Rinsing Reminder: Why Must We Rinse?

Rinsing machines are used to clean dust and debris from containers prior to introducing product into the containers. Air, water or some other cleansing liquid may be used to complete the task and the machines may be simple labor intensive semi-automatic rinsers or fully automated inline rinsing machines. But does a packager HAVE to use a rinsing machine in their process? The quick answer is maybe, depending on unique factors of your project.

Some industries, such as food and pharmaceutical, require a sanitary packaging process, to ensure that the products do not become contaminated during the process. When dealing with these industries, it will be rare to not see some type of rinsing or container cleaning equipment on the line. In this case, clean bottles are not simply a want or desire of the packager, but rather a necessity used to avoid contamination which can result in injury, sickness and other consumer issues while also wreaking havoc on the reputation of any company. When clean containers are a requirement, rinsing machines will almost always be a requirement.

But what about products that are not made for human consumption? Is rinsing equipment still necessary? To answer that question, let's look at the life of the container prior to reaching the packaging line. First, the bottle must be manufactured somewhere and in some manner. The manufacture of the bottle or other container may leave remnants of material inside the individual bottles depending on how they are made. Once the containers are made, they must be packaged and shipped to the site of the packaging line. In transit, the environment may also cause debris to lodge in and around containers. Finally, bottles will typically spend some time in storage somewhere along their pre-packaging line life cycle. The environment in the storage area can also contribute to dust, debris and other contaminants building up in the containers.

If any of these processes create enough debris to affect the product, the packager may want to consider rinsing machinery. If debris will result in discoloration, dilution or otherwise negatively affect the product, it would probably be a good idea for a packager to add container cleaning equipment to their line. However, debris will not affect all products in the same way. As noted above, food and pharmaceutical products may become contaminated and harm the end users, in some cases even with minimal debris. On the other hand, another product, such as a candle type product, may not be affected at all by minimal debris, and may not even be noticeable in the package or container. In these cases, rinsing machines and other container cleaning equipment simply may not serve any purpose on the packaging line.

Not sure if container cleaning equipment will serve a purpose on your packaging project? Call the Packaging Specialists at Liquid Packaging Solutions to better understand the purposes of rinsing machines and find the best solution for your packaging line.