How To Descale A Commercial Dishwasher

Commercial dishwashers are designed to wash and clean hundreds of dishes on a daily basis. These machines are found in restaurants and hospitals etc. Since commercial dishwashers work round the clock, it is common for lime buildup to take place. To avoid commercial dishwasher repairs, you must regularly delime it. Let’s discuss how you can descale a commercial dishwasher.

Step #1: Everything Off

Before you can begin descaling your commercial dishwasher, the first thing you need to do is shut down everything including the chemical feed switch, or remove the chemical feed lines. This is particularly true for low-temperature dishwashers and you need to be careful when descaling them as some sanitizers include chemicals like iodine, chlorine, or ammonia that could damage your skin.

However, if you have a high-temperature dishwasher, you will start by turning off the detergent dispenser and removing the detergent. The reason is that the detergent counteracts with the descaler.

Step #2: Remove Food Residue

While placing the plates and dishes inside the dishwasher, you should always make sure to remove leftovers that might be problematic for the dishwasher. Although dishwashers do a pretty good job in cleaning the dishes, that does not mean they can deal with bones and other hard food items.

So, it is better that you simply give the dishes a rinse and remove as much debris by hand as possible. Once you are done removing the leftovers by hand, place the dishes the right way inside the dishwasher. Do not overload the dishwasher as it will lead to improper cleaning.

Step #3: Drain The Machine

The next thing you need to do is drain the appliance including the tank. If your dishwasher is a high-temp machine, we will suggest leaving the doors open so that you can allow the inside to cool down before removing any parts. At the same time, you should double-check to make sure the appliance is unplugged as you can end up electrocuted.

Step #4: Inspect And Clean The Rinse Arms

In this step, you will inspect, add some detergent and clean the rinse arms. Inspect the wash and rim arms located inside. If there is excessive damage to the rattling, you will need to replace it. But if everything is fine, you should remove any leftover food, waste, or debris. At the same time, check the gaskets for any wear as it could affect the rotational performance of the arms.

If possible, remove the arms so that you can clean the inside of the machine without hindrance. Now, when it comes to adding a detergent, you should consult the user’s manual to see the manufacturer’s recommendation.

You might be tempted to purchase a cheap detergent but that might cost you the lifespan of your appliance. Not every detergent out there is made for commercial dishwashers. Therefore, you should adhere to what the manufacturer has suggested.

Step #5: Clean The Baskets And Screens

Descaling a commercial dishwasher will take time and effort. You should make sure to clean filters, screens, and baskets using a brush and warm water. The filters, baskets, and screens should not be clogged with food particles.

And once you are done cleaning the components, you should re-install the parts. You might need to follow the user manual to ensure everything sits in the right place and that too properly.

Step #6: Run A Cleaning Cycle

Now that everything is in its place, you should run a cleaning cycle. Running a cycle further cleans the interior and fills the tank with freshwater and new detergent. Secondly, if the dishwasher makes noises, you can fix it on the spot.

Should I Hire A Professional For Descaling A Commercial Dishwasher?

Yes, if you are not familiar with the technique of descaling the commercial dishwasher, you should hire a professional to clean the machine from the inside out. The reason is that commercial dishwashers are expensive items and comprise several delicate components. So, if you are doing it on your own, you might end up damaging some components. Therefore, to prevent expensive replacements, you should opt for a professional.


In the end, describing a commercial dishwasher is not that complicated. If you intend to do it on your own, you should follow the tips mentioned above. For electrical and mechanical problems in the unit, get in touch with commercial appliance services. topac

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