How Do High Temperature Dishwashers Compare to Low-Temperature Dishwashers?

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Choosing between high or low temperature commercial dishwashers can be a difficult task. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, both of which are outlined below to help make your purchasing decision easier.

High Temp Machines

High-Temp Door-Type Dishwasher

  • High temperature dishwashers have a shorter cycle time, and generally require only one pass to get dishes clean while using less water than low temp machines, so the operating cost is usually less.
  • High temperature machines consume less water per cycle, which saves on water bills. They also have a shorter wash cycle and can wash more racks per hour, which saves on energy and labor expenses.
  • High temperature machines are able to dissolve grease and lipstick residue on dishware; items do not have to be cleaned multiple times.
  • High temperature machines do not require the use of chemicals for sanitization, so the washing detergent will be the only chemical used.
  • High temperature machines usually cost several hundred dollars more than comparable low temp machines.
  • The booster heater may need to be purchased separately, increasing the initial purchase cost.
  • However, since they have a built-in booster heater, high temperature machines will require more energy to heat incoming wash water.
  • High temperature machines, specifically undercounter units, may create steam and can damage countertops, and the high temperature rinse water may injure the operator. However, since the rinse water is so hot, it will dry faster and reduce the slip and fall hazards in the dish room.

Low Temp Machines

Low-Temp Door-Type Dishwasher

  • Low temperature machines are generally cheaper than high temp models and do not require a booster heater. Thus, the initial purchase and installation costs will be significantly less.
  • Low temperature machines create less steam, so they may be safer for the operator. However, the chemicals used are hazardous to the operator and can be damaging to the environment.
  • Low temperature machines require more chemicals than high temp machines and often have to wash dishes several times to remove grease and lipstick. Over time, due to the extra operating cost, low temperature dishwashers may end costing more than high temp machines.
  • Low temperature machines use a lower water temperature which may lower energy costs, but the frequent need to rewash dishes will increase your water and sewage bills.
  • Low temperature machines may not always dissolve greases and lipstick, so dishes may have to be rewashed several times to come out spot free.
  • Low temperature machines require sanitizer for disinfecting dishes. The chemical sanitizer may corrode pipes, stainless steel and etch glass. Additionally, the sanitizer will leave a residual smell on plates and glasses, and beer poured into a glass washed in a low temp machine will lose its head.