Cleanliness is, of course, a top priority for every restaurant. Washing and sanitizing dishes properly by hand used to be a nearly impossible chore for the busy restaurant. Thankfully, heavy duty commercial dishwashers have taken most of the hard work from our hands.
The only downside to the commercial dishwasher is that it’s used heavily on a daily basis. Prolonged, heavy use of any type of machinery will eventually cause wear and tear. Restaurant owners can run into trouble quickly if their dishwasher isn’t taken care of properly. Replacing a broken or damaged commercial dishwasher is a massive expenditure, and it can significantly slow down your workflow.
However, with careful daily maintenance, your commercial dishwasher can last for years even with heavy use. After all, commercial dishwashers are made to sustain a heavy, daily workload.
Your Comprehensive Commercial Dishwasher Maintenance Guide
A little preventative maintenance goes a long way and can keep your machine running as good as new for years. Follow these tips to get the most out of your commercial dishwasher.
- Always scrape dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Ideally, you should give them a quick rinse as well. Try to ensure that few food particles remain on the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.
- Clean it every day. Always follow your machine’s specific cleaning guidelines carefully. Remove food particles and other debris before cleaning the interior of the dishwasher, including the spray nozzles and other parts.
- Check detergent, sanitizer, and rinse aid levels each day. If there is not enough soap, sanitizer, or rinse aid going into the machine during a cycle, dishes will not come out clean. Always ensure you have adequate solution levels before starting a cycle.
- Allow the dishwasher to air dry after cleaning. Do not shut the dishwasher after you have finished using it for the workday. You should allow it to air dry overnight, or else you run the risk of breeding harmful bacteria.
- Ensure the filter is clean. You should change your filter approximately every twenty cycles, or more often if your machine is used more frequently than usual. If there are pieces of food or other debris stuck in the filter, place the filter under running water and clean with a soft brush. Reinstall the filter afterward.
- Refill the tank every 20 cycles. When you change the filter, you should replace the water in the tank to ensure dishes come out clean every time. Cleaning the interior tank with a manufacturer’s approved cleaning solution can also help reduce bacteria for a deeper clean.
- Never use any chemicals that may damage the machine. Your commercial dishwasher user manual will have guidelines on which chemicals to use to clean the machine. Bleach and other types of chemicals should never be used in a commercial dishwasher.
- Schedule annual inspections. To ensure your dishwasher is performing optimally, a certified dishwasher technician should inspect the machine at least once a year. The technician will be able to replace any broken parts or diagnose other hidden problems you may not identify.
General Tips for Maintaining Commercial Dishwashers
If you’ve never operated a commercial dishwasher before, there are some commonsense tips you should follow before you ever run that first cycle:
- Read the manual for your commercial dishwasher carefully. You should know the ins and outs of operating your dishwasher. The manual can tell you how to place dishes into the machine, which chemicals to use to clean it, and what to do if a part breaks down. You can find a list of Hobart Commercial Dishwasher manuals here.
- Teach your team how to use and clean the dishwasher. Of course, your dish washers will need to know how to operate your machine. It may also be a good idea to show other kitchen staff how to use it, just in case they ever need to.
- Establish a fool-proof dishwashing routine. Most busy restaurants rely on a solid system for cleaning and sanitizing dishes. This system should be as streamlined as possible for maximum efficiency. Ensure the dishwashing workspace remains free of unnecessary items or clutter.
- Scrape and rinse dishes as soon as they are brought back. One of the main challenges for busy restaurants is maximizing productivity during the busiest times. Scraping and rinsing dishes as soon as they come back from the dining area can help reduce dishwasher overload and a clean dish shortage.
Technology has transformed the restaurant industry in several ways, significantly shortening the amount of labor needed to perform essential tasks. Just like other forms of technology, commercial dishwashers must receive proper maintenance to ensure they operate with optimum efficiency. Take good care of your commercial dishwasher, and it will take good care of your business.