Keeping your industrial pipelines clean is essential. Not only does a clean pipe keep things moving efficiently – and to keep your business afloat – regular cleaning also helps to ensure the quality of the product and the safety of the pipeline.

But, out of all of the different pipeline cleaning methods available, which is likely to be most effective for your needs?



The first cleaning option that many pipeline-dependent companies consider undertaking is flushing. This is because it is something that they can generally do on their own without having to contact another company for guidance or support.

Flushing does what the job eludes to – it’s the pushing through of water in order to flush out anything blocking the pipeline in question. Flushing can help to evacuate certain light debris, and to generally clean the inside of the pipe from various ferrous deposits.

However, it is important to note that while flushing can be efficient in some cases, it is not the best way to clean a pipeline. Flushing can only remove certain kinds of loose and light debris. Therefore, it will not be efficient in removing ground-on dirt, or debris and detritus that may otherwise be clogging your route.

While flushing can technically clean a pipeline, it will not be powerful enough to completely sweep the interior. Think of this method as similar to flushing a toilet – while that does remove certain solids and waste, you still may need to scrub deep for the best clean. So, what can you do when flushing is not enough?


Ice pigging

While ice pigging is one of the newer pipeline cleaning methods around, it does have its qualities. Ice pigging is usually used to remove light debris, however, much like flushing.

As the name suggests, ice pigging puts an actual slurry of ice to work – that is shot through the pipeline at high speed.

Ice pigging may appeal to many pipeline owners because of its efficiency, and in some cases will suffice to get your pipeline up to standard again.

However, like flushing, ice pigging will only ever be useful in removing light debris.

As you may know, pipelines are often faced with severe blockages that require a much more comprehensive clean.


General pigging

General pigging remains the most advanced and efficient technique for cleaning pipelines.

Pigtek Pipeline Cleaning Pig

Solid, custom-designed pigs can be deployed to fit the dimensions of any pipeline through which it is to travel. Pigs for cleaning may also deploy with scrapers and brushes fitted around the sides, helping to scrape the debris off of the interior walls of pipelines.

If the debris happens to be too strong for one pig, then using a second pig may be deployed and tracked to help loosen the blockage further.

Whereas flushing and ice pigging need to be repeated frequently to keep up with the build-up, general pigging can do the job efficiently enough to ensure that your pipelines will remain clean and efficient for a much longer time to pass.

Therefore, general pipeline pigs will save you money, power, time, and effort in the long run – and here at Pigtek, we’re in a proud position to recommend pigs for pipelines of all shapes, sizes and lengths.


How else can pigs be used?

General pipeline pigs are not only used as a means of cleaning pipes. They can also be deployed to ensure that the pipelines are in good working condition, as inspection devices.

As they travel through pipelines, pigs will gradually scan the pipes and report back using magnetic technology – detecting whether there is any corrosion, cracking, or other issues that could impede the efficiency and safety of your product’s delivery.

By detecting issues before they grow too big, you will be able to address them early on, preventing any breakages, injuries, or even potential disasters from happening. Pigs are more than just cleaning devices – they’ll help you plan for the future, too!



When it comes to inspecting, preparing and cleaning pipelines, traditional pigging will always lead the way. At Pigtek, we’re pleased to provide an array of pigging options and services to ensure your product always travels at the efficiency and standards of safety you demand.

What’s more, we will happily design custom pigs that will navigate your complex piping with ease. Why choose generic pipeline cleaning methods when you can achieve long-lasting results with a bespoke fit?

For more information, contact us on +44 (0) 1246 850220, or email us at, and let’s start getting your pipeline back to a better standard.