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Commercial Glasswasher Guide

Commercial Glasswasher GuideA commercial glasswasher is a self-explanatory piece of equipment. It only washes glasses and is invaluable in environments with high drink turnovers such as restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, sports bars, clubs, and pubs.

These machines do everything a human or mechanical dishwasher does. These tasks include cleaning, rinsing and drying glassware.

What is The Difference between a Glasswasher and Dishwasher?

Dishwasher and glasswashers are terms that people use interchangeably. Although these machines perform the same basic functions, they are different in their construction and in how they perform.

A glasswasher is niche equipment designed and built only to wash glassware, and this is what makes all the difference.

A glasswasher strikes the perfect balance between gentle water flow and enough pressure to clean thoroughly. This feature makes a glasswasher better suited for even the most delicate glassware. You don’t have to wash some of the delicate pieces which tend to break in the dishwasher by hand.

A dishwasher is designed to clean a variety of crockery which limits its turnaround time. A wine glass, for example, takes far less time to clean properly than a cutting board but a dishwasher isn’t intuitive and therefore cannot tell the difference. A glasswasher only cleans glassware, and this factor reflects in turnaround times. A small to medium washer can handle anywhere from 200-1000 glasses every hour depending on its size. The wash cycles are as little as two minutes per load.

Glasswashers are also better for your glassware in the long-run compared to a dishwasher. A typical dishwasher is designed to clean a variety of crockery including stainless steel items. Cleaning these things requires high temperatures which wear your glasses in the long-term. A glasswasher uses a combination of short cleaning cycles, mild detergent and lower temperatures which support the longevity of your glasses.

Furthermore, glasswashers are only designed to fit glasses, and this lends a level of compact flexibility that is almost impossible to achieve in a full-fledged dishwasher. The glasswashers can fit under counters and in tight places which are convenient if you run an establishment with limited space.

Finally, glasswashers do not typically leave streak marks on the glass. Streak marks often occur because of strong detergent usually required by dishwashers to thoroughly clean the various crockery and tableware.

Types of Commercial Glasswashers

Glasswashers are primarily distinguished by their design and how they operate, both of which are equally important.

In Sink Glasswashers

These washers can be described as rudimentary and offer basic functions for a small establishment with a low turnaround. They are highly portable and fit inside the standard sink. The equipment uses a combination of hot water and brushes to clean glassware. It is not a popular choice for its high maintenance and slow pace but is still useful if you are running a bar or coffee counter alone and need to keep the beverages moving.

Under Counter Glasswasher

These units are typically small and the most recognizable since they look like the type of dishwasher you would use at home. It heats hot water to the temperature required for sanitary cleaning and is perfect for a mid-sized establishment or an establishment that gets busy during specific hours of the day such as mornings or happy hour. It has a capacity of 35 racks every hour, enough to keep customers satisfied in a busy environment.

Conveyor Glasswasher

These fit up to 400 racks an hour and are perfect for large establishments such as hospitals, schools, and cafeterias. You rarely need such industrial-size equipment for a regular pub or coffee shop.

Wash and Dump Glasswasher

This type is the origin of glasswashers and is still used today in a variety of establishments. These machines take in a new load of water for every wash cycle and expend it once the cycle is complete and starts over again in the next cycle. This model uses a lot of water, up to 12 liters and has a longer wash cycle than other models due to this inefficiency.

Cold Rinse Glasswasher

This machine washes the glasses and rinses twice; once with hot water and once with cold water. The second rinse not only means that the glasses don’t come out with streak marks, but are also cool to the touch. This machine uses about 7 liters of water, better than the model above but still has inefficiency issues. For example, the cold water left over from the previous wash is heated again in the new cycle and therefore using energy unnecessarily. This machine is still very useful in a busy environment if you don’t care too much for efficiency and power consumption.

Recirculating Glasswasher

Recirculating technology is the newest in glasswasher machines. These use as little as 1.5 liters per cycle depending on the load size and size of the machine. A cycle can run in as little as a minute making this one the most efficient model on the market. The water used to rinse the glasses helps to maintain desirable wash water temperature meaning that the machine does not heat water from scratch at the beginning for every cycle.

How to Choose a Glasswasher

It ‘s hard to veer too far off course if you keep your eyes on recirculating glass washers. Still, there are a few pointers to remember to ensure that you stay on course.

Water and Energy Saving

This factor, of course, depends on how in-tune you are with environmental responsibility. If this sounds like an area that you are passionate about, look for green-scheme equipment or equipment designed specifically for environmental conservation in mind. Even if you are not environmentally conscious, you can still enjoy the benefits of lower utility bills by choosing equipment that conserves water and energy.


Size is probably one of the biggest factors that dictate the kind of glasswasher you buy. Think about your space and where you intend to install the washer. You can choose from freestanding, under-counter and mobile units.


You should have clear expectations about what you intend to get from your washer particularly regarding performance. These questions are useful guidelines, to begin.

• How long would your ideal wash cycle take?
• Do you have delicate glassware such as champagne flutes that need cleaning alongside your beer glasses?
• Do you have any custom or oddly shaped glass that might not fit on a standard rack?
• Does it matter that your glasses come out dry inside and out?
• How many glasses do you need to wash in an hour during the busiest time?

Essential Glasswasher Accessories

Unfortunately, buying a glasswasher is not the end of it. If you are interested in getting the most value and increasing efficiency, there are a few accessories that help to do the job. You don’t need all of these, only pick out what makes the most sense for your environment and establishment.

Utensils Basket

Some barware accessories such as wine breathers, decanters and pitchers may not fit in your glasswasher. Fortunately, a utensils basket accommodates the oddly shaped glassware and small items such as spatulas so you can wash them together with your glasses.

Jug Rinser

Another nightmare for bartenders and kitchen staff is fitting massive jugs and pitchers in the glasswasher. The problem compounds if these pitchers are custom made or oddly shaped. A jug rinser washes a variety of pitchers and jugs quickly and efficiently. This portable instrument fits in your sink and has a water inlet and drain. It shuts down automatically once the washing and rinse cycle completes. This equipment is also a complementary addition to your glasswasher because you don’t have to wait for a current cycle to complete before washing your pitchers.

Extra Racks

These additions are meant to increase your glasswasher’s capacity during your busy sessions. Some are even designed to fit your narrow necked glasses that are notoriously difficult to clean properly in a regular dishwasher.

Detergent Dispenser Kit

Some glasswashers come equipped with an automatic liquid soap dispenser, but this is not always the case. This aftermarket kit is convenient and increases efficiency. You only load the washer and leave everything else to the machine. This equipment is especially useful when you are working alone at the bar, or you have a small staff during busy hours.

How to Properly Use a Glass Washer

Finally, it is important to use a glasswasher properly to ensure that the glasses come out clean every time and that you don’t unknowingly damage the equipment.

Know your machine

There are two basic types of glasswashers. Those that take on a new load of water before each cleaning cycle and those that recycle the used water. When operating the latter machine, ensure that you manually drain the used water at the end of each day. You may need to remove the water twice if you have a very busy shift or above-average glass turnover.

Remove lipstick stains

Although a glasswasher does a thorough job, remember that this machine is not as powerful as a dishwasher. Wipe off any lipstick stains from your glasses before loading.

Check operational temperature

The recommended wash temperature is around 55 degrees Celsius and 65 degrees for rinsing. Make sure the equipment is set at the right temperature during both tasks at least once a day. If the temperature is too high, it will damage your glassware. If the temperature is too low, it won’t clean properly, and you may have some health and safety compliance issues on your hand.

Use the right detergent

Use the manufacturer recommended detergent for your glasswasher. Using a different soap may cause streak marks on your glassware or damage your glasses. If unsure, refer to the user manual or call your product supplier for more information.

Adhere to maintenance schedule

Read your glasswasher user manual carefully and adhere to the stipulated maintenance timelines. There are some tasks that you can perform yourself while others require a professional. Ensure that the person you hire for the maintenance job has specific experience with your brand of equipment. Regular maintenance guarantees that your glasswasher performs at maximum efficiency and avoids unnecessary repairs in the long-run.

Allow the machine to work regularly

Avoid interrupting the glasswasher while it is working. If you need a quick turnaround, some machines can clean in about a minute. Allow the equipment to run its natural cycle to avoid damaging it. This consideration is also important to remaining compliant with health and safety regulations.

Check what goes in the glasswasher

Some machines do not work well with crystal glassware, crockery, and ashtrays. Refer to the manufacturer manual to see what kinds of glasses you can or cannot put in the glasswasher.

Leave the door open

Finally, it is good practice to leave the machine door open overnight after the end of the workday. This action prevents bacteria and other micro-organisms from growing inside the glasswasher.

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