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Choosing the Best Commercial Dishwasher

Keeping your dishes and glasses clean is essential to the life of your business. Cleaning your soiled wares is a major success or failure point for health inspectors, and it can make or break your establishment's reputation. If you want to make sure your business continues to grow and abide by federal, state, and local laws, choosing the correct commercial dishwasher is critical.

Types of Commercial Dishwashers

There are many styles of commercial dishwashers that cater to all different kinds of establishments. It is important to take into consideration a few different factors before selecting a dishwasher, including volume and allotted space. This section will help you determine which dishwasher makes the most sense for your business. Be sure to check out our commercial dishwasher reviews as well!

Restaurant Equipment

Conveyor Dishwasher

Conveyor dishwashers are large, cumbersome, and powerful, processing between 350 to 1000 dish and flatware racks daily. These commercial ware-washing machines are made of stainless steel and designed for heavy use in cafeterias, hospitals, and other high-volume operations. Many come with microprocessors and easy controls to set washing conditions, and there are also Energy Star models to help cut down on electricity consumption. Plus, they are made in both high temp and low temp models. But because they're so powerful, a commercial conveyor dishwasher requires a trained electrician to hardwire them.

Restaurant Equipment

Door Type / Rack Dishwasher

Door type or rack dishwashers are smaller versions of conveyor washers that are designed to connect to clean dishtables or dirty dishtables. The idea is to fill up a compatible rack full of dishes, push it inside the dishwasher, close the door, and run the cleaning cycle. Within moments, you can push the door back up and your dishware is cleaned.

A commercial ware washer can typically process between 30 to 350 dish and flatware racks every day, making them great for localized operations like mom-and-pop restaurants. And like the conveyor models, you can also find these with high and low temp designs. Because they're not as large as conveyor dishwashers, rack washers are designed to sit out of the way of your kitchen's traffic, usually in a corner or against a wall. However, many still pull too much electricity to run off a simple plug and should be installed by an electrician as well.

Restaurant Equipment

Undercounter Commercial Dishwasher

Undercounter dishwashers are an excellent equipment choice for compact kitchens or bars where you can clean as you go, but not at a rapid pace. They can clean between 20 to 55 dish and flatware racks per hour, giving your business a steady supply of clean dinnerware throughout your business hours.

Most commercial warewashing equipment of this type use a single door on the front and resemble residential washing units, but they can incorporate a variety of controls and displays to let you work more efficiently. You can find them in high and low temp styles, and since they fit right under your countertop, these dishwashers are the most convenient when used in the front of the house, minimizing the distance and time required to get clean dinnerware back to your customers.

Restaurant Equipment

Glass Washer

Glass washer machines are designed to quickly and efficiently clean your establishment's glassware without causing chips or damage. They wash upwards of 2,000 glasses per hour, with one cycle taking about 90 seconds to complete. Many are designed to fit right under your countertop, so they can be used in your front of the house to help keep up with demand and ensure you always have clean glasses on hand.

Glass washers allow for bulk glassware cleaning, making them a great investment for high-volume restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and hotels. Rack, carousel, or pass-through glass washer models are available in both high and low temp styles. Upright or submersible bar sink glass washers can also be used to thoroughly clean your glassware before it is run through your commercial dishwasher.

Restaurant Equipment

Pot Washer

Pot and pan washers make cleaning and sanitizing pots, pans, mixing bowls, and trays a quick and easy task. They are designed with tall doors that provide enough clearance to accommodate cookware of all shapes and sizes that cannot fit in a standard dishwasher. They are an ideal alternative to manually scrubbing pots and pans in a three-compartment sink and use less water compared to handwashing. By conserving water and reducing time spent manually washing dishes, pot and pan washers can help save on utility and labor costs.

Pot and pan washers allow for bulk cookware washing, making them a great investment for high-volume restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, or hospitals. Door type, lift door, or pass-through pot and pan washer models are available with front loading or straight loading styles to accommodate your kitchen layout.

Restaurant Equipment

Ventless Dishwasher

Ventless dishwashers condense steam and eliminate the need for a commercial kitchen hood. Some kitchens may require a type 2 kitchen hood to trap and reduce heat and moisture build-up so that your busy staff can have an optimal working environment and you can protect your ceiling and other equipment. Ventless dishwashers eliminate the need for a costly kitchen hood and allow you to be more flexible with where to place your dishwasher.

Some ventless dishwashers utilize an energy recovery system, which collects the hot water vapor inside the machine and transfers it back to the booster to preheat the incoming rinse water. This can help save on energy and water costs in the long run. One factor to keep in mind with ventless dishwashers is that they typically have a lower output production than standard rack dishwashers. 

Commercial Dishwasher Temperature Requirements

The FDA requires food contact surfaces to reach a surface temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered sanitary. Not all dishwashers reach temperatures that can accommodate this requirement, so it is important to pay attention to unit specifications that outline temperature potential.

How Hot Do Dishwashers Get?

Dishwasher water temperature can range anywhere from 120 - 180 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the model and which cleaning cycle they are running.

High and Low Temp Dishwashers

noble high temp dish washer
High temp machines
  • Wash dishware at 150 to 160 degrees and rinse it at 180 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sanitizes through intense water heat
  • Require a condensate hood
  • Faster drying
  • Great for visibly soiled dishes and fat / grease

Low temp machines
  • Wash and rinse at temperatures between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Require chemical sanitizing agents
  • Dishes must be scrubbed before using the machine
  • May not require hoods (check with your local authority)
  • Low energy requirement

Booster Heaters

booster heater

Benefits of a Booster Heater:

  • Units effectively remove food residue and provide rapid self-drying and sparkling clean dishware
  • Units ensure that the final rinse water temperature is hot enough (120 or above for low temp, 180 or above for high temp)
  • Compact models fit right next to your dishwasher
  • Units are insulated to minimize heat loss, saving energy and time
  • Cleaning a Commercial Dishwasher

    It is important to regularly clean your dishwasher to ensure that your soiled wares are getting thoroughly clean. Grease and food remnants can build up quickly and act as a hindrance for your machine to function as it should. Be sure to refer to your dishwasher's manual or care and maintenance guide for instructions on proper cleaning.

    Warewashing Chemicals

    Noble Chemical dry it low rinse
  • Vital for low temp machines
  • Help sanitize and clean at temperatures that don't naturally occur in your dishwasher
  • Find a chemical that will work with both your unit and your dishware
  • Types include powder, liquid, solid, and metal safe
  • Check out Noble Chemical dishwashing chemicals for an effective and affordable option
  • The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

    Related Resources

    Types of Glass Racks

    Glass racks keep glasses safe during the cleaning process , storage, and transport. They help ensure efficient movement of glassware from one location to the next, and they come in sizes and styles to fit every need. This guide will go over how to choose a glass rack based on the type and size so you can make a more informed purchase for your business. Shop All Commercial Glass Racks

    Types of Warewashing Chemicals

    With the wide range of warewashing chemicals available, you might not know which products work for your kitchen. Whether you wash dishes manually or with a dish machine, each method has detergents and sanitizers for cleaning and sanitizing that are important to meet regulations. By choosing the right warewashing chemicals within your budget, your dishes will be spotlessly clean to impress your customers and your health inspector. Shop All Warewashing Chemicals

    Dishwasher Sizes

    Whether you want to upgrade your kitchen appliances or are searching for a dishwasher for your new restaurant, choosing the right size is crucial. Finding a dishwasher that fits seamlessly into your kitchen's layout maximizes efficiency, ensures optimal cleaning of dishes and utensils, and prevents a backlog of dirty dishes. Whatever style of dishwasher you choose, knowing the dimensions you need will help eliminate obstacles in the kitchen. This guide outlines dishwasher dimensions, how to measure a dishwasher, and various dishwasher capacity options to help you make an informed decision about the ideal dishwasher for your establishment. Shop All Commercial Dishwashers

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