Cleaning and Washing Applications: Critical Design Considerations for Wire Mesh Baskets

Custom Designed Wire Mesh Basket

Cleaning and washing are important parts of many manufacturing processes, and we have designed hundreds of wire mesh baskets for these types of applications. Below is our short list of the most critical design considerations based on our decades of experience.

Mesh Construction

Wire mesh size and opening are important specifications we calculate for wire mesh baskets being used for cleaning and washing applications. These specifications are critical for allowing proper flow and draining of the cleaning solution. Wire meshes are specified by a mesh number that indicates the number of wires per inch and by a wire diameter that indicates the diameter of each mesh wire. The wire mesh opening is a third vital measure that is calculated as approximately: 1/mesh number – wire diameter. Lastly, wire mesh can be welded or woven. Welded wire mesh is more rigid than woven wire mesh and is typically 4 mesh or larger (i.e., 4 wires/inch or less). 

Wash Process

When determining the type of wire mesh construction needed for a particular cleaning or washing process, we also consider the type of wash process the wire mesh baskets and their corresponding parts will be subjected to. For instance, full rotation, agitation, and tunnel washing each have different performance requirements and demands for part orientation. Proper placement and control of parts throughout the wash process controls part movement and prevents parts from being damaged and from escaping from the wire mesh basket during the process.

Cleaning Agents

The type of cleaning agents used in cleaning and washing applications has a direct impact on the type of material we recommend for wire mesh baskets used in this type of process. Selecting the proper material will not only protect the basket itself from deterioration and corrosion, it will also protect the parts it carries from damage caused by contact with a compromised basket surface. Specifying materials that can withstand the cleaning agent and perform optimally for the cleaning or washing process ensures the best condition of the parts once the process is complete. 

Part Orientation

We design every basket with the proper mesh construction and materials to deliver maximum protection to the parts inside. We also work with our clients to configure the parts orientation so that our basket design accommodates the maximum number of parts without presenting risk to part quality during the cleaning or washing process. 


In addition to how wire mesh baskets hold parts and move through a cleaning or washing process, we also take into account the ergonomics of the design as they relate to any operator who has contact with the basket. Operator comfort and ease of use impact the quality of the end product. Thoughtful placement of basket features, including how the basket will be loaded/unloaded, are also important aspects of protecting quality and managing process throughput. 

See Three M Tool in Action

Watch how we designed this transmission cleaning basket. 

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