Selecting the right IBC cleaning solution

There are 4 factors to consider

  1. Number of IBCs cleaned per week
  2. Nature of the residues being cleaned. Are residues tough to remove, sticky, insoluble, or caked on? 
  3. Nature of the likely runoff. Is it toxic or hard to dispose of?
  4. The level of cleaning required. Does the IBC need to be hygienically cleaned or spotless to avoid potential contamination or is "clean enough" ok?

Manual cleaning

This is performed by pressure washers or by hand. It is a suitable method if

  • The number of IBCs per week is low (below) 10 per week
  • The nature of the residue is fairly straightforwards to get off and clean
  • The runoff is non-toxic and does not require specialist handling
  • The cleaning is non-critical in nature i.e. small amounts of missed residue are not an issue

Cleaning Stations

These are dedicated large machines that encompass the whole IBC, or even multiple IBCs. These are a large investment costing many thousands of thousands of pounds in many cases. They have the advantage of completely containing the whole IBC and handling all the residue run-off. The disadvantages are that they expensive and take up a lot of space.

These systems will typically be worth considering if:

  • The number of IBCs per week is high (above 50 per week)
  • The residues are tough to clean
  • The run-off is difficult to handle or toxic
  • The cleaning is considered critical for example a hygienic cleaning is required for example for foodstuffs

Contract cleaning

This involves the used IBCs being collected by a specialist cleaning company to be cleaned. These services can be expensive particularly if many IBCs need to be cleaned but they have the distinct advantage of being highly scalable and removing all problems associated with run-off residues. 

Contract cleaning should be considered if:

  • The number of IBCs is high (50+ per week)
  • Residues are tough
  • Cleaning is critical
  • Difficult to handle or toxic run-off

IBC Cleaning System 

The IBC Cleaning Station system consists of a pump, cleaning head and a special lance to mount the cleaning head through the IBC lid. This is a relatively modest investment when compared to a full IBC cleaning station and the system can be packed away, taking up little space, when not in use. There is a small amount of manual set-up involved so it is not a truly automated system, but it cuts down the amount of manual work required considerably when compared to manual cleaning.

These systems will be worth considering if:

  • You are cleaning more than 5 IBCs per week
  • Residues are tough to clean 
  • The cleaning is considered critical for example a hygienic cleaning is required for example for foodstuffs
  • The run-off is relatively easy to handle or dispose of.

Engineering considerations



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