How to Clean Your Ointment Mill

By October 6, 2017 No Comments
Clean Ointment Mill


For everyday cleaning between formulations, alcohol and a soft cloth or paper towel are the best things to
use. Do NOT spray the alcohol on the rollers or pour the alcohol into the gap when the machine is
running. Put the alcohol on a paper towel or cloth and hold it against the roller tightly while you turn the
roller with the hand wheel.**

When you start to get a build up, you can use an abrasive to clean the rollers. You don’t want to do it too
often because it will remove some of the porcelain over time. Everyone has their favorite product so I’m
going to tell you about several of them.

1. Do not use Ajax or Comet cleansers (even SoftScrub). They have bluing crystals that can leave
blue dye on the roller. If you can find a form of SoftScrub that is made of completely white
powder this will be fine. I personally use Bon Ami cleanser. You can find this in the grocery store
with the other cleansers. I make a slurry of it with either water or Goo-Gone (a citrus based liquid
that cuts oils) and I put it on the tip of a sponge and gently scour the rollers. Other people use
baking soda in a light oil to do the same thing. It is possible to put some of these slurries or Soft
Scrubs in the back gap and run the mill. One or two passes are fine, but if you run it a lot you will
create larger pores in the porcelain.

2. There is a product called Fast Orange Hand Cleaner. You can find it at Wal-Mart, Sam’s,
Home Depot, auto parts stores etc. It’s a pumice based hand cleaner that is the consistency of
jelly. You can use this as well. When we have a particularly badly stained roller, we will run it
through the mill with the gaps slightly open. One pass usually takes off any stain or congealed
product. Do NOT use this for more than one pass. The pumice is much more abrasive than the
cleanser or baking soda. You can put a little on a damp sponge and spot clean with it gently.
Once you’ve done any of these, you should thoroughly clean the rollers with soap and water and then
remove that residue with alcohol before running a new product.

** Many pharmacies are running back-to-back ointments and need to clean their mills quickly.
So rather than turn the rollers with the hand wheel they leave the machine running while they
clean. Not only is this unsafe for the technician, but it makes it easy to get the cleaning cloth
caught in the gap. When this happens, there is a risk not only to the technician but to the
machine and its precision. It is possible to bend the shafts of the rollers if something too big
is pulled in and the repair/replacement can be costly.