As part of our SCRUB Project, we have been demonstrating a wide range of Cleaning Tools for Produce Farms, on-farm with growers. This has opened up the question, “Which one(s) should I buy for this specific cleaning task?”

Based on our experience and feedback from partner farms, here are some of our favorites that we’d recommend for specific cleaning tasks. All names of the Vikan UST brushes listed in this post were taken directly from Remco’s Online Catalog.

A 3 Gallon Vikan Bucket Filled with soapy water.

Color Coding Tools

A helpful best practice for organizing cleaning tools is to use color coding and keep tools meant for different purposes in designated storage areas. The 5 core colors commonly available for cleaning tools are: red, green, yellow, white and blue. Select tools are available in additional colors.


General Cleaning Brushes For Most Tasks

People have hands of different sizes. We found different people prefer preferred differently shaped brushes. Most of these work well for a wide range of cleaning tasks.

  • Small Hand Brush
  • Round Hand Brush
  • Short Handle Utility Brush
(Left to right) Short handle Utility Brush, UST Short Handle Brush, 3.5″ Pipe Brush, 5″ Pipe brush, Round Hand Brush

Harvest Crates

Favorites:

  • UST Short Handle Brush
  • UST Medium Bench Brush or Narrow Utility Brush
  • Extra-Large Hand Brush
  • 3.5″ One Piece Pipe Brush

Pallet Bins

Favorites:

  • Medium Tank Brush
  • Ultra Hygiene Polypropylene handle shown. Aluminum would also work well for cleaning with most detergents, but check on material compatibility with aggressive detergents and sanitizers.

Sinks and Tables

Favorites:

  • Short Handle UST Brush
  • 10” Single Blade Ultra Hygiene Bench Squeegee
  • Handheld Cleaning Pad holder with Scrub Pad

Rinse Conveyor

Favorites:

  • UST Long Handle Brush
  • Ultra-Slim Wand Brush
  • 8″ Bench Scraper
  • Transport Brush – Hand Brush with Split/Soft Bristles
  • High-Low Brush with Aluminum Handle
  • Flexible 2″ Brushtech Pipe Brush [email us for details – coming soon]

Packshed Area

Favorites:

  • High-Low Brush with Aluminum Handle
  • 16″ UST Medium Push Broom
  • 12″ UST Deck Scrub
  • Cleaning Pad Holder with fine scrubbing pad with Ultra Hygiene Handle
  • 16″ or 20″ Squeegee
  • 3 or 5 Tool Hanger
Don’t for get to order a tool hanger to keep tools accessible, drying, and stored in good condition.

Drains

Favorites:

  • Vikan Drain Cleaning Brush
  • 5″ Pipe cleaning brush with Ultra Hygiene Polypropylene or aluminum handle.

Thanks to the farmers who helped evaluate these tools!


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Acknowledgements

This program is led by University of Vermont Extension, the National Farmers Union Foundation, and Cornell Cooperative Extension, as part of the Food Safety Outreach Program. Grant number 2020-70020-33003 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It is offered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law.

Funding for this publication was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets via the Integrated Extension Educational Programming in Support of the VAAFM Produce Program Grant 02200-FSMA-2018-01. The views expressed in the publication do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Vermont Agency of Agriculture; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government or the State of Vermont.

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