Cleaning a Chocolate Silo Takes Precaution

To some people, standing in and cleaning a silo of melted chocolate and crushing grapes in a wooden barrel with your bare feet might sound like a fun job. For about five minutes, maybe!

pressure washing a silo

Blackwell’s associates clean many things that are much worse than silos that contained chocolate liquor. Maybe these two consider this as one of the employee benefits of the job!

I can’t vouch for the grape crushing. I’ve never done it. But some of our associates here at Blackwell’s, Inc. can tell you how much work it is to clean a chocolate liquor silo.

These silos are confined spaces, so it takes special training and equipment to even go inside. Cleaning the silos begin with a test of the atmosphere inside. The first tests showed hazardous levels of carbon monoxide  which is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. While the associates were setting up the equipment to do the actual cleaning, they ventilated the silos to remove the carbon monoxide. After about 45 minutes, a retest of the atmosphere showed a level of zero.

Once the actual cleaning of the silos began, the entrants wore chemical filters on their respirators, Tyvek suits, and a full rain suit. If you’ve ever worn a Tyvek suit, then you know they can get pretty hot. Ventilation of the silo continued while the entrants were inside. As an extra precaution, the atmospheric monitor was attached to the body harness of the entrants.

The accompanying photo looks like the job was fun. But it wasn’t!

Maybe crushing grapes is!


Blackwell’s, Inc.

Specialized Industrial Cleaning, Concrete Coatings, and Concrete Repair

LaGrange, GA



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