Dishwasher in CH
From: The House Diet (
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 15:33:01 -0700 (MST)
I live in Eno Commons, Durham NC USA, where every Tuesday night and every
other Sunday, we feed 30 - 45 human beings. And we still have the system
where *everybody* cooks and the *cooking team* pays for the dinner it makes
so it all works out in the end, without accounting.

We have a commercial dishwasher. Way back when we were mulling over choices,
I was a bit of an advocate for home dishwashers instead of a commercial one.
I'm glad I lost the day because now I adore our commercial dishwasher.

1. QUICK: It completes a load in under 3 minutes. Each load is probably 1/3
- 1/5 of what you could load into a home washer. HOWEVER, 5 loads x 3
minutes = 15 minutes of wash time, versus 70 - 90 minutes for the same
amount of dishes in a residential washer. BTW - You can run 25 glasses in
one load in a commercial washer. That's 3 minutes to wash virtually all of
your glasses. 

2. CAPACITY: you can fit odd-sized things in a commercial dishwasher that
you could never in a million years get in a home dishwasher. (Like busing
trays.) I took the SafeServe class on sanitation a few years back and feel
very strongly that *EVERYTHING* in a common kitchen like ours should go
through the dishwasher to rinse off or boil to death any germs that might be
lurking. (I'm not a big fan of chemical sanitizing, though. I hate the
thought of "antibacterial" soap.)

3. Pre-rinsing: All you need to do to "pre-rinse" your dishes is fill a dish
pan with water and keep reusing that same water over and over in the pan to
get the food stuffs off the dishes. There is no need to rinse in clean
water, though I know lots of people who feel like their dishes should be
clean before their home dishwasher cleans them, and I've never understood

Also, our commercial washer has a screen at the bottom that prevents larger
food particles from going down the drain. You do have to clean that out at
the end of the day.

HOWEVER - people should not be putting food-laden dishes in any dishwasher
anywhere because the food bits end up in your city's sewage system and cause
blockages, or end up taking up space in your septic tank. (Same for garbage

3. NOISE - Commercial dish washers are loud, really loud, no doubt, but it's
possible to close off our kitchen from the rest of the dining hall and that
really controls the noise a lot. And, since it doesn't have to run terribly
long, and since there's lag time between each load (for loading and
unloading the wash racks) it's pretty bearable. I would definitely trade the
volume for the quickness. Running the vacuum cleaner, which we do after
every meal, is more annoying than the dishwasher.

Christine Della Maggiora
Eno Commons

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