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How do you choose the perfect commercial passthrough dishwasher for your business?

A commercial passthrough dishwasher can be a big investment for a commercial catering operation, and so it’s important to do some research before purchasing or renting to ensure you get the right one for your business. There’s a lot to consider including the space available, your budget, the amount you need to wash and how your kitchen team works.

The potential rewards with regards to efficiency are huge compared to a frontloading dishwasher, and so we hope this guide gives you some useful advice on what to consider before you decide which passthrough dishwasher to go for.

What is a passthrough dishwasher and how do they work?

Larger commercial catering businesses may need something more heavy duty and efficient to clean dishes. A passthrough dishwasher is able to clean a large number of dishes at once, with the dish rack fed from one side to the other by an operator. The hood is pulled down to start the washing cycle and there will be a space where the dirty and clean plates can be placed pre and post-wash.

If your business serves more than 200 meals a day, a passthrough commercial dishwasher should be what you purchase. They’re capable of cleaning up to 80 racks of dishes per hour, so your plates are always ready for serving.

How to choose the perfect passthrough dishwasher for your business

Passthrough dishwasher size

One of the first things you’ll want to check is the measurements of the space the system is going to be installed. Think about what size pass through dishwasher you’re going to have space for. Remember to think about the space needed for the full dishwasher set up. including loading tables, sinks and draining racks. You’ll also need to check the height of the space and if there are any obstructions.

Capacity of the unit

The hourly wash capacity is a lot higher than other types of dishwashers, due to the speed each wash load is completed. Some pass through dishwashers may have auto start hoods for an even quicker turnaround, or consider a rack conveyor system to allow your dishwasher to operate continuously. Front loading dishwashers need 30 seconds for loading and unloading, but this takes even less time with a passthrough dishwasher. This makes a huge difference over time.

Variable cycles

For hooded passthrough dishwashers, a variable wash cycle to cater for different types of items is a useful feature. Some items may only need a quick wash, whilst others may have more built up grease on them and therefore need longer.

Energy efficiency

Passthrough systems use a lot more power and more water than front loaded washers, however they are a lot more efficient and cost-effective per plate. If your commercial catering business produces a high number of dirty dishes, a passthrough dishwasher will definitely be better in the long run.

Some units may have additional features that will improve energy efficiency. These could be low volume wash tanks and rinse tanks, double skinned body and hood construction, and insulated boilers.

Additional components

Your dishwasher is the main component of your washing system, but don’t forget about add ons to get a really efficient set up. You’ll likely need tables before the washer to stack your plates and other tableware. A pre wash sink is a good idea to make sure your plates have no debris on them before going into dishwasher. You’ll also want an area after for cooling and drying the dishes. Consider how you are going to staff the system and how much space you’ll need.

Passthrough dishwasher frequently asked questions

How long do industrial dishwashers last?

Commercial dishwashers normally last around 10 years. This will depend on how well you’ve looked after it. If you’re finding you’re constantly needing to book service calls, or items aren’t coming out clean, it may be a sign that your machine is near the end of it’s life. Regularly cleaning the filter and cleaning the unit will extend your passthrough dishwasher’s lifespan. 

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

A domestic or home dishwasher takes a lot longer to complete a cycle, whereas a commercial passthrough dishwasher will only take 2 or 3 minutes to wash, rinse and dry dishes. Even though commercial machines are quicker, they are also a lot more effective at cleaning as they run at much higher temperatures to kill bacteria. 

How hot do industrial dishwashers get?

Commercial dishwashers operate between 49°C and 60°C during the wash cycle, and 82°C and 88°C during rinsing. 

Can I use regular dishwasher detergent in a commercial dishwasher?

You can’t use domestic dishwasher detergents or tablets in a commercial passthrough dishwasher. Instead, they use liquid dishwashing detergent and rinse aid. The detergent will remove grease and debris during the wash cycle, whilst the rinse aid mixes with water rinses the plates clean to help the drying process. 

Ready to purchase or rent a passthrough dishwasher?

Our range of commercial passthrough dishwashers will ensure that your business can cope with customer demand. We have a range of sizes and capacities to choose from so contact us for more information.

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