaning products, amounts, and the buckets you’re using them in. For example,

    Bucket 1: 1 tsp. Dawn/Palmolive dish soap to 3 gal. lukewarm water
    Bucket 2: 1 c. White Vinegar to 3 gal. HOT water
    Bucket 3: 1 c. Bleach to 3 gal HOT water

    I’m going to go back and watch the vid again to see what I missed. I’m so impressed with your set up, and I’m going to make some major changes in mine this coming summer… THANK YOU!

  • Pat Freeborn April 14, 2014, 9:40 pm

    Thank you for all your help. I just got a milking machine and the process you use will really help me out. Moo to you from Eastern Oregon

  • Stephanie M May 9, 2014, 9:16 pm

    Thank you for your very informative videos. I only wish I would have came across your website months ago when we first started milking.

  • Pam Cornelius June 1, 2014, 3:30 pm

    Great video.. I use pfanzite to clean my machine, do you know if it is compatible to cip ? What are you spraying on exterior of milk can for cleaning ? I wish we could get dairy supplies locally, shipping cost’s a fortune.. Thank’s, Pam

  • Gerard July 3, 2014, 3:56 am

    Thank you so much for this helpful information! Well done.
    We started distributing low cost portable milker machines across Canada
    And I always have a difficult time explaining the cleaning process. Your video is so helpful
    Do you mind if I post a link on our website?

    Ps I wish we had some of your “cold” weather up here 🙂 although its nice right now try milking in -35 celsius…… not much fun

  • Barb July 24, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Morning, We’re new to the milking and my question is about sanitizing just before milking. I understood that your milking equipment had to be air dryed completely, doesn’t this final step before milking put water back into the lines? Sometimes the more I read, the more confusing Thanks

  • Linda May 1, 2015, 12:58 am

    Hello Charlotte… where do you buy your “Sodium Hypochlorite 12.5%
    I am googling everywhere and cannot fine where to purchase. Also what company do you get your Dairy M.S.R. 50 acid cleaner? I am just starting out and learning the best sanitizing methods. Thanks to your site it is great information. Linda

  • Julie July 17, 2016, 4:32 am

    Hi Charlotte!!
    Thanks for doing these videos 🙂
    I have a Jersey that we just started milking with our NuPulse system, I have watched your videos an adapted most if not all our procedures.

    I have a few specific questions:

    1) After all the wash through using the pulsator to swish it clean, how often if ever do you use a brush to manually “scrub” the interior of your milk cans and how often do you scrub brush the inside of the inflators?

    2) Watching your videos, your first step is to wash all the exterior of the claw as well as the lid and gasket in the water you then draw up inside the hoses then into the milking bucket….are you not concerned about the dirt your putting in that wash water that is then going into your entire system?

    3) How do you fill and chill your bottles, could you do a video of that process please?

    Thanks so much!

  • Lisa Obrian May 31, 2018, 9:22 am

    I watched your video several times, is your first bucket just have lukewarm water. Then soap then acid. Do you o only use the bleach right before the actual milking? Number 2, what do you use for polishing your stainless
    Thank you

  • Mary MacKeen April 25, 2020, 11:24 am

    Great video! You said that food grade bleach is inactivated when it hits organic material. What about the store bought bleach? Is it the same? Or do we have to rinse it before milking?

    • Charlotte April 27, 2020, 2:07 pm

      Hi, Mary – yes, store bought bleach (which is just less concentrate) is inactivated when it hits organic material, too.

      Good luck!!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Get the Free Video Training:”Master Your Email: Inbox Zero Training”