Tip #1: Scrape Off Food Debris from Dishes
Everyone working in a busy kitchen knows how hectic it can get, but even during the busiest times everyone should always do their best to take care of the dishwasher. One of the things your staff could do to help prolong the dishwasher’s lifespan is to always scrape off food debris from the washware before it’s placed inside the dishwasher. Quickly rinsing the dishes as well would be ideal.
This kind of preventive maintenance will minimize the amount of food debris and oily residue that enters the dishwasher together with the dishware and prevent large chunks of food entering the dishwasher system and causing issues such as clogging the filter, the nozzles, getting caught on wash arms, etc.
Tip #2: Always Follow the Manual
Regardless if putting together a bookshelf or performing a conveyor maintenance, we often feel like we can figure everything out on our own, without going through the manual. But we often can’t, and we often shouldn’t even try performing such a serious task as commercial dishwasher maintenance without following the manufacturer’s specifications.
You could do a lot to cause the things to go wrong, so take your time and read the manual if you are really going to commit yourself to doing this. You wouldn’t want to use a wrong chemical that would corrode your rinse arms and pipes or result in irreparable dishwasher failure, now would you?
Having each staff member going through the manual could be a waste of time. Better yet, help come up with short, easy-to-read instruction tailored specifically for employees handling maintenance and pin it somewhere close to the dishwasher.
Tip #3: Regularly Check Chemicals
Rinse aid, detergent and sanitizer are most important chemicals used by a commercial dishwasher , because they are responsible for having sparkly clean and well sanitized dishes. Low or high concentrations can cause issues that your customers will notice and won’t appreciate, so make sure you check the chemical levels every day, ideally before starting a cycle.
Here’s just one example of what can happen in case rinse aid levels are not appropriate: low rinse aid concentrations won’t properly dry the warewash, causing visible water droplets and streaks on the surface; on the other hand, high rinse aid concentrations will again cause visible stains, such as rainbow colors, bubble marks and streaks.
Tip #4: Regularly Inspect Dish Racks
You’ll need to regularly inspect dish racks for any chipping caused by the constant use. The racks are usually either painted or coated for protection and damaged racks can cause quite a few issues.
Namely, the chipped pieces of covering and rust can clog the filter or even damage the dishwasher’s pump; damaged racks are difficult to use and expensive to replace, and so on. You can either coat the damaged areas with a waterproof food-grade paint, or simply purchase new racks every time you notice damage (prices for dishracks range from about $10 to more than $100 depending on the type and size/number of compartments & extenders).