Long-term Cost of Choosing Chemicals for Short-term Savings

Choosing the right dishwasher for your restaurant is an important choice with long-lasting effects. Your dishwasher is responsible for a majority of the cleanup of your flatware, and a poor choice in washing machine can leave residue and damage your equipment, costing your restaurant a small fortune over time. While many choose a low-temp dishwasher with chemical sanitizing for the short-term savings, the long-term costs may be substantial enough to consider!

Why do people use chemicals for sanitizing their dishware?

Low temperature dishwashers are incapable of reaching the temperature required to properly sanitize dishes - 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, chemicals are needed to aid in the sanitizing process.

  • Cheap: These chemicals are relatively cheap to obtain, and the machine itself is typically cheaper than its high-temp counterpart.

  • Energy: At the same time, these machines can also be slightly more efficient because of its use of a chemical bath rather than heating large amounts of water!

What are some of the long-term costs of using chemicals in low-temp dishwashers?

Due to the short-term savings of a low-temp dishwasher, many see these as an optimal and affordable choice. If you’ve been in the restaurant business for any period of time, you’ve probably found out the hard way on at least one occasion that the long-term costs are just as important as the short-term savings! Purchasing a cheaper appliance is no good if it doesn’t do the job correctly and may, in fact, cost you more in the end. The same goes for chemical low-temp dishwashers! 

  • Grease: While chemicals may sanitize your dishes, the lack of hot water can mean that grease can still cling to your dishware. Over time, you may decide to purchase a booster heater to resolve this issue. These deposits can also build up in drainage systems over time.

  • Damaged Goods: The same chemicals that sanitize your dishes may also corrode and damage your flatware! The cost of replacing flatware, dishware, and plastics can nick away at your profits.

  • Chemical Costs: It’s true that the chemicals used in these dishwashers are fairly cheap, but consider that the cost of the chemicals is a lifetime purchase. For instance, high-temperature models will cost your restaurant money in terms of water and energy bills. Low-temp models will cost you water, energy, AND chemicals for the usable lifetime of the appliance!

  • Water: Low-temp models in fact use more water than their high-temp counterparts, impacting your utility bills over time.

What’s best for your restaurant?

Choosing the right option for your restaurant is truly a matter of individual preference. By weighing the pros and cons of using high-temp vs low-temp machines, you might find which one has just the right balance of ups and downs. In general, we recommend the use of high-temperature dishwashers. These high-temp models wash dishes faster, flash dry at the end (reducing food safety risks), and won’t damage your flatware!


CKitchen, an E Friedman company, is a FULLY AUTHORIZED Food Service Equipment and Supplies Dealer that represents all major brands of commercial kitchen equipment. Since our inception in 1984, we focused on quality products and upscale projects. Our projects division is responsible for some of the largest food service projects in the country including Hotels, Restaurants and Institutions. We are loyal to our customers as well as our employees. Our average sales professional has been with us for over 8 years. This accounts for the fact that they are some of the most knowledgeable in the Restaurant Equipment industry. We continue to strive for value added service while maintaining the lowest prices in the industry. The bottom line is that we would like you to be pleased with your purchase today and for years to come...
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