Repair calls are expensive, and so is having to shut down your business temporarily because you can't properly sanitize your customers' plates. Having your employees engage in at least basic maintenance will help keep this piece of valuable equipment running smoothly.
Keep the Filter Clean
Commercial dishwashers are not trash cans. Scraping food from the dishes before they go in the dishwasher may not be a pleasant task, but a necessary one. Failure to do so will cause food to get caught in the filter more quickly than expected, resulting in nasty clogs.
Even with food scraping, bits and pieces of food are going to get stuck in that filter. Check your owner's manual to see how often it recommends cleaning, or see what shape it is in after 20 cycles. Depending on how heavy your cleaning needs are, you may be able to adjust this number up or down. Inspect to ensure that the filter is cleaned thoroughly, and reinstalled before the next cycle starts. Failure to reinstall the filter could allow food gunk into parts of the machine that are not designed to handle solid waste.
Clean the Unit Daily
Your home dishwasher is designed to keep itself clean for the most part. Your commercial dishwasher must be held to a higher standard, and that involves cleaning it every single day, Work with each employee to ensure that they know how to clean the unit and follow the cleaning routine to the letter.
With the machine and the water safely turned off, it is possible to safely access the interior of the unit. Start by draining all water from the interior of the dishwasher and the holding tank. Employees should remove any spray arms or nozzles and inspect them for food debris. Run each piece under water to ensure that any small pieces of food are flushed out before reinstalling the nozzles in the unit.
Clean the inside of the unit with a soapy rag to keep food bits from collecting on the walls. Because this space is the last step before dishes are used for service, you should avoid any toxic chemicals in your cleaning solution. In most cases, dish soap will work perfectly for the job. Once cleaning is complete, the unit can be turned back on, but it should be left open overnight to dry.
Fill All the Tanks at the Beginning of the Day
To avoid interruptions during the day, all the tanks should be filled each morning. This means filling the water tank every 20 cycles, starting in the morning. Leaving water in the tank means that you will not be able to accurately predict when the machine will need to stop and draw additional water. In addition, check the levels of rinse aid and detergent each morning before starting operation. While the dishwasher will run without them, the results will be poor, and you will end up have to run dishes through the machine multiple times to get them spotless.
Don't Skimp on Annual Maintenance Visits
There are several maintenance tasks that should be completed once a year to ensure that the dishwasher operates effectively. These maintenance items are not things that your staff can take care of effectively. Instead, have your dishwasher's manufacturer or distributor recommend a qualified technician to provide appliance repair and services.
At home, the dishwasher is something you set and forget. In business, that same level of care will keep you from effectively running your business. Ensuring that your employees are properly trained, and follow these simple daily maintenance procedures will ensure that you, and your customers, will always have plenty of clean plates.