The commercial dishwasher you find in a restaurant or café kitchen does the same thing as a dishwasher at home, however they are quite different. Your commercial dishwasher is larger, has a bigger capacity, and is a lot more powerful. Commercial dishwashers vary in size, capacity and power, can specialize in washing certain types of dishware, and can be high or low temperature models.

This post will focus on:

Undercounter dishwashers – small, compact units that most resemble domestic dishwashers (typically found in smaller establishments like a café)Passthrough dishwashers – these can fit one or more dish racks depending on the size, and they typically have a sink and benches on either side. Enabling you to take dirty dishes, slide it across to the dishwasher, run them through a cycle, and then slide the dishes onto another bench on the other sideGlasswashers – these are gentler than other dishwashers and are typically found in establishments that go through a lot of glassware like pubs

Before we get into our 8 tips we wanted to highlight a few key points:

A Clean Dishwasher = Clean dishware

Rinsing Dirty Plates

Most of you already do this, however getting rid of food scraps and oily residue is the first important step to caring for your dishwasher. Bits of food can block jets of water and the filter. Rinsing off food and grease means a healthier, longer lasting dishwasher and no clogged filters!

8 Simple Steps for Commercial Dishwasher Maintenance

1. Wash down the inside of the machine

At end of the day when all the dishes are done empty the dishwasher of any cutlery, dishes dishracks. Give the inside of the machine a good rinse, making sure to get all the corners. This will wash down any stray food bits into the filter.

2. Drain your dishwasher

Drain the dishwasher and empty the tank. Leave the dishwasher open when it is drained so that it can cool down. Leave it for 10 or 15 minutes but use your judgement; if it is too hot to touch, wait for it to cool down further before touching it.

3. Clean the wash/rinse arms and jets

This is important, if the arms/jets are blocked then water will not be circulating properly and dishes will not be cleaned properly. Start by removing the wash/rinse arms and jets by unscrewing the screw that holds them and gently removing. Rinse and clean them under running water to make sure none of the holes are blocked. If the arms have rubber gaskets make sure they are in good condition. Often food can get stuck in the holes in the wash/rise arms and sometimes stringy food can get wrapped around gaskets. Make sure to rinse out all the nozzles. This video show you how to clean the wash/rinse arms and jets.

4. Empty the filter

Take out the filters empty large bits of food in to the bin and then and give it a scrub with detergent and a soft brush, and then rinse it off.

5. Wipe down the inside and replace all the parts

Make sure to wipe down the inside of the machine and then replace all the parts that you removed and cleaned.

6. Check detergent and rinse-aid

Ensure that there is enough detergent and rinse-aid

7. Leave the dishwasher open

This allows the air to circulate inside the dishwasher helping to reduce bacterial build-up

8. Have a qualified technician service the machine annually

Commercial dishwashers can cost anywhere from $6000 and upwards, and parts and repairs are expensive. Reduce the risk of emergency breakdowns by booking an annual service. Like your car your dishwasher needs to be maintained to run properly. Typically, technicians will clean the solenoid valve filter, remove scale from the heating elements, inspect and relace seals, check the condition and/or wear of the components, and check the operation of the dispensers.

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