Properly looking after your glassware can help to save you time and money. Knowing how to prevent breaks as well as how to clean and store your glassware correctly means it will last longer, your operation will run smoothly and you’ll have happy customers.
How to clean dishwasher safe glasses
Your dishwasher safe glasses should be cleaned in a glasswasher in a restaurant environment. These are much more efficient than dishwashers when cleaning glassware, as they can usually wash up to 2,000 glasses per hour, taking less than 2 minutes to complete each cycle. This makes it really convenient to get clean glassware if you’re in a high volume restaurant or bar.
Using a glasswasher
- Check the water hardness of your glasswasher. If your water is too hard, it will be able to scratch your glasses, but if it’s too soft, then it can leave behind an unpleasant residue. In general, it’s better to have softer water when using a glasswasher, so use dishwasher salts or a water softener if necessary.
- Before washing, pour out any leftover liquid or ice in the glass and pre-rinse to remove any debris.
- Use a glass rack to place your glasses facing downwards. These help to keep your glassware apart to reduce the risk of cracks or breakage, and placing them face down means they can efficiently drain after washing.
- Once the glass rack has been loaded, you can place it into the glasswasher and shut the door. Choose your desired cycle and start the wash.
- Only open the door once the cycle is complete to let the steam release. Don’t open the door fully until the glasswasher has cooled.
- Once the glasswasher has cooled, remove the glass rack and allow it to fully drain.
How to clean hand wash only glasses
If you have glasses that are hand wash only, you should only use a soft material such as a microfibre cloth. You’ll need to make sure you have dedicated stainless steel sinks with sections for washing and rinsing.
- Ensure the sink is clean, and empty the contents of the glass.
- Set the water temperature to a warm but not too hot temperature – under 60°C.
- Fill the sink with the water mixed with washing up liquid. This will remove bacteria from your glasses and help give a sparkling finish.
- Clean the glassware, and ensure that the rim, bowl, base, and body have all been washed.
- Drain the sink, or use a separate sink to rinse the glasses to remove excess drink or detergent traces. This stops any debris or oils from drying on the glassware.
- Place to glasses on a draining board, or dry them by hand using a soft cloth.
Do not store your glasses before they have cooled, as this could weaken the structure and cause breakages.
How to clean crystal glassware
All crystal will need to be hand washed, to reduce damage by dishwashers and tough detergents. You should line a sink with a soft cloth and fill it with warm water. The cloth will help to prevent cracks or breaks. A mild detergent should be used to clean the glasses, before rinsing them with a vinegar solution. This will remove any water spots.
If you notice your crystal glassware has become cloudy, you can shine it to restore the glass clarity. Create a paste mixture of equal portions salt and white vinegar, apply it and let the glasses sit for around 10 minutes. Rinse and polish them with a microfiber cloth.
How to dry glassware
Drying your glassware is important to its upkeep. Use a linen towel or microfiber cloth straight after cleaning it, trying not to apply too much pressure. Don’t let your fingers come into contact with the glass.
- Hold the glass by the bowl, not the stem or base to avoid breakage.
- Gently dry the glass and don’t use too much pressure
Storing and transporting glassware
Transporting and storing your glasses correctly reduces the risk of damage and helps to extend it’s lifespan. It’s likely you’ll be moving it to and from your back of house, where your cleaning stations and glasswashers are located.
- Glassjacks feature compartments to secure each glass and can come in a variety of sizes.
- Glass racks are designed for use in glasswashers, and your glasses can be stored in them until they’re ready to be used.
- Trolleys can be used to move larger numbers of glassware. Some might come with racks specifically designed for glasses, white others will have space for racks or jacks.
How to avoid breaking your glassware
Replacing damaged glasses gets expensive, and can also compromise the safety of your staff and guests. Here’s how to avoid your glassware breaking:
- If your glasses comes into contact with utensils or another glass, mechanical shock can occur. Store your glasses in the correct size glass rack.
- Let your glasses adjust to different temperatures slowly. Don’t take a glass straight from the glasswasher and fill it with ice and water – let it change to room temperature first.
- Avoid hitting or clinking your glasses against anything hard. The impact causes stress, which makes it weaker and more likely to shatter.
- Don’t stack your glasses. This can lead to scratches, chips and cracks and is a gamble because if one layer gives out, all the glasses in the stack could be compromised.
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