How to Store Unused Colorant in the Winter
As the winter months and cold weather approach many regions of the United States, mulch producers may find themselves with mulch colorant that will need to be stored until the spring.
Proper storage, management and product handling are key to protecting the quality of the mulch colorant and preventing spills or other accidents. Extra care is needed when storing mulch colorant during cold weather.
Proper mulch colorant storage tips:
1. Don’t let your mulch colorant freeze.
Over time, the pigment in mulch colorant tends to sink to the bottom of the tote. If left unmixed, the thick pigment can be difficult to get back into suspension, especially in cold weather. To avoid this, store your unused mulch colorant indoors and make sure it stays above 40° F.
2. Keep mulch colorant totes out of the sun.
Keeping your unused mulch colorant stored indoors will also keep it out of the sun. The sun can dry out mulch colorant along the sides of a tote. When this happens, the dried flakes can drop down into the colorant and may be pumped into a coloring machine when production starts back up. These flakes can clog up the atomization nozzles, leading to extra costs and labor for cleaning and maintenance.
3. Use trained staff and proper equipment for handling mulch colorant totes.
Improper handling can lead to spills and other accidents at your mulch production facility. We often see totes that are punctured by a forklift driven by inexperienced or distracted operators, resulting in wasted mulch colorant.
Maximizing your mulch colorant use:
Colorbiotics goes to great lengths to keep colorant stable so that all of it can be used with minimal waste.
In addition to the tips above, be sure to use a first-in, first-out inventory management system to make sure your oldest product is used first. If you’re planning on recycling your empty totes during the winter months, be sure they are washed out to avoid paying a fee to the manufacturer.
When coloring mulch, make sure the tote is drained completely into the coloring machine to avoid wasted mulch colorant. You can achieve better drainage by placing a 4x4 block under the back end to prop it up.