2021 Commercial Dishwasher Buying Guide: 5 Factors to Consider

Commercial dishwashers come in different kinds and sizes. You can end up overspending and buying the wrong one if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Allow us to guide you in your search. When looking for a commercial dishwasher, you simply need to take note of five important factors. Knowing these five important factors will avoid situations where you’re overwhelmed and confused by over-eager sales representatives. This is a no-nonsense guide that will simply and directly tell you everything you need to know.  

5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Commercial Dishwasher

Factor #1: Cost – How much is your budget?

How much can you spend on your commercial dishwasher?

Commercial dishwashers don’t come cheap. Depending on the kind and size, one can cost you as much as $120,000. This is why most cafes and restaurants still opt to hire labor for dishwashing needs. Such a decision is respectable but is ultimately counterproductive and financially draining. Buying a dishwasher is better because a commercial dishwasher will never get sick, will never need a break, and will never need overtime pay. The question is, can you afford it?

Apart from buying the unit itself, you will also have ongoing maintenance costs. Is this something that your budget can handle? Your ongoing costs will include bills for utilities like water and electricity. You may also need to buy chemicals on a regular basis if you’d end up choosing a commercial dishwasher that needs detergent. 

If it’s something that your budget can afford, then it’s best to be clear with your spending limit. Your spending limit will easily remove all other options that can lead you to overspending and unwanted debts. Have a definite budget and start your search with that. That path will always turn outright.

You shouldn’t give up altogether if you think you can’t afford it. Many commercial dishwasher suppliers offer friendly financial plans. Warewashing Solutions is one of Australia’s number one commercial dishwasher suppliers and it even offers rent and trial options for buyers.

Factor #2: Type – What kind of commercial dishwasher do you need?

The kind of commercial dishwasher that you need will depend on the dishes that you need to be cleaned. You primarily need to take note of the following three types as your needs will fall under them:

  1. Traditional commercial dishwashers – can clean loads of dishes in an instant. Restaurants prefer this kind. Depending on the size, they can normally clean hundreds of dishes in one go. 
  2. Glasswashers – these are specialized commercial dishwashers for glassware. Cafes, bars, and restaurants often have a separate commercial dishwasher for glassware because traditional commercial dishwashers often end up damaging and breaking glassware. Glasswashers have a different mechanism that uses filtered water that prevents watermarks and calcium deposits on glassware.  
  3. Utility washer – these kinds are for heavy-duty cleaning. They can easily clean extremely dirty pots and pans in a snap. They come with large clearances to accommodate pots of all sizes.

Factor #3: Size – How big is your space?

After knowing your budget and the kind of commercial dishwasher that you need, you now need to ground yourself and be realistic. How big is your commercial kitchen? Can it fit a big commercial dishwasher? Will its placement affect your commercial kitchen’s workflow? Will everything still be ergonomic after its placement?

The bigger your business is, the bigger the commercial dishwasher that you’d need. However, this will become a problem if you have a small commercial kitchen. If you have a small commercial kitchen and you need a big commercial dishwasher, then other workstations would have to adjust. Be guided by the following:

Under-counter dishwashers – best for small cafes, daycare centers, and small nursing homes. Can clean 35 racks per hour. They’re small and can fit under your counter. Their size is similar to residential units.

Pass-through dishwashers – best for restaurants. Can clean up to 1,000 dishes per hour.Needs a big space for stacking, cooling, drying, and pre-rinsing.

Conveyor dishwashers – come with a conveyor and can clean 1,000 racks per day. Used by hotels, resorts, big restaurants, and big hospitals. 

PRO TIP: Your commercial dishwasher should be compatible with your needs for at least 5 years. If you’re thinking of expanding within that time period, you should opt for a bigger one that can accommodate your business growth.

Factor #4: Temperature  – What sanitizing option do you prefer?

Your sanitizing option will depend on government regulations in your area. If you’re under a state that requires sanitation through heat, then you should opt for a high-temperature commercial dishwasher. If your state does not require high-temperature sanitation, then you could opt for a low-temperature commercial dishwasher. There are only two sanitizing options for commercial dishwashers: high temperature and low temperature.

A high-temperature commercial dishwasher cleans dishes through extreme heat (150°  – 160° F). It comes with a hood that needs space.

A low-temperature commercial dishwasher primarily cleans with detergents. It can only reach up to 140° F on wash and rinse cycles.

PRO TIP: Don’t choose a low-temperature commercial dishwasher if you’d be serving expensive dishes. Chemicals used by low-temperature commercial dishwashers can tarnish your expensive plates. 

Factor #5: Energy Efficiency – What’s your energy efficiency plan?

Commercial dishwashers will increase your expenditure on utilities. Look for models with Energy Star certification if you want to save on bills and promote a green and sustainable workspace. Models with Energy Star certification use 40% less water and are 40% more efficient when it comes to energy use.

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