Glasswashing Guide: Choosing the Best Commercial Glasswasher for your Operation

Posted by Sara Malcom on

These days you’ll be hard pushed to find a bar, club, pub, or restaurant managing without a commercial glass washer. Whilst there may still be a few diehard operators around that hand wash glasses, on the whole there are far more using old, inefficient machines no longer fit for purpose.

Your glasswasher should be bringing a number of benefits to your operation, and you should be able to rely on it completely to produce all the clean glasses needed for your bar staff to carry out their work effectively. Buying a commercial glasswasher can be confusing process, so we’ve outlined 7 key factors for you to consider:

  1. Hygiene and sanitisation

  2. Size and capacity

  3. Easy and speed of use

  4. Noise

  5. Cost

  6. Energy and water consumption

  7. Warranty and aftercare

First, we’re going to explain the difference between commercial dishwashers and glasswashers and why they need to be used exclusively.

Difference between commercial dishwashers and glasswashers

We are often asked why we recommend purchasing both a commercial dishwasher and glass washer instead of using the same machine for both crockery and glassware. Whilst on the face of it glasswashers and dishwashers appear the same, there are some subtle differences that make them suited to different purposes:

  • The water flow in a glasswasher is gentle but targeted to achieve maximum cleanliness within a ‘glass-safe’ environment. The best commercial glass washers, such as our Advantage range, have a ‘soft start’ option that gradually builds to give maximum protection to delicate items while achieving superb results.

  • The ideal wash temperature is lower in commercial glasswashers, around 55°C for washing and 63°C for rinsing, compared to commercial dishwashers, where the ideal wash temperature is 82°C. This is because higher temperatures suited for dishwashing may cause glassware to corrode or break.

  • A time cycle of 60 seconds will usually be enough to wash a basket containing 25 glasses whereas a longer time of 3 minutes is required to clean crockery, pots, and pans. The shorter wash time with glass washers also protects glassware from corrosion and damage.

Hygiene & Sanitising

The pandemic has placed even more of an emphasis on hygiene standards - by both customers and industry standards agencies.  

When used with high quality chemicals that have been approved by the supplier, the best commercial glass washers will clean and sanitize glassware meaning that not only does it look great, it’s also completely safe to use.

Size & Capacity

Most glass washers are designed for undercounter siting as they will usually be positioned behind a bar. However, sites that process a large number of glasses, such as hotels and conference centres, can benefit from a larger passthrough model with ample space nearby for storing both soiled and cleaned glasses.

Judging the size and capacity of a new machine – and also deciding where it should ideally be sited – can be confusing.

Firstly, calculate how many glasses you get through on your busiest service, as these are the figures you should be using. Then check that there is sufficient storage space to place racks coming out of the machine. If you have limited space, it might be worthwhile investing in space saving equipment such as a multi-tiered racking unit for more efficient storage, or a glass dryer to speed up glass drying time. Also, consider that once it’s installed there’ll be a lot of extra traffic as a consequence.

Because making the wrong decision would be an expensive mistake, we strongly advise every single potential customers to seek the opinions of a few suppliers, including us, and compare them.

Ease & Speed of Use

The best commercial glass washers usually offer multiple programmes meaning that there will be one available for every eventuality – heavily soiled items, rapid wash items, delicate items and so on. They are often loaded with intuitive controls that maximise water and energy efficiency and self-diagnostic features that enable an operator to resolve a minor problem long before it becomes an issue.

Wash cycles are usually between 1 and 3 minutes so, in a busy environment, the need for dedicated storage for soiled and cleaned items is crucial to take full advantage of the machine’s capabilities.

Noise

Noise is an important factor to consider. Of course, any machine is going to be audible, but some are quieter than others. If your glass washer is sited front of house, for example, you don’t want it drowning out your carefully curated playlist, or worse still, your customers conversation…

The best commercial glass washers are double skinned and provide noise and heat insultation to minimise disturbance. We always recommend checking the decibel levels of any machine you consider buying and research what that equates to. For instance, our Advantage glass washers have a decibel rating of 58 which equates to gentle rainfall.

Cost

Compromising on quality can be a costly mistake. Buying on price alone can result in an inferior machine producing cloudy and smeary glasses or dull crockery. Worst of all, it can mean frequent breakdowns and long waits for expensive repairs! Cheaper older style folded stainless steel wash tanks can result in debris and bacteria build up, where the new style moulded stainless steel wash tanks are designed to reduce any.

Most suppliers understand you may not want to outlay a large amount of money up front so offer genuinely affordable solutions to finance your purchase. It’s worth investing in the best commercial glasswasher you can afford, with the confidence that your new machine will deliver the reliability and results you demand for the longest period of time.

Energy, Electrical & Water Saving

Investing in energy-saving equipment is to save money as using less energy will, of course, cost less to run. As well as this, there’s the environmental impact that needs to be considered. The best commercial glass washers utilise technology that reduces water and energy consumption and will minimise your carbon footprint.

Energy saving equipment has other advantages too. One significant benefit is that it tends to create a much cooler working environment. The levels of insulation found on well specified commercial glasswashers are designed to keep heat inside the machine rather than allowing it to escape. Some of the best commercial glass washers even harness and utilise the heat from the steam generated during a wash cycle. Clever designs like shallow wash tanks and the re-use of rinse water can make dramatic savings on water consumption.

Warranty & Aftercare

Always check the warranty that comes with your machine and the level of aftercare available to you. This is really important as, should your machine break down at any time, you need be sure that the problem will be fixed efficiently and quickly. It’s worth asking your supplier for some recommendations too so you can check how efficient they are.

We take great pride in the quality of our service and aftercare and operate a nationwide team of engineers who carry a complete stock of spare parts to maximise the chances of a first time fix. The majority of our breakdown calls are completed on the day they are logged. However, if for some reason we are unable to attend on the same day, we guarantee we'll be there within 48 hours.

If you have any have questions about any of the topics we've covered in this article, or are looking to purchase a glasswasher and would like some professional advice, please call us on 0800 592 833 or fill in the Contact Us form and we'll get back to you shortly.

Glasswashing Guide

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