Best Practices for Cleaning Willmes Presses

Proper cleaning and care of your Willmes press is an important step to reducing harvest complexities, ensuring you get the most out of your capital investment, and the highest quality end-result for your customers. 

Here we’ve outlined the necessary steps to properly clean your Willmes press before and after harvest to ensure optimal results.

Pre and Post Harvest

Clean the interior of your drum and membrane with a 1.0 to 1.5 % solution of Destainex-LF (Low Foam). Destainex-LF is a multi-purpose peroxy-carbonate based cleaner that is used at low levels to effectively remove biofilms, protein, wine color, and mold/mildew from wine contact surfaces. This formulation can be used effectively for automated cleaning systems (one of the recently added options to Willmes Sigma Presses) as well as manually on stainless steel and press membranes.

DestainexLF Recommended Dosage: 0.5-1.5kg/100L (0.67-2.0 oz. /gallon)
For wine film with no/light color stains: 0.5- 1.0kg/100L clean, potable water used.
For wine film with moderate/heavy color stains: 1.0- 1.5kg/100L clean, potable water used.

On presses that have doors that seal, you can simply add the weighed amount of Destainex LF to the appropriate amount of 104°F – 140°F water in the press tank, close the doors, and rotate the press.

The cleaning product will have to be mixed separately and manually applied to the surfaces on presses with removable or perforated doors. For these presses add the Destainex-LF to a five-gallon bucket to make a 0.5 to 1.5% solution and then scrub with brushes. Scott Laboratories provides a measuring cup with all Destainex-LF purchases so that you will always add the appropriate concentration to your water.

Willmes Tank Presses

Close all product drains with juice caps or butterfly valves. Add a mixture of 104°F -140°F water and a 0.5 – 1.5 % solution of Destainex-LF to your press. The solution should be enough to cover the bottom of the tank so that all surfaces are in contact with the cleaning solution when the press rotates. Close the doors and rotate the press manually or you can use the Interval Rotation program (if you have this option) to rotate the press and control the duration and the amount of turns if you have this option.

Willmes Merlin, Universal Presses (UP) and Progress Presses (PP)

Add the appropriate amount of Destainex-LF and 104°F – 140°F water to a five-gallon bucket and scrub with brushes.

Willmes Sigma Presses

Close the product valve and add the Destainex-LF solution. The solution must completely cover the bottom of the tank to ensure total contact with the surface of the drum. You can manually turn the press, or you can use the Interval Rotation program (if you have this option) to control the duration and amount of rotations.

The newer Sigma has an option for cleaning the press. Instead of manually rotating the press or using the Interval Rotation, you can use the optional cleaning program. This program adds just enough pressure to the membrane to allow the wrinkles in the in the membrane to relax and disappear. This allows better membrane contact with your cleaning solution. Everything is automatic; all you do is select the amount of time you would like your press to clean.

Shop Cleaning Products

Once you have cleaned your press, drain and rinse with clean water to remove all remaining cleaning solution.

Your press is now cleaned and prepped for harvest, and/or cleaned post-harvest and ready for any necessary post-harvest maintenance. Taking good care of your CapEx equipment is the most sure-fire way to guarantee you get the most bang for your buck and enjoy a long, healthy life with your Willmes press.

For more tips on how to prepare your Willmes press for harvest, check out our short instructional video.

Need spare parts for your press or want to schedule service with our technicians? Visit our Parts & Service page to purchase parts online or request service.