Innovate Blog
How to get the most from your commercial dishwasher

Wednesday May 3, 2017

Clean and simple: a series of blogs from Cleanline expert Rod Hale.

We asked our Cleanline expert ‘How can we improve the efficiency of dishwashing in our operation?’

And here’s what he told us…

Cleanline Expert – Rod Hale Twitter – @rodhale2

Cleanline Expert – Rod Hale Twitter – @rodhale2

Nobody likes buying anything that goes straight down the drain, particularly dishwasher detergent and rinse aid, which are sometimes seen as expensive necessities that continually need reordering.  So are there any ways that you can get the most out of not only the products, but the dishwasher itself?

The answer is yes.  There are lots of simple things you can do to get better results at a lower cost, it may take a little bit of training to establish them as part of a routine, but it’ll be worth it.  Here are some tips you may find useful:

Keep lime scale at bay by topping up the water softener with salt

Most modern single tank dishwashers have their own internal water softener.  When you open the dishwasher you’ll see a screw cap for pouring in the salt.  Most dishwashers use granular salt, but some specify salt tablets.  Some dishwashers have a separate water softener on the floor next to the dishwasher, these have to be topped up too.  If you don’t carry out this simple procedure on at least a weekly basis then you’ll soon notice brown stained cups, misted glassware, water spotted cutlery, a white dishwasher interior and customers complaining of dirty plates.

Clear out the nozzles of the wash and rinse arms

All commercial dishwashers have detachable wash and rinse rotors, or on bigger machines wash and rinse arms.  The reason that they are easy to take out of the machine and dismantle is because they contain lots of nozzles that continually get blocked up with debris or scale.  The debris is from bits and pieces that have got into the wash tank, most commonly olive stones, cocktail sticks, plastic spoons and foil.  It’s a simple job to poke these out with something sharp and flush away under the tap.  The rinse arms have smaller nozzles, or jets that can be poked with something like a paper clip.

Use the correct racks

There are all sorts of types of racks for stacking dirty tableware in, but, very broadly, there are plate racks and cup racks.  Plate racks have rows of plastic spikes that enable you to stack the dirty plates and saucers in an upright position so that they get exposed to all the wash and rinse water.  When they come out of the machine any excess water should ‘slide down’ into a sheet.  It’s important that only items of the same size are stacked otherwise the larger items will shield smaller items from the force of the water.  Cup racks flat so that lots of cups can be stacked upside down closely together, but they can also be used for carrying cutlery baskets too.

Use cutlery baskets

Cutlery baskets are divided into four or more sections and are for stacking knives, forks and spoons upright so that excess water runs off cleanly instead of evaporating and leaving visible water marks.  If you put too many items into a section then the wash and rinse water cannot penetrate and do its job. The various items should be mixed together because if, say, only dessert spoons are put into a section they will end up sticking to each other and will not get cleaned; in massive commercial dishwashing operations it’s such a common problem there’s even a term for it – nesting spoons!  It doesn’t make a lot of difference whether the knives, forks and spoons are stacked handle end or eating end up, but some professionals think that eating end up is better because you can fit more in a basket and if there is any water residue the customer is more likely to notice it on the blade of a knife than the handle.

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