Weighing can be a dirty business, in certain environments, so you need a scale that can stand up to a good cleaning. That’s where washdown scales come in!
What’s an IP Rating?
A washdown scale is meant to stand up to demanding circumstances, like wet or industrial environments or to maintain a clean room’s condition and avoid contamination. The water-resistant scale’s IP rating – which rates the enclosure’s protection against the ingress of dust and water – can be used to determine the manner of cleaning. The two digits following the IP refer to protection against solids (the first digit) and liquids (the second digit).
In the two-digit rating, a first digit of 6 means the scale is dust-tight and fully protected against particulate matter. The second digit can range from 1 (dripping water for 10 minutes) to 9 (powerful, high-temperature jets). Adam Equipment offers several options for washdown scales, including the IP66-rated WBW, the NTEP- and Measurement Canada-approved WBZ retail scale, the IP66-rated PT stainless steel platform, the IP67-rated Gladiator and the IP67-rated AE403 indicator.
- Washdown doesn’t mean waterproof.
Regardless of its IP rating, never submerge your scale in water. An IP67-rated or better scale can be immersed in shallow water for short periods of time, but should you? Ultimately, there’s no real benefit to immersing it during the cleaning process, so it just isn’t worth the risk. After you clean it, rinse it down to eliminate any residue from cleaning products and you’re done.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Your scale’s manufacturer may have provided you with cleaning instructions when you first purchased the machine, but if you don’t have those instructions, contact them for guidance. For Adam products, ask us!
- Don’t use harsh detergents.
A damp cloth with a mild soapy solution or mild detergent is all you really need for cleaning a washdown scale. A harsh cleaner can damage your scale’s components. Make sure to thoroughly rinse any remaining detergent residues after cleaning.
A gentle touch is as important as a gentle soap! Be careful not to press down too hard on the scale’s components while you clean.
- Choose the right cleaning solution.
Your industry makes a difference, so choose a cleaner based on what your scale will encounter. A washdown scale used in food service, for example, would use a different product than one in an industrial environment.
- Don’t forget to remove the platter.
Dirt, liquids and other particles can get below the platform, so cleaning the pan alone isn’t going to be enough. Also, make sure to clean the feet: liquids can drip and pool underneath the scale’s feet, so clean them often to avoid having the scale’s feet resting in contaminants.
- Consider the effects of cross-contamination.
If one day you’re weighing green colorants and the next red, potential splashing could cross-contaminate your products. While the weight would be unaffected, the product you’re weighing might be compromised.
- Does it look clean?
This may seem obvious but it’s worth mentioning. After cleaning your washdown scale, make a final inspection to ensure that you haven’t missed any remaining debris or cleaning product.
Keeping your washdown scales clean not only reduces downtime and the expense of unplanned service calls, but it can also improve your scale’s performance and extend its life. If you have any questions about maintenance of your Adam products, we're here to help!