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How to Properly Clean a Forklift

How do you clean a forklift?

  1. Wear personal protective gear
  2. Get rid of traces of dirt
  3. Use a pressure washer when cleaning the forklift
  4. Choose the right soap for washing
  5. Opt for an air compressor when necessary
  6. Let the forklift dry completely


Plenty of companies enjoy the benefits of using a forklift. Because of this, it is utilized to transport a number of goods indoors and outdoors daily. This can lead to the accumulation of dirt, mud, and other contaminants over time. If neglected, this can cause rusting, inefficiency, and unexpected downtime. Fortunately, a quick clean is an effective way to keep your equipment in the best condition. Keep reading if you want to learn how to clean a forklift!


Wear Personal Protective Gear

Before you tackle a forklift cleaning task, it’s necessary to wear the right personal protective gear. You wouldn’t want the chemicals, fluids, and oils from the equipment to come in contact with your skin or eyes. Other than that, you might also slip from the liquids, so it’s best to be prepared. The good news is that you probably have all these things in your facility already.

  • Anti-slip safety boots
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Work coveralls

If you don’t have these things, it’s time that you buy them from a safety gear supplier. You need to be protected when handling material handling equipment at work.


Get Rid of Traces of Dirt

Get Rid of Traces of Dirt

Now that you’re dressed properly, it’s time to start cleaning. To begin with, you can tackle the dirt and debris on the surface of the forklift. For this, you can use a broom, brush, or cleaning cloth. Brush the forklift from the top in a downward motion. This way, the particles can collect on the ground, and you can sweep them away later. For hard-to-reach areas, you can use small brushes. Don’t neglect the cracks and crevices where dust can accumulate.

To keep your forklift clean, it helps to get in the habit of brushing it from time to time. A few sweeps can reduce your workload during periodic cleanings.


Use A Pressure Washer When Cleaning the Forklift

You might be wondering how to get rid of the contaminants in hard-to-reach areas of your forklift. A pressure washer can help you target those spots easily without too much elbow grease. It can erase signs of dirt, mud, and debris that could be difficult to wash off with just a brush or cloth. When you use hot water, you can also dissolve oil residue. This way, you can save time when cleaning your forklift.

Just like cleaning with a brush, use the pressure washer to clean your forklift from the top down. This prevents contaminants from spreading in areas that you have already washed.


Choose The Right Soap for Washing

Choose The Right Soap for Washing

Most of the time, you wouldn’t need to use soap when cleaning your forklift. But if you prefer to do so, make sure that you’re using a product recommended by your equipment manufacturer. The wrong product can interact with chemicals on your forklift, which can be potentially hazardous.

Soap might help to dislodge the debris if the pressure washer is not enough. Find a non-toxic and biodegradable product to reduce the impact on the environment.


Opt for an Air Compressor When Necessary

When you own an electric forklift, it’s not advisable to use a pressure washer. This equipment might be water-resistant, but it’s not waterproof. Large amounts of liquids can damage the electrical components and cause failure, shortage, and corrosion.

If your electric forklift is dirty, you can opt to use an air compressor instead. This works similarly to a pressure washer but instead of water, it uses pressurized air. It can dislodge dirt and other contaminants stuck in hard-to-reach areas. When cleaning your equipment, remember to turn the pressure down and adjust it as needed. Don’t aim it at another person as this can be dangerous because it produces a concentrated stream of air at high speed.


Let The Forklift Dry Completely

Let The Forklift Dry Completely

If you used the pressure washer on your forklift, the only thing left to do is to let it dry.  You can do this by wiping it with a dry cloth, but if you want to save time, you can park your equipment in the sun. This way, all parts of the forklift will dry completely—even the hard-to-reach areas.

Remember to let your forklift dry completely before using it, as the dampness could lead to damage to the internal parts.


Key Takeaway

Because of the efficiency a forklift brings, it’s easy to overlook its appearance. Over time, it will accumulate different types of contaminants—such as dirt, mud, grease, and chemicals. Aside from speeding up rust and damage, this can lead to blockage of moving parts that can make it difficult to operate.

With these tips on how to clean a forklift, your material handling equipment will always perform at peak capacity. Other than that, a preventive maintenance service can also ensure that your forklift is in the best condition. If you’re interested in booking one, you can send us a message here.

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