Never polish glasses again
Clean rims, no streaks, spotless: with the right dishwashing machine, everything is crystal clear
How should it be: soft or hard? The water used for washing up often has properties that make life difficult for restaurateurs. Rims, stains and streaks have to be polished off. But there is an easier way!
Anyone who works in a restaurant will know the problem: dirty glasses go into the dishwashing machine and fail come out clean again after the wash. Sometimes water marks appear on the surface or milky smears along the rim.
It is clear that a glass like that does not belong on a restaurant table or behind the bar – it needs to be polished or perhaps washed again. The dishwasher, which was supposed to reduce your employees' workload, has ended up increasing it. That's not only annoying, it's totally unnecessary. There are professional solutions on the market which will ensure that ‘clean’ washware really is hygienically clean. Without having to polish it. It's the stress-free option. After all, there is already enough to do in the kitchen.
A mix of several components
Washing with a dishwasher is, in a way, a small science in itself. The quality of the dishwasher and the glasses, the detergent used and the exact dosage, the operating temperature and, last but not least, the water all play a role. The varying water quality in particular can lead to unattractive results if the caterer does not take countermeasures. The reason for this is the minerals dissolved in the water. Depending on the concentration, they cause unattractive rims, stains or streaks. Finding out the water hardness and putting together the chemistry for cleaning the glasses accordingly is therefore a good start for any professional operation. The more thought you give in advance and the more carefully you plan the purchase of the appropriate solutions, the less work and the cleaner the glasses you will have later.
Soft water is fundamentally better for dishwashing machines than hard water. Hard water contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium, which can lead to limescale build-up in dishwashers and increased detergent consumption. But if the tap water is hard, you don't have to just stand by and watch as your pipework and tubing become blocked with limescale. This is when it makes sense to use a water treatment system in your dishwashing machine. Dishwashing machine manufacturer MEIKO offers a reverse osmosis module for its professional dishwashing machines for food service (see box). Simple and easy-to-use water tests can give you a quick initial result showing water hardness or you can obtain information from your local water supplier.
For clients who want their glasses and dishes to sparkle, improving the water quality is essential – and that calls for demineralisation or osmosis.
Water does not always behave the same way when we clean with it. Some of the minerals it contains can inhibit performance by leaving those familiar ugly and unappetising smears on cutlery and glasses. In dishwashers they may deposit a fur commonly known as limescale.
Water that leaves no residue with a reverse osmosis system
A reverse osmosis system will remove practically all salts from the water. That results in no residues left on glassware. The system uses high pressure to push the water through a membrane that filters out unwanted salts and then transfers the water to the dishwashing machine. More information can be found here.
A high-quality glass can survive around 1,000 washes, according to Klaus Völkner at Stölzle, a glass manufacturer. But, at some point, even the best glass will give up the ghost – and glass corrosion can occur. This damages the surface structure of the glass causing a cloudy effect or even tiny cracks. Getting the longest possible service life out of your glassware requires washing with the optimum combination of water, temperature and detergent. This is why professional suppliers set up their glass dishwasher onsite at the customer's premises. They test the water and provide recommendations on detergent and temperature to ensure that the machine delivers the best possible results. And that in turn also increases the service life of their glassware.
When food-service pros need smart solutions for dishwashing, they call the dishwashing pros. Take the Berlin Marriott Hotel, for example. This prestigious 5-star hotel uses the MEIKO M-iClean to wash several hundred glasses a day, achieving a shining finish. Hamburg restaurants ‘Strauchs Falco’ and ‘Hamburg im Süden’ also use M-iCleans. ‘Diners in our segment of the food-service industry expect sparkling clean glasses’, says owner Tobias Strauch. When choosing his dishwashing machine, the decisive factors were, ‘Perfect results, energy efficiency and improved indoor climate, with no steam or smells.’