How to Choose a High- or Low-Temperature Commercial Dishwasher

April 12, 2018 by Hobart


High Temp vs. Low Temp Commercial Dishmachine Comparison

There’s no doubt about it: If you’re working in foodservice, then you are also in the dishwashing business. Dishes, silverware, glassware and everything else essential for food prep must be sparkling clean and sanitized. So, once you’re in the market for a new dishwashing system, it’s imperative to research the different types of models available.

Number of meals served per hour, space considerations and your budget will help determine the type of machine that will work best for your kitchen. In addition, you should research whether a low temperature or a high temperature commercial washer is the best choice.

Not sure about the benefits of each option? A high temperature washer uses very high heat (150 – 180 degrees) to both wash and rinse the dishes. They are ideal for operations with more challenging food soils like egg and cheese, and are better at removing lipstick from glassware. Equipment add-ons like a booster heater and a vent hood are usually required. A low temp washer still heats the water, but not to the degree of a high temp model. The low temp machine relies on chemicals to achieve proper sanitation, and additional equipment like a vent hood normally is not needed (however, check your local municipal code to be sure).

Advances in commercial dishwashing technology over the years have benefited customers, helping them to realize water and energy savings. Ventless energy recovery models (a premium feature for high-temp units) make experiencing the benefits of a high temperature wash simple and easy. These models use steam from within the washing chamber to raise the temperature of the incoming cold water, so the machine doesn’t have to work as hard to reach its required 180 degrees for sanitization. The result? Less energy is needed to operate the machine, and better working conditions are experienced by your employees due to the steam elimination. And, because the steam condenses and is removed from the chamber, a vent hood is not required—a $3,000-$5,000 savings alone.

Consider All the Costs

High temp commercial dishwashers usually cost more upfront and can slightly impact utility bills due to the energy needed to heat the water. Low temperature models may come with a lower price tag, but the chemicals needed for the sanitation process must be continuously purchased. Low temp machines also use more water than the high temp versions, which can factor in to the overall investment. Considerable pre-scrapping is required with low temp models if you want to avoid the potential for re-washing.

Keep in mind that because the high temp dishwashers need a vent hood to deal with steam, the location of the machine must be carefully planned. Even though the high temp machine’s steam rises up through the hood, it’s a good idea to make sure the dishwasher is placed far away from the customer area.

Think About the Hidden Benefits

Both low temp and high temperature dishwashers come with not-so-obvious advantages. High temp machines produce dishes that dry very quickly after they exit the washer, which means that items can be put back into service faster. This is especially helpful during busy times. As for the low-temp washers, they are typically available in standard electrical service (120/60/1 – similar to a home appliance hook-up), which can be an advantage for operations where electrical service isn’t adequate to power a high temp machine. Just remember that you will achieve a better, more consistent wash with a high temp unit (remember the lipstick?). Low temperature, chemical sanitizing machines are best suited for applications where lighter soils are dominant.

Learning as much as possible about the pros and cons of high and low temp commercial dishwashers will help you make a smart purchase. Research brands to find the most reputable names and outfit your kitchen with a commercial dishwasher that provides the most benefits based on your guest volume, menu, available space, budget and the desired results.

Hobart offers complete lines of low temperature and high temperature commercial dishwashers, and you can learn more about their benefits and features by visiting  

Learn more about Hobart's commercial dishwashers.

Tags: Dishwashing


Latest Posts

Sanitization & Clean Kitchens: Your Dishmachine & the Coronavirus

March 17, 2020 by Hobart

In March, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic from COVID-19, the disease caused by novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which caused heightened awareness among the public about many health and safety issues, including food safety in restaurants and commercial kitchens. For those in the foodservice industry, the health and safety of employees and customers is a top priority. Understanding the issues and having a clear knowledge of the facts surrounding the virus can go a long way in calming anxiety and maintaining good business practices.

Read More

Cleaning Tips for Long Life & Great Performance from Your Undercounter Dishwasher

December 17, 2019 by Hobart

Purchasing an undercounter commercial dishwasher is a big investment for your operation, and of course you want it to last a long time. Anytime you purchase a piece of equipment, you want to do everything you can to make it last and get the most for your money. Just like you do regular oil changes and tire rotations to keep your car running at optimum performance, proper care and regular cleaning are key to getting the most out of your dishmachine investment. This results in:

Read More

Crafting Quality Beverage Experiences with a Clean Glass

December 04, 2019 by Hobart

There probably isn’t a more iconic bar in America than Cheers, where “everybody knows your name.” Each week Sam and Coach, and later Woody, brought their bar into living rooms across America and made us all laugh at the antics of their patrons and wait staff. The show might have hit the nail on the head when it comes to the camaraderie experienced at some of the best bars and restaurants, but it wasn’t a model for best practices in glassware. The bartenders were known to towel dry glasses while talking to their customers, and casually throw that towel over their shoulder. This action looks friendly in television and movies, but in reality, it’s one of many ways to compromise the cleanliness and sanitization of your glassware.

Read More

Writing Bids for Commercial Dishwashers

November 25, 2019 by Hobart

Making the case for your K-12 school

For any operation, purchasing something as big as a commercial dishwasher takes a lot of thought and preparation. But for public K-12 schools, the process is more involved than in some foodservice operations. As a government organization, the request has to go out for bid, rather than just getting a purchase order approved by a manager or CEO.

Read More

Top 3 Dishwasher Innovations for K-12 Foodservice Programs

November 19, 2019 by Hobart

When it’s time to purchase new commercial dishwashers for your school’s foodservice operation, try not to become overwhelmed by all the choices. Today’s commercial dishmachines come with technological advances designed to create efficiency for your dishroom and provide financial benefits as well as improved sustainability. Consider these commercial dishwasher innovations and decide which options are best for you.

Read More