Commercial Dishwasher Detergent is Not the Only Chemical You'll Need

Commercial Dishwasher Detergent is Not the Only Chemical You’ll Need

The essential aspect of every-day life of any business in the food service industry is keeping the dishes nice and clean. The level of cleanliness of your dishware can be crucial to your reputation – either it’s going to keep the customers coming back, or your reputation will crash as fast as the bad word spreads.

Being reckless about cleaning efforts won’t just cost you regular customers – it will get you in trouble with the government for not abiding by the law. The National Sanitation Federation (NSF) and local governments developed very strict sanitization guidelines when it comes to commercial dishwashers.

A commercial dishwasher must operate strongly and efficiently enough to remove all bacteria from dirty dishes, utensils and cookware and to sanitize the dishes. These sanitation regulations resulted in the development of two types of commercial dishwashers: High-Temperature & Low-Temperature.

The Difference Between High- and Low-Temperature Dishwashers

As the name suggests, the difference between the types of commercial dishwashers lies in the temperature the dishwashers use to remove both visible stains and bacteria. The high-temp dish machines use hot water to sterilize the dishes, while the low-temp dishwashers require sanitizing chemicals.

The wash temperature of high-temp dish machines ranges from 150 to 160 or 165 degrees, after which the dishes are sanitized through a rinse cycle and water of a minimum of 180 degrees. On the other hand, the low-temp dish machines use water of 120-140 degrees for both washing and rinsing.

These temperatures are not sufficient to remove all kinds of impurities, so they are usually not able to remove some stubborn stains, such as lipstick, in just one wash. Particularly hard-to-remove substances are fats and grease, because temperatures below 130 degrees are not very efficient against these stains. As the temperature they are producing is not high enough to fully sanitize the dishes, low-temperature dishwashers require chemical sanitizers to do the sanitizing.

Although only low-temp dish machines require the additional purchase of sanitizers, both types need detergent and rinse aid.

Commercial Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwasher detergent is used in both low- and high-temp dishwashers and its main purpose is to properly clean the dishware. The main difference between the commercial grade detergent and the regular, domestic one, is that the regular detergents are higher sudsing. This is because domestic detergents can’t break down quickly enough during the fast cycles of a commercial dishwasher that usually last 1-3 minutes. The reason why you shouldn’t use a regular dishwasher detergent in a commercial dishwasher is that it will retain lots of suds which will cause soap build-up on the wash chamber walls and roof, causing flooding through the door and spotting on the dish- and glassware.

Not all commercial dishwashers accept all types of detergents – some accept powder, some liquid and some solid detergents. Also, most detergents are incompatible with certain metals, so the best dishwasher detergents would be the ones with highest-removal abilities, suitable for most dish surfaces, with reasonable prices. Some commercial dishwasher detergents that you should definitely consider are all-metal safe detergents, that are effective in all water conditions and safe on all ware, or the all-temp dishwashing detergents.

Another type of commercial dishwasher detergents that you should seriously consider are the phosphate-free detergents. Although phosphates are extremely effective cleaners, which is great for the business, they are extremely harmful to the environment. Just keep in mind that the phosphate containing detergents are no longer available for retail customers, but still are for commercial businesses using commercial products in large quantities. If you want to help make a difference, avoid products containing phosphates. It’s 2018 and there are plenty of powerful, effective and eco-friendly alternatives.

Some of the issues that you can have with the detergent is that your washware is not properly cleaned. It can mean that the detergent dosage is too low. Also, in case you sense a strong smell of chlorine, it can mean that you used a chlorine detergent instead of the chlorine-free one and/or the dosage quantity is too high.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Rinse aid is a low-foaming agent highly effective for decreasing drying times and removing spots, clouds or water streaks sometimes found on dishes, glassware and utensils after the wash cycle. Because they are so effective at removing this white residue, commercial dishwasher rinse aids are very popular and frequently used by many businesses in the food service industry. They are available on formulas for both low- and high-temp dishwashers.

Rinse aids are a great addition especially if you go for eco-friendly, phosphate-free detergent, because the absence of phosphates can increase the appearance of the white residue on dishes. You can also look for a phosphate-free rinse additive, as it will also work like a charm.

Correct dosage of the rinse aid is very important, as low or high concentrations can cause issues. For example, in case your washware is not properly cleaned or your washware fails to dry, there are water droplets and streaks on the washware and there is no sheen, it can be because the rinse aid concentration is too low. On the other hand, if there are streaks, rainbow colors, burst bubble marks and clouds, it can mean that the rinse aid concentration is too high.

Commercial Dishwasher Sanitizer

The final rinse of a low temperature dish machine contains chemical sanitizers. Commercial Dishwasher sanitizer is necessary to reach satisfactory cleaning results and sanitation requirements. The water temperature developed by this type of dishwasher is not enough to fully sanitize the dishes, so a sanitizer must be used in the final rinse.

However, sanitizers can be tricky. Namely, low-temp commercial dishwasher sanitizing solution consists of ammonium, chlorine or iodine, which can damage some materials used for utensils and dishware. Especially sensitive are some plastics, aluminum, silver, steel, pewter and other alloys. Before you do the shopping, make sure you know what your serving products are made of. Knowing the material used in your dishware will help you choose the right sanitizer that is safe to use on it.

Sanitizers are used for manual washing applications are called hand wash sanitizers. Different sanitizer solutions require different temperatures and concentrations, so for example, Quaternary Ammonium Chloride requires at least 75 degrees and 200-400 ppm; iodine requires same temperature, but 12.5-25 ppm; and chlorine can be used on different temperatures, but with different concentrations. 55 degrees require 100 ppm, 100 degrees require 50 ppm, and 120 degrees require 25 ppm.

User tip: Pay attention to the dosage instructions, as underdosing will have adverse effects on the wash results and the washware lifecycle, while overdosing won’t affect the wash result, but is uneconomical and will cause pollution. Also, if the chemical consumption is too high, it can mean that the chemicals are not suitable for the actual hardness of the water.

 Buyers tip: Most modern-day commercial dishwashers are equipped with dispensing systems. The chemical dispensers are efficient and cost-effective pieces of equipment designed to mix and dispense cleaning and sanitizing chemical concentrates. They provide maximum control and a high level of flexibility. A commercial dishwasher chemical dispenser will need to be refilled weekly or monthly and properly maintained.

Commercial Water Softener

Hard water consists of magnesium and calcium and the larger the amount of these minerals, the harder the water. Hard water can be dangerous for appliances such as dishwashers as the limescale buildup can affect their lifespan.

Limescale can build up on wash arms, spray jets, heating rods and dishwasher interior and cause it to break. It can also cause white stains on the dishes and glasses. Your customers won’t see the inside of your dishwasher, but they will certainly see stained dishware.

To prevent limescale, you’ll use water softener. It is a chemical that will get rid of these hard minerals. Its purpose is to protect the dishwasher components, to improve water quality and ware washing results.

Some Dishwasher Specialty Chemicals

  • Presoak & Detarnisher – Presoaks dissolve and remove soils from silverware, flatware, glass and stainless steel. The two main benefits: warewash becomes brighter and re-washing is avoided, so you’ll save time and energy. Some have enzymes for breaking up and loosening debris, and some can also be used to detarnish silver.
  • Bar glass detergents – Certain sanitizers can prevent beer head from forming, so these bar glass detergents are crucial for all busy bars. They’ll remove stubborn stains, such as lipstick, but won’t affect beer head. Main benefits: your customers will get the proper draft-beer experience, and you’ll avoid losing money by filling up the glasses more than you are supposed to.
  • Descalers – Used to scale or slow down the accumulation of hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium. They don’t soften the water but provide some benefits of a softener. Water softeners do remain a better choice, though, with more benefits. Learn more on how to descale your commercial dishwasher.

Manual Dish Washing Alternative – 3 Compartment Sink Procedure

The 3-compartment sink method involves manual warewashing in a stainless steel 3-compartment sink. The correct order to follow is: wash, rinse, sanitize. There are certain guidelines for each step that are meant to ensure each dish is properly cleaned and sanitized.

Washing is the first step of the 3-sink method and this is where the dishes become visibly clean. The washing sink is supposed to be filled with a solution made of detergent, soap, abrasive cleaner, degreaser, acid or alkaline cleaner, and water. The water temperature depends on the local health codes, but the minimum must be between 95 and 120 degrees. This is also the step where glass and scrub brushes or dish cloths will be used if necessary.

Rinsing is the second step of the 3-sink method, which means that the second compartment needs to be filled with clean water. The clean water will remove cleaning agents that stayed on the dishes after step 1, but since the rinsing compartment will soon become soapy as well, important is to change the water as soon as it does. The temperature of the rinse water needs to have a minimum of 120 degrees.

Sanitizing is the third and most important step of the 3-sink method. This is the step where all harmful microorganisms are destroyed with the help or either a chemical sanitizer or hot water. Water temperature enough for sanitizing dishes must be 171 degrees or more and this is accomplished by installing a water heater beneath the compartment.

Most local health codes require 3-compartment sinks, but because they are such a good piece of equipment that provides an alternate method for washing dishes, many decide to install them even if they invest in a commercial dishwasher as well. It’s a good backup in case some sudden issue with the dishwasher occurs.

Most Common Issues with Dishwashers & Dishwasher Chemicals

You might not feel like it now, but dishwasher chemicals are as equally important as your dishwasher, if not more. You can purchase a high-end dishwasher for a lot of money, but you’ll end up destroying it if you use chemicals that are not suitable or if you are not using some of the chemicals at all. Also, issues can occur if the dishwasher equipment is not properly installed.

Not using or not using proper chemicals can not only lead to the breakage of your expensive and most valuable piece of equipment, but it can also damage your washware, cause unpleasant stains and odors, or fail to properly clean it, which will certainly cost you your customers.

Just some of the most common issues that occur would be:

  • Warewash not properly cleaned – This can mean that there is excessive dirt in the machine, or that the wash arm or the rinse arm failed to rotate, or that the nozzles are blocked; it can also mean that the shelf life has exceeded. These issues will require removing the wash arm or rinse arm and cleaning it, or cleaning the filters, or simply replacing the products;
  • Washware shows streaks and smells of detergent – This can mean that the detergent and rinsing air canisters are wrongly connected, so the detergent is added to the boiler while rinse aid is added at the washing tank;
  • Crystals in the dosing hose – It can mean that hoses were not rinsed with water before installing a new product;
  • Discolored washware – This can mean that the washware is not compatible with the chemicals used, or that glass corrosion occurred;
  • Limescale – This means that the dishwasher is operating on hard water and that water softener is not used.

A great way to avoid these and similar issues would be to get warewash and sanitation professionals on board. But why stop there? What if you could get the best possible dishwasher to meet all your business requirements and get professionals to take care of the maintenance and repairs? Well, stop imagining, because such an option exists!

Commercial Dishwasher Chemicals Supplier - Chem Mark Inc

Chem Mark, Inc. – Commercial Dishwasher Chemicals Supplier

Chem Mark, Inc. Is your sanitation and warewash professional with over 50 years of experience with various Los Angeles, Riverside & San Diego businesses with a reputation of high-quality dishwasher products and service!

We offer excellent lease and rental deals on low- or high-temperature commercial dishwashers and glasswashers of the top players in the industry, such as CMA, ADS, BarMaid and SwingMark system for three compartment bar sinks. In case your budget doesn’t allow buying a dishwasher, our rental & lease deals would be exactly what you need! And even if you can afford to buy, why would you?

Our deals include professional estimation of your business requirements and consulting regarding the best commercial dishwasher for your commercial kitchen or bar, complete professional installation, regularly scheduled maintenance, repairs and 24/7/365 emergency service. For a rental or a lease fee, we would take care of keeping the equipment in top operating condition, while you would be able to fully focus on what’s really important – running and growing your business.

In addition to completely taking care of the operation, Chem Mark, Inc. will also take care of the complete line of commercial dishwasher chemicals, so you can scratch that worry off your list as well!

Our experts will:

  • Suggest safe chemicals for your washware to avoid damage
  • Suggest separate solutions for different types of specialized dishwashers if needed
  • Provide rinse additives that will leave your dishes shiny and clean with no residue
  • Provide detergents strong enough for toughest stains, or gentle enough for your most delicate glassware
  • Help you match your detergent and rinse aid perfectly
  • Provide water softeners to improve wash results and provide long term benefits
  • Determine and present optimal dosage instructions to avoid under- and overdosing and any negative wash results
  • Deliver & install top-of-the-line dispensing systems
  • Provide regularly-scheduled fill-ups and maintenance of your chemical dispensers

Don’t waste another minute! Let us help you raise the bar of your service and let our show you that our products are as good as our team! Call (714)-784-5522 (CHEM) TODAY and ask about Chem Mark, Inc. Rental or Lease Commercial Dishwasher Deals & our Dishwasher Chemical Solutions!