Foodservice Equipment Reports
Warewashing & Sanitation

Maintenance Tips: Coming Clean On Door-Style Dishmachines

Maintenance and a few sensible tips are keys to getting the best performance from a door-type dishmachine.

  • Provide at least 48 in. of worktable—enough to hold two racks of dishes—on either side of the dishmachine. This will give your employees adequate feed and landing space for loading and unloading dishes. Most modern machines can be field-retrofitted for straight-line or corner setup.
  • Scrape dishes thoroughly before loading racks. The faster your wash water gets dirty, the more detergent you have to use and the less clean the results.
  • Check wash- and rinse-water temperatures. Most machines now have thermometers with digital LED readouts, but it doesn’t hurt to check their accuracy periodically.
  • Clean out the machine between each shift or more often if needed. Again, dirty water affects the machine’s cleaning ability and can clog spray nozzles.
  • Wash the entire machine daily. Disassemble and clean spray arms; empty and wash scrap baskets. Leave the machine open to dry overnight.
  • Use the right racks. Racks that aren’t properly matched to the wares you’re washing cannot only prevent dishes from getting clean, but also may result in more chipped or broken glasses or tableware. Spacing of the pegs in a rack could be too far apart for small dishes, too close together for large plates. And the individual compartments in glass racks should be sized to fit the glassware’s diameter.
  • Use detergent and rinse agents in the right amounts. If you don’t use an automatic dispenser, measure chemicals to be used in the machine.
  • Filter and treat incoming water if necessary. Detergent doesn’t work well in hard water. Most dishwashers, especially low-temp models, clean better with water that contains only 2-4 grains of hardness. A filtration system that removes sediment and some minerals will help.
  • You may need a water softener, too. And check your warranty: Water filtration might be part of the agreement, and failing to filter might render the warranty void.
  • Delime the machine as necessary. Watch for a white haze on interior walls, spray arms and nozzles and prevent scale buildup by following manufacturer recommendations.

 

Copyright FER June 2014

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