Commercial dishwashers are some of the most expensive equipment in a commercial kitchen. It is also an essential part of a commercial kitchen. Clean plates, bowls, cutlery, and glasses are readily available during restaurant rush hour. Apart from improving the efficiency of your kitchen staff, commercial dishwasher machines also ensure that every plate, every fork, and every glass is clean and germ-free.
Different Types of Commercial Dishwashers
Large and powerful, flight-type dishwashers are ideal for hotel restaurants, hospitals, banquet halls, cruise ships, and buffet restaurants. These machines are typically designed and custom-built for an establishment. They are comprised of separate compartments which include the pre-washing section, the main wash, and the drying section. Flight-type dishwashers are equipped conveyor belts which draw the dishes inside it compartments. Dish racks are not necessary for this type of dishwasher as tableware are loaded onto the conveyor directly.
When it comes to capacity, the conveyor-type dishwasher can give its flight-type counterpart a run for its money. During the washing process, plates, cutlery, and glasses are loaded onto plastic dish racks and onto a conveyor. The racks then pass through the machine for washing and drying. This type of machine can wash hundreds of racks per hour, making them ideal for large restaurants, hospitals, and school cafeteria.
Pass-through or commercial dishwashers are ideal for high-volume establishments with limited kitchen space. During the washing process, tableware are loaded into a dishwashing rack and then loaded into the dishwasher. Unlike the first two types of dishwashers, this machine has a hood that is pulled down when the machine is in operation. Once the tableware had been washed and dried, the hood will then be pulled up, and the rack will be removed.
Undercounter dishwashers are perfect for bars, pubs, small restaurants, or coffee shops because of their compact size. These machines are placed under the counter of a bar, a pub, or a coffee shop, giving the bartender or the barista easy access to glassware. Although they are more compact compared to other types of dishwashers, these machines are also efficient and have high-capacity.
How to Maintain your Commercial Dishwasher
Just like other machines, dishwashers will inevitably break down. But there are steps you can take to ensure to prevent frequent breakdowns and keep it running smoothly for longer.
- Read the user manual before operating the machine. The user manual not only provides information on how to properly operate your machine, but also contains safety instructions and troubleshooting tips. You can save time and solve some problems on your own when you and your employees have read the manual. This piece of literature also helps you and your employees maintain the dishwasher to ensure that it will be working properly for many years.
- Pre-scrape dishes before loading them onto the racks and into the dishwasher. Scraping bits and pieces of food is a must if you want to ensure that your commercial dishwasher will work smoothly. Bits of food left behind on plates and bowls can accumulate and clog your machine’s filter. Plates, cutlery, and glasses will only emerge dirty and greasy if the filters are clogged. If there are burnt food in your pans, soften the remnants by soaking them in soapy water.
- Clean the machine every day. Although it is a machine that cleans, it cannot clean itself. Ensure that it will run smoothly by cleaning its interior as well as its exterior. At the end of each shift, remove and thoroughly wash the filter and spray nozzles with a soft brush and rinse them under running water. Run a cycle on empty once, and drain the machine afterward. Turn it off, and leave the door open overnight to air dry the dishwasher. If you have a machine that has plastic splash curtains, remove them and scrub each curtain to remove food debris stuck on their surface.
- Constantly check the chemical levels. There’s nothing more disappointing than a customer finding lipstick marks on a glass or streaks of grease on a plate that had been washed in the dishwasher. To ensure that your tableware are sparklingly clean each time, check the detergent, sanitiser, and rinse aid levels every now and then during the shift. Make sure that the chemicals also don’t run out.
- Change the filter after every twenty cycles or so. Dishwasher filters need to be replaced after every twenty cycles or so. The filter needs to be changed more frequently in high-volume operations.
- Ensure that the tank is also refilled every time you change the filter. It is recommended that you drain the water in the tank and refill it with fresh water every twenty cycles. Replacing the water in the tank ensures that your plates, glasses, and cutlery come out clean every time. Clean the tank to make sure that it will not become a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Delime the machine regularly. Hard water can leave behind ugly white streaks in your machine and dishes, which is why it is important that you delime your commercial dishwasher regularly. But before you delime your machine, make sure that the chemical you are going to use is compatible with your machine. If you want to make sure that your machine is in safe hands, hire a professional cleaner to remove limescale buildup in your dishwasher.
- Never use chemicals that are not compatible with your machine. Do not use a regular, domestic dishwashing detergent for your commercial dishwasher. Choose a detergent that is safe for all metals and is effective in cleaning your dishes whether you have hard or soft water. Consult your dishwasher manufacturer or supplier to learn which rinse aid, sanitiser, and water softener is compatible with your machine.
- Have a dishwasher technician inspect the machine every year. When it comes to a commercial dishwasher (or any other kitchen equipment), an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. You might be diligent in cleaning and maintaining, but there are still some issues that only a trained eye can spot. Have a dishwasher technician inspect the machine every year to prevent major problems and costly repairs.