Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Glass Care

Posted by Sara Malcom on

For some years, Nelson has been increasingly pro-active in educating customers in the proper procedures required to achieve the best possible results from their glasswashers.

A controlled survey of 100 end users who have actively followed Nelson’s guidelines was recently conducted. The results indicated that problems relating to both machine efficiency and glass presentation have dropped by over 44%.

Some of the more frequently asked questions Nelson deals with are detailed below:

Q. My glasses don’t seem to dry properly after removing them from the glasswasher.

A. Something is adhering to the glasses, thus keeping the water from drying off as normal.

It could be that staff are using a tea towel to finish glasses. If this has been washed using fabric conditioner, an oily film will be transmitted which will not necessarily be removed by the wash cycle.

The rinse cycle might not be generating sufficient water to remove all the detergent. If this is the case, a booster pump may be required.

A further basic cause of this is that the detergent and/or rinse aid containers are not filled or are blocked.

Q. Customer are complaining that their beer looks flat - even though I know there is nothing with it. What could the problem be? 

AThe solution could be as simple as changing your glassware. You may have been using toughened glasses which have a very smooth texture - not conducive to achieving a good head or your beer. 

Otherwise, your rinse aid and/or detergent dosage might be set too high meaning that a residue is left in the glasses. 

If neither of these is the case, it could be that oils are getting into the machine from another source. See if staff are putting coffee cups in with glasses (cream and milk might be present) or it could be grease from food including.

Q. Why do glasswasher manufacturers charge more their own brand chemicals than my local cash and carry? 

A. An element of the higher prices will be in the increased costs incurred by low volume distribution compared to the massive turnaround possible in the cash and carries. However, a large portion of the cost will be in the chemical formulation itself. Most of the cheaper brands are highly caustic and, although they appear to work effectively initially, will quickly start causing permanent damage to both your machine and glasses.

Commercial glasswasher manufacturers recommend their own brands because they can guarantee they will produce the best results on an ongoing basis.

Q. There are brownish deposits on some of my glasses despite washing them in a proper way. 

A. This sounds like yeast build up. The problem with lie with your glasswasher - and is especially common on older style models with lots of bacteria harbouring nooks and crannies. 

Firstly, yeast loves warm damp conditions so kill it off by leaving your machine door open overnight. If this is not sufficient, try increasing the detergent dose slightly. 

As a final resort, you may need to use a renovating chemical to remove all traces of yeast from both the glasses and the machine. 

Q. My glasses have a cloudy appearance, which is very unattractive. They fell almost chalky to the touch. What can I do? 

A. This could be caused by one of two reasons. Firstly, your glasswasher could be using excessive amounts of detergent and rinse aid causing a chemical build up. Alternatively, it could be due to an excess of minerals in your water supply. To complicate matters, water quality is different throughout the UK so, apart from moving, the only thing you can do is to fit a demineralising cartridge. This is a relatively costly but nevertheless effective remedy so we strongly recommend that you call in a machine expert before taking this decision.

Q. My glasses are fast being destroyed by my glasswasher. They have a scratchy, frosty appearance which seems to have penetrated the glasses. 

A. This is etching - a natural process that will happen to ALL glasses over time. If it is happening fast, however, you need to slow the process down. 

Make sure you are using the chemicals recommended by your glasswasher supplier. Frequently, etching is aggravated by people ‘saving money’ and changing to cheap brands which are highly caustic, eating into the glass surface.

Try taking the glasses out of the machine immediately the cycle has finished as sitting in high temperatures will accelerate the etching process.

As a last resort, change your brand of glasses. Some are more prone to this than others.

Q. Is there anything I should be doing to ensure my glasswasher continues to provide good results? 

A. Of course. 

Use a good quality chemical as advised by your commercial glasswasher supplier.

Don't use the machine as a sink. Pouring beer slops in will neutralise the detergent and promote protein build up. 

Even worse, don't use the machine as a rubbish bin. Fruit pips, peel, cigarette ends and cocktail sticks will clog filters and block the wash/rinse jets. 

Always inspect filters and wash/rinse jets and replace correctly. 

Always check detergent and rinse aid levels before using the glasswasher and regenerate water softeners regularly. 

Make sure sure your machine is set to the optimum temperatures of: Wash 55°F and Rinse 65°-70°F.

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