How to Get the Most From Your Commercial Dishwasher

A commercial dishwasher with a basket full of dishes.

Commercial dishwashers are handy pieces of equipment. It can clean dishes fairly quickly which frees up your time and allows you to do other important things. Ideally, you want to keep it in good working order so it functions properly whenever you use it. It’s one of the most expensive investments in your kitchen after all.

Proper care and maintenance of your commercial dishwasher will not only result in consistently clean dishes and utensils, but it also helps prolong its lifespan. Here are 5 important tips to follow on how to get the most from your commercial dishwasher.

Take off the rinse arms and clean it thoroughly

The wash/rinse arms are one of the most important components of your commercial dishwasher. If it doesn’t spray water continuously, your dishes won’t be as clean as you’d like. Over time, gunk and other food particles might end up getting stuck on the water holes and it’s important to check it every once in a while to see if the rinse arms aren’t clogged up.

Start by taking off the wash arms and hold it under running water to remove any stuck debris. Grab a soft sponge and a warm water/soap solution and gently wipe the wash arms and the nozzles. If the water holes are still clogged, you can soak it under a warm water solution for 5 minutes to soften off any gunk that might have accumulated. Grab an old toothbrush and gently brush the water holes to completely remove the stuck food particles.

Inspect the rubber seals and gaskets and make sure to clean it as well. Re-install the wash arms after giving it a thorough clean.

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Use correct racks for specific tableware and kitchenware

Your commercial dishwasher comes with several different racks that are designed for specific purposes. Shoving everything inside without racking things properly will result in inefficient cleaning as well as risking damaging your commercial dishwasher.

Plate racks hold your tableware in an upright position so it gets exposed to the wash and rinse water. Some racks have container clips for your plasticware so they don’t get tossed around when they’re sprayed with water jets. For your cups and glasses, use the cup shelves. This positions the cups in a downright position so wash and rinse water can run down on the insides of the cup, cleaning it thoroughly throughout the entire process.

Knives, forks, spoons, and other kitchen utensils are best placed inside the cutlery basket. Separate your kitchenware accordingly and use different sections of the cutlery basket so your commercial dishwasher can effectively clean your utensils.

Avoid jamming everything inside all at once.

Commercial dishwashers are a convenient way to clean dishes, but that doesn’t mean you should throw all of your dirty tableware and utensils inside. Commercial dishwashers only go up to a certain capacity before the cleaning efficiency gets compromised. The more you jam everything inside, the less likely your dishes are going to come out clean once the cycle is finished.

Your commercial dishwasher comes with specific instructions on how to load your tableware and kitchen utensils on the top and lower rack. Make sure to refer to the diagrams shown in your dishwasher’s instruction manual and find out the capacity of each rack. If you have a lot of soiled dishes, you can separate it into two wash cycles or put most of them inside the dishwasher and just hand-wash the rest.

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Don’t use vinegar as an alternative to rinse aid.

Many people are resorting to vinegar as a cheap substitute for rinse aid, but in reality it’s a terrible practice. Vinegar is an acidic liquid that will wreak havoc on the rubber seals and gaskets inside your commercial dishwasher’s dispenser. The strong odours of vinegar might also stick to your dishes which is something that you don’t want.

Rinse aid is designed to not only clean your dishes, but also help eliminate any watermarks during the drying process. It also protects your tableware from etching by reducing spots and markings after the wash cycle. You can get away with not using dishwasher from time to time, but if you want your dispenser to last and your tableware to be in pristine condition, avoid using vinegar.

Regularly clean your commercial dishwasher.

Commercial dishwashers are subjected to wear and tear due to everyday use. You’ll notice that the longer you use your dishwasher, the less clean your tablewares will be. Regular cleaning and maintenance ensures that your commercial dishwasher cleans your dishes spotlessly with each use.

Start by emptying out the dishwasher trap once a week. Food particles and gunk that didn’t make it down the drain end up in here so take it out and scrub it with a warm water/soap solution. Take out the racks and wipe it down with soapy water using a sponge.

Wash the insides of your commercial dishwasher as well, paying particular attention to the wash arms, rubber seals/gaskets, and the corners. Food particles will run down the dishwasher trap where you can remove it and clean it afterwards. Don’t forget to wipe down the outsides and the inside of the dishwasher door which often gets neglected during cleaning.

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Aside from these tips, you can get your commercial dishwasher serviced by a qualified technician every 6 months. Doing so will help save you money by avoiding costly repairs and replacement parts. Technicians will inspect the condition of each component of your dishwasher and if everything is working correctly. It’s worth looking after one of your most expensive investments to make sure you get the most out of your commercial dishwasher.


Commercial dishwashers make life easier by doing all of the dirty work for you. Knowing how to properly use and take care of your dishwasher will result in spotless tableware each time you turn on the cycle. These tips will help prolong the longevity of your dishwasher and ensure that it operates like new every time you use it.

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