Should I Get a High-Temp or a Low-Temp Commercial Dishwasher?
There is no easy answer here. According to online experiences and reviews, it might seem that high-temp dishwasher is a better choice. BUT – there is a ‘but’. There are certain types of business where a low-temp dishwasher might be quite enough to meet all the needs. While its shortcomings might be unacceptable for e.g. busy restaurants, they might be just not as important for slower establishment or bars. So, it all comes down to personal preference, the type of business and traffic.
If you are interested in the initial cost, then a low-temp dishwasher might be a better choice. High-temp dishwashers might cost up to several thousands of dollars more, they need more power, and therefore, use more energy. On the other hand, low-temp dishwashers might require additional washing cycles to remove stains like grease and lipstick, which will result in higher water and sewage bills.
High-temp machines might also require investing in a booster heater and, since such a high temperature is involved, these dishwashers tend to create a lot of steam. Unless you want the steam to damage your surrounding area and create an uncomfortable work environment, you’ll need to install a vent hood system. This may require more space and additional electrical connection, which will again cause the electric bills to go up.
On the other hand, low-temp machines don’t create much steam, so they are a better choice if you need to place them near customers. They also cost less, are more energy efficient and are easier and cheaper to repair. You will, however, need to add chemical sanitizers to monthly expense list, which, many ague, might cost you more over time.
Besides being an additional cost, chemical sanitizers might cause damage to certain types of flatware, dinnerware and plastics, so you’ll need to be aware of the materials being used in your washware and the exact types of chemicals you are using. Sanitizing chemicals could also pose a risk to the environment and cause damage to the pipes due to depositing chemicals into the drainage system.
If you are interested in speed, then the high-temperature dishwasher is a better choice, as it has a much faster wash cycle. Also, the dishware gets almost instantly dried once the high-temp dish machine door is opened. On the other hand, with low-temperature dishwashers you’ll need to let the dishes air-dry for a while or dry them manually. Instantly dry dishware might be crucial to busier establishments, while speed might not be as important to smaller establishments. They also require more careful pre-washing to get satisfactory results on silverware and glasses.
In case you run a bar, high-temp dishwasher might influence the serving speed, as the glasses will need to cool down for a bit before you serve certain beverages that shouldn’t get warmed by the glass. On the other hand, the low-temp sanitizers might change the flavor or smell of certain beverages, such as wine and beer, and not to mention that they can prevent beer head from forming. If cold glasses are a must, you’ll have to be very careful with picking the right sanitizer that won’t influence the beverages.
Low-temp dishwashers are not as effective at removing grease and fat, which will be an issue for restaurants, but not so much for bars, since lipstick residue is the only stain you would need to worry about.
So, as you see, there are a lot of pros and cons for both low- and high-temperature dishwashers. You might come to a conclusion that the high-temp dish machines cost more initially, but that low-temp dish machines tend to cost more in the long run. Benefits of the high-temp dish machine also seem well worth the cost.
However, we suggest not making a definite decision without consulting warewash professionals first. Your commercial dishwasher solution might require careful consideration and customization.