Scroll to read more

Choosing the right commercial dishwasher for a restaurant, cafeteria, hospital, or institution is crucial. Not only is it a significant investment for your commercial kitchen, but it also plays a vital role in maintaining the efficiency and hygiene of your food service business. With the numerous options available on the market, considering essential dishwasher features during the purchasing process becomes even more important.

To make an informed decision, it is essential to assess your unique needs, such as the type of restaurant, and the number of plates, glasses, and pots and pans used per meal. Additionally, factors like health codes, NSF regulations, and location-specific restrictions like water usage must also be taken into account. In this buying guide, we will explore the five essential features you should consider when selecting a restaurant dishwasher that best suits your requirements.

What is a Commercial Dishwasher and How Does it Work?

A commercial dishwasher, also referred to as a ware washer or ware washing machine, is a specialized equipment used in industrial settings for washing large quantities of dishes, cookware, glasses, and other utensils simultaneously. It utilizes a powerful water-churning mechanism to thoroughly clean and sanitize all the items placed inside.

The operation of a restaurant dishwashers follows a standard cycle, involving filling the machine, initiating the cleaning process, washing the items, draining the water, and completing the cleaning cycle. Once the process is complete, the washed items can be removed from the dishwasher and returned to their designated storage areas, allowing for a seamless continuation of work. PartsFe is your ultimate destination for all your commercial dishwasher parts and other kitchen equipment needs! Browse our wide selection of top-selling brands and find high-quality parts that ensure optimal performance and efficiency. Shop now for reliable solutions at ParstFe!

What to look for in a dishwasher?

When searching for a commercial dishwasher for a restaurant, several key factors should be considered. First and foremost, assess the dishwasher’s capacity, ensuring it can accommodate your typical load size. Look for flexible and adjustable racks, allowing you to fit a variety of dish sizes and shapes. Energy efficiency is also crucial, as it reduces both environmental impact and utility costs. Consider noise levels, particularly if you have an open floor plan. Look for advanced dishwasher features like multiple wash cycles, sanitizing options, and specialized settings for delicate items. Lastly, read reviews and compare brands for reliability, warranty coverage, and customer support.

What Are the Components of a Commercial Dishwasher?

To better understand the workings of a commercial dishwasher, it’s important to familiarize yourself with its key components. Here are some of the main Commercial Dishwasher parts:

Mounting Bracket: Dishwasher mounting bracket is used to securely install the dishwasher in its designated space. It ensures that the dishwasher remains stable during operation, minimizing vibrations and preventing damage.

Rinse Arms: These rotating spray arms are responsible for distributing clean water during the rinsing phase. The rinse arms ensure that all the detergent is thoroughly rinsed off the dishes, leaving them clean and ready for use.

Rinse Aid Dispenser: A rinse aid dispenser is often included in commercial kitchen dishwasher. It releases a small amount of rinse aid during the final rinse cycle. Rinse aids help to prevent water spots and promote the quick drying of dishes.

Heating Element: Restaurant dishwashers are equipped with a heating element that maintains the water temperature at the appropriate level for effective cleaning and sanitization. The heating element also aids in the drying process by evaporating excess moisture from the dishes.

Water Inlet Valve: Dishwasher water inlet valve controls the flow of water into the dishwasher. When activated, it allows water to enter the machine, filling up the wash tank and providing the necessary water supply for cleaning.

Wash Tank: The wash tank is where the cleaning process takes place. It holds a mixture of water and detergent, which is heated to the appropriate temperature for effective cleaning. The dishes are loaded into the wash tank, and powerful spray arms distribute the water and detergent mixture, removing food particles and stains.

Drain Pump: Once the cleaning and rinsing cycles are complete, the drain pump is activated to remove dirty water from the dishwasher. It ensures that the wash tank is emptied efficiently, making way for fresh water for the next cycle.

Control Panel: The control panel is the user interface of the dishwasher. It allows operators to select various wash and rinse cycles, adjust settings such as water temperature and cycle duration, and monitor the progress of the cleaning process.

Filters: Commercial kitchen dishwasher feature filters that trap food particles and debris, preventing them from clogging the spray arms and other components. These filters need to be regularly cleaned or replaced to maintain optimal dishwasher performance.

Detergent and Rinse Aid Dispensers: Restaurant dishwashers often have built-in detergent and rinse aid dispensers. These compartments hold the appropriate amounts of detergent and rinse aid, automatically releasing them during the wash and rinse cycles.

What is the difference between a commercial dishwasher and a home dishwasher?

Here’s a table outlining the differences between a commercial dishwasher and a home dishwasher:

Commercial Dishwasher Home Dishwasher
Designed for heavy-duty use in commercial settings such as restaurants, hotels, and catering businesses. Designed for regular use in residential kitchens.
Typically larger in size and can accommodate a higher capacity of dishes, utensils, and glassware. Generally smaller in size and suitable for smaller loads of dishes.
Equipped with powerful wash cycles and higher water temperatures to effectively remove tough stains, grease, and bacteria. Typically have standard wash cycles and lower water temperatures for everyday cleaning.
Often have shorter wash cycles to handle large volumes of dishes efficiently. Generally have longer wash cycles to ensure thorough cleaning.
Built with durable materials and components to withstand frequent use and heavy-duty cleaning agents. Made with lighter materials and components suitable for household use.
Often have advanced features like built-in detergent dispensers, multiple wash arms, and programmable settings. Typically have basic features and settings for simple operation.

Commercial Dishwasher Essential Features to Consider

Here are the commercial dishwasher essential features to consider:

Type of Commercial Dishwasher

Choosing the right type of commercial dishwasher for restaurants, hotels etc is crucial for efficient cleaning. Glassware requires a glasswasher designed to wash delicate glasses without breakage. Utility washers are ideal for heavily soiled pans and pots, with large clearances for accommodating deep pots. Traditional dishwashers are suitable for restaurant settings and can handle heavy-duty loads.


Restaurant dishwashers offer high-temperature and low-temperature sanitizing options. High-temp machines sanitize using heat, with wash and rinse cycles reaching up to 150-160°F and 180°F, respectively. Low-temp machines utilize chemical sanitizing agents, with wash and rinse cycles operating at 120-140°F. The choice depends on factors such as cost, space limitations, and potential dishware damage.

Size and Capacity

Consider the size of your business when selecting a dishwasher. Under-counter dishwashers work well for low cleaning demands, while pass-through dishwashers handle approximately 1,000 dishes per hour. Conveyor dishwashers are ideal for high-volume operations, washing between 350 to 1,000 racks per day. Plan for future growth when determining the size and capacity requirements.


Evaluate both upfront and ongoing costs when selecting a dishwasher. Pass-through and conveyor dishwashers may save time but have higher costs. High-temperature machines require more energy and have higher upfront and ongoing expenses. Low-temperature machines involve the regular purchase of chemicals and more frequent dishware replacements. Skimping on cost can lead to inadequate capacity or broken glassware.

Energy Efficiency

Consider energy and water consumption when choosing a dishwasher. Look for models with energy-saving dishwasher features and low-energy settings. Energy Star certification indicates a machine’s energy efficiency, with 40% less water usage and 40% improved energy efficiency compared to non-certified models.

When purchasing a commercial kitchen dishwasher, it is important to consider factors listed above in the article. Conducting thorough research, comparing different models, and reading customer reviews can help make an informed decision. Investing in a high-quality commercial dishwasher can improve efficiency and productivity in any food service establishment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size dishwasher do I need for my business?

The size of the dishwasher you need for your business depends on the volume of dishes and utensils you expect to wash daily.

How do I calculate the required capacity for my commercial dishwasher?

To calculate the required capacity for your commercial kitchen dishwasher, consider the average number of dishes and utensils used per meal multiplied by the number of meals served, and choose a dishwasher that can handle that capacity.

How much does a commercial dishwasher cost?

The cost of a commercial dishwasher can vary depending on the brand, size, features, and capacity, but typically ranges from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars.

What dishwashers do restaurants use?

Restaurants commonly use commercial-grade dishwashers specifically designed for their high-volume needs, such as under-counter dishwashers, conveyor dishwashers, or flight-type dishwashers.

What degree is a commercial dishwasher?

A commercial dishwasher typically operates at high temperatures, often reaching 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit (65-82 degrees Celsius), to ensure thorough cleaning and sanitization of dishes.