How to Clean a Commercial Dishwasher

To clean a commercial dishwasher, start by removing all food particles, then use a commercial-grade dishwasher cleaner and run a cleaning cycle. For a thorough clean, also clean and remove any clogs from the filters and spray arms.

Commercial dishwashers are vital for maintaining cleanliness and efficiency in any food service establishment. However, over time, they can accumulate grease, grime, and food debris, affecting their performance and hygiene. To ensure optimal functioning and sanitation, regular cleaning of commercial dishwashers is essential.

In this guide, we will provide you with simple yet effective cleaning methods to keep your commercial dishwasher spotless and in top-notch condition. By following these steps, you can prolong the life of your dishwasher, prevent costly repairs, and provide your customers with sparkling clean dishes every time.

How To Clean A Commercial Dishwasher


**understanding The Importance Of Regular Cleaning**

Keeping a commercial dishwasher clean is crucial for ensuring the smooth operation and efficiency of your kitchen. Regular cleaning not only helps maintain the hygiene standards required in the foodservice industry, but it also has a significant impact on the performance of your dishwasher. In this section, we will explore the importance of cleanliness in commercial kitchens and understand how a dirty dishwasher can affect the dishwashing process.

Importance Of Cleanliness In Commercial Kitchens:

In a bustling commercial kitchen environment, maintaining cleanliness is of paramount importance. A clean and sanitized kitchen is not only essential for meeting health and safety regulations, but it also reflects positively on your brand reputation. Here are some key reasons why cleanliness should be a top priority:

  • Prevention of foodborne illness: Regular cleaning helps eliminate bacteria, germs, and other contaminants that can cause foodborne illnesses. This is especially critical in commercial kitchens where large quantities of food are prepared and served.
  • Maintaining quality standards: Cleanliness plays a vital role in upholding the quality of your food. A clean kitchen ensures that no cross-contamination occurs between different ingredients, preserving the flavors and integrity of each dish.
  • Ensuring employee safety: A clean and organized kitchen reduces the risk of slips, falls, and accidents. By maintaining a clutter-free environment and regularly cleaning spills, you create a safe working space for your staff.

Impact Of Dirty Dishwasher On Dishwashing Performance:

A dirty dishwasher can not only compromise the cleanliness of your dishes but also affect the overall performance of the dishwashing process. Let’s take a closer look at the potential repercussions:

  1. Reduced efficiency: Over time, food particles, grease, and mineral deposits can accumulate in the dishwasher’s internal components, such as the spray arms and filters. This buildup restricts water flow and hampers the dishwasher’s ability to effectively clean dishes, leading to longer cycles and increased energy consumption.
  2. Ineffective cleaning: A dirty dishwasher may leave behind stubborn stains, residue, or a foul odor on your dishes, even after a full cycle. This not only compromises your kitchen’s cleanliness but also necessitates rewashing, wasting valuable time and resources.
  3. Malfunction and breakdowns: Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to malfunctioning of the dishwasher’s mechanical parts and clogging of the drainage system. This can result in frequent breakdowns, costly repairs, and disruptions to your kitchen operations.

Remember, a clean dishwasher is the foundation of a clean kitchen. By understanding the importance of cleanliness in commercial kitchens and the impact of a dirty dishwasher on dishwashing performance, you can prioritize regular cleaning and maintenance, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow in your kitchen.

**preparing The Dishwasher For Cleaning**

Commercial dishwashers are essential appliances in restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments. Over time, these dishwashers can accumulate grease, food residue, and mineral deposits, which can affect their performance and hygiene. It is crucial to regularly clean and maintain these machines to ensure they function optimally and produce sparkling clean dishes. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of cleaning a commercial dishwasher, starting with preparing the dishwasher for cleaning.

Safety Precautions And Equipment Needed

Before you begin cleaning the commercial dishwasher, it is important to take necessary safety precautions and gather the appropriate equipment. These measures will help protect your health and facilitate a smooth cleaning process.

Safety Precautions:

  1. Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from chemicals and hot water.
  2. Ensure the dishwasher is disconnected from the power source to avoid any electrical hazards.
  3. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow their guidelines for cleaning and maintenance.
  4. If necessary, work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.

Equipment Needed:

  • A sturdy brush with stiff bristles or a scrub pad to remove stubborn residue.
  • A non-abrasive cleaning detergent suitable for dishwashers.
  • A screwdriver (if required to disassemble certain parts for cleaning).
  • A soft cloth or sponge for wiping down surfaces.
  • A bucket or basin for collecting dirty water during the cleaning process.

Drainage And Water Supply Check

Before diving into the cleaning process, it is essential to check the drainage and water supply connections of your commercial dishwasher. Ensuring these components are functioning properly will prevent any complications and guarantee a successful cleaning session.

Inspect the drainage system of the dishwasher to ensure there are no clogs or blockages. A clogged drain can lead to ineffective cleaning and potential damage to the dishwasher. Follow these steps to check the drainage:

  1. Remove any visible debris from the dishwasher’s drain and filter.
  2. Fill the sink or a bucket with water and pour it into the dishwasher. Observe if the water drains quickly or if it accumulates in the sink.
  3. If water accumulates, there may be a clog in the drain hose or the drain pump. Unclog the hose or consult a professional if needed.

Ensure that the dishwasher’s water supply is uninterrupted and functioning correctly. A faulty water supply can hinder the dishwasher’s performance and result in inadequate cleaning. Follow these steps to check the water supply:

  1. Inspect the water inlet valve and hose for any leaks or visible damage. Replace any damaged parts if necessary.
  2. Turn on the water supply and observe if water flows freely into the dishwasher.
  3. If there are any issues with the water supply, such as low pressure or inadequate flow, check the main water line and consult a professional if needed.

By ensuring that the dishwasher’s drainage and water supply are in proper working condition, you can proceed with confidence to the next steps of cleaning the commercial dishwasher.

**cleaning The Interior Of The Dishwasher**

Regularly cleaning the interior of your commercial dishwasher is essential for maintaining its efficiency and prolonging its lifespan. By keeping the dishwasher clean, you can ensure that it consistently provides spotless and sanitary dishes for your customers. In this section, we will discuss two crucial aspects of cleaning the interior of your dishwasher: removing racks and filters, and scrubbing and sanitizing the interior surfaces.

Removing Racks And Filters

The first step in cleaning the interior of your commercial dishwasher is to remove the racks and filters. These components can accumulate food debris, grease, and mineral deposits over time, which can affect the dishwasher’s performance. Follow these steps to properly remove the racks and filters:

  1. Start by turning off the dishwasher and disconnecting it from the power source to ensure your safety.
  2. Open the dishwasher door and remove any dishes or utensils that may be inside.
  3. Locate the racks and carefully slide them out of the dishwasher. Place them in a sink or tub filled with warm, soapy water to soak.
  4. Next, locate the filters. Depending on your dishwasher model, the filters may be located at the bottom of the dishwasher or in the dishwasher’s interior walls.
  5. Remove the filters from their designated areas and rinse them under warm water to remove any visible debris.
  6. If the filters are heavily soiled, use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away stubborn residue.
  7. Once you have thoroughly cleaned the racks and filters, allow them to air dry completely before reattaching them to the dishwasher.

Scrubbing And Sanitizing The Interior Surfaces

After removing the racks and filters, it’s time to tackle the interior surfaces of your dishwasher. Residue, grease, and mineral buildup can accumulate on these surfaces, leading to unpleasant odors and a decline in performance. Follow these steps to effectively scrub and sanitize the interior of your dishwasher:

  1. Start by preparing a cleaning solution of warm water and dish soap or a dishwasher-safe cleaning agent.
  2. Using a soft scrub brush or non-abrasive sponge, scrub the interior surfaces of the dishwasher, paying extra attention to areas prone to buildup, such as the door gasket, spray arms, and detergent dispenser.
  3. Rinse the scrubbed surfaces thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining residue. Repeat this step if necessary.
  4. To sanitize the dishwasher, prepare a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar.
  5. Pour the vinegar solution into a dishwasher-safe container, such as a glass measuring cup, and place it on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  6. Close the dishwasher door and run a hot water cycle without any dishes or detergent. The vinegar solution will help eliminate bacteria and odors from the interior surfaces.
  7. After the cycle is complete, open the dishwasher door and allow it to air dry before reattaching the racks and filters.

Regularly cleaning the interior of your commercial dishwasher not only improves its performance but also ensures that your dishes are clean, sanitized, and ready for your customers. By following these steps and incorporating them into your regular maintenance routine, you can keep your commercial dishwasher running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

**cleaning The Exterior And Control Panel**

When it comes to maintaining a clean and hygienic commercial kitchen, cleaning the exterior and control panel of your dishwasher is an essential task. Not only does it help to maintain a professional appearance, but it also ensures that your dishwasher operates efficiently. In this section, we will guide you through the process of washing and drying the exterior surfaces, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the control panel of your commercial dishwasher.

Washing And Drying The Exterior Surfaces

The exterior surfaces of your commercial dishwasher may accumulate dirt, grease, and residue over time. To keep your dishwasher looking spotless, follow these steps:

  1. Start by preparing a solution of warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that could damage the surface.

  2. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently wipe down the exterior surfaces of the dishwasher. Pay close attention to areas that have visible dirt or stains.

  3. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe down the surfaces with clean water to remove any soap residue.

  4. Dry the exterior of the dishwasher using a clean, lint-free cloth. Make sure to thoroughly dry all surfaces to prevent water spots or streaks.

Cleaning And Disinfecting The Control Panel

The control panel of your commercial dishwasher is a critical component that requires regular cleaning and disinfection. Here’s how you can keep it clean and hygienic:

  1. Turn off the dishwasher and make sure the control panel is not connected to any electrical power source before starting the cleaning process.

  2. Dampen a soft cloth or sponge with a sanitizing solution recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. Avoid using excessive moisture that could potentially damage the control panel.

  3. Gently wipe down the control panel, paying attention to buttons, knobs, and any other areas that may accumulate dirt or grime. Make sure to remove any food particles or residue that could affect the functionality of the panel.

  4. For stubborn stains or residue, use a soft toothbrush or toothpick to carefully clean hard-to-reach areas. Be cautious to not damage or scratch the control panel.

  5. After cleaning, wipe the control panel with a damp cloth to remove any cleaning solution residue. Then, dry the panel thoroughly.

**maintenance Tips For Long-lasting Performance**

Get the most out of your commercial dishwasher with these maintenance tips for long-lasting performance. Learn how to effectively clean your dishwasher to ensure it functions efficiently and lasts for years to come.

Regular Inspection And Maintenance Schedule

Regular inspection and maintenance of your commercial dishwasher are essential to ensure its long-lasting performance. By following a proper schedule, you can minimize downtime, prevent costly repairs, and keep your dishwasher running efficiently. Here are some key tips to help you maintain your commercial dishwasher:

  1. Check for Leaks: One of the most common issues in commercial dishwashers is leaks. Regularly inspect the machine for any signs of leaks, such as water pooling around the dishwasher or dampness on the floor. If you notice any leaks, address them immediately to prevent water damage or further issues.
  2. Inspect Water Inlet and Drain Hoses: Periodically check the water inlet and drain hoses for any damage, cracks, or blockages. Clean the hoses and ensure they are properly connected to prevent water supply or drainage problems.
  3. Clean Filters: The filters in your dishwasher help trap food particles and debris to prevent clogs and ensure cleaner dishes. Regularly remove and clean these filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help maintain proper water flow and improve overall cleaning performance.
  4. Check Spray Arms: The spray arms are responsible for distributing water and detergent during the wash cycle. Inspect the spray arms for any clogs or blockages and clean them thoroughly. This will ensure proper water circulation and improve the dishwasher’s cleaning efficiency.
  5. Inspect Chemical Dispensers: If your dishwasher has chemical dispensers for detergent and rinse aid, inspect them regularly. Clean any residue or blockages to ensure proper dispensing and optimal cleaning results.
  6. Calibrate Temperature and Pressure: Accurate temperature and water pressure are crucial for effective cleaning. Regularly calibrate your dishwasher’s temperature and pressure settings to ensure proper sanitization and efficient performance.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite regular maintenance, commercial dishwashers can encounter common issues that may affect their performance. It’s important to address these issues promptly to minimize downtime and maintain optimal functionality. Here are some common problems you might encounter and troubleshooting tips:

Issue Troubleshooting Tips
Not Cleaning Properly
  • Check spray arms for clogs or blockages.
  • Ensure proper water temperature and pressure.
  • Inspect and clean filters.
  • Verify that the detergent and rinse aid dispensers are working correctly.
Excessive Noise
  • Check for loose or worn components and tighten or replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect the pump for any obstructions or damaged parts.
  • Ensure the dishwasher is correctly leveled.
Water Leaks
  • Inspect hoses, connections, and seals for any damage.
  • Replace damaged parts or tighten connections if necessary.
  • Check for an excessive amount of detergent, as this can cause leaks.
Frequent Clogging
  • Clean filters regularly to prevent clogs.
  • Scrape off excess food from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Inspect drain lines for any blockages.

By following these maintenance tips and troubleshooting common issues, you can ensure that your commercial dishwasher operates smoothly, consistently delivers clean dishes, and remains reliable for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Clean A Commercial Dishwasher

How Often Should A Commercial Dishwasher Be Cleaned?

Regular cleaning of a commercial dishwasher is essential for maintaining optimal performance and hygiene. It is recommended to clean the dishwasher at least once a day or as instructed by the manufacturer to prevent the build-up of food debris, grease, and mineral deposits.

What Cleaning Supplies Are Needed To Clean A Commercial Dishwasher?

To clean a commercial dishwasher, you will need a few essential supplies. These include a mild detergent or specialized dishwasher cleaner, a soft brush or cloth, a sponge, and white vinegar. These supplies help remove grease, grime, and mineral deposits effectively without causing any harm to the dishwasher.

How Do You Clean The Interior Of A Commercial Dishwasher?

Start by removing any racks, filters, or removable parts from the dishwasher. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the interior walls, door seals, and racks with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry to ensure a clean and sanitized dishwasher interior.

How Do You Descale A Commercial Dishwasher?

Descaling a commercial dishwasher helps remove lime scale, mineral deposits, and hard water stains. Fill the dishwasher with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Run a complete wash cycle without any dishes. This will help dissolve and eliminate the build-up of scale and debris, leaving your dishwasher in optimal condition.


To maintain hygiene and efficiency in your commercial kitchen, it is essential to keep your dishwasher clean. By following the simple steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your dishwasher operates at its best, providing spotless dishes every time.

Regular cleaning of the interior, filters, and spray arms, along with using appropriate cleaning solutions, will help prolong the lifespan of your dishwasher. With proper maintenance, you can keep your commercial kitchen running smoothly and maintain high standards of cleanliness.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top