Re: Kitchen Dishware & Dishwashers
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:00:12 -0800 (PST)
> On Feb 23, 2017, at 5:59 PM, Dick Margulis <dick [at]> wrote:
> I don't recall which of the communities I've toured it was where this point 
> was made, but the person showing us the kitchen said one of the main reasons 
> for putting in a commercial dish line instead of under-counter dishwashers 
> was the wear and tear on residents' backs from stooping to load and unload 
> the latter.

(Responding to this comment and others)

The back issue is bigger with an under-counter sanitizer because it requires 
that you load and remove a rack of dishes every 2-3 minutes. The cycle is quick 
but the number of dishes that can be washed is smaller — racks seem large but 
they hold fewer dishes. A meal can be 8-12 loads and unloads.

But under-counter sanitizers and dishwashers can also be put up on a stand so 
they aren’t so low. We plan to do that with the second dishwasher that will be 
used more. It won’t be accessible but since we have the one by the sink, it 
doesn’t have to be.

Sanitizers are very loud and take up a lot of room, though under counter are 
quieter and closer to the size of a residential dishwasher. We have a few 
people who think the big sanitizer is fun but it is hard for new people to use, 
no one who is using the kitchen from a visiting group can figure it out, and 
many people won’t even consider learning how to use it. No one uses it unless 
they have a large meal to clean up after.

We put the first dishwasher next to the sink, so we will always use it for 
small meals and to load up dishes that are left in the kitchen between meals. 
The meal people used to complain because they would have to do 2 racks of left 
over dishes before they started their own. That doesn’t happen now. 

People  want to use less paper ad plastic so with a dishwasher where dishes can 
be loaded and washed later, they hope that people will use the the dishware.

Having one dishwasher and replacing the sanitizer (not currently working) was 
our plan, but so many people like the dishwasher so much that I expect those 
few who thought we needed the sanitizer may have been persuaded. (I’m waiting 
for them to respond to an email if they have objections.)

I thought we would need three dishwashers to cover large meals of 60 or so. But 
after the test of one dishwasher, people are saying no, we only need one more. 
We normally have meals of 30-40 people. With Corelle, there have been very few 
dishes that didn’t fit in. Except for large bowls and pans. The XXL size may 
take care of that.

Our last sanitizer was low temp because it was cheaper ($3,000?) and the dishes 
came out wet. The hot model is much more satisfying to use but also more 
expensive ($6,000?). AND service calls cost $500 just to walk in the door. It 
also takes a long time to get service because we are competing with all the 
restaurants who get first responses. 

There are many people who can service a residential washer much less 
expensively and two dishwashers with everything included are less than 
$2,000-$2,500 depending on plumbing needed and cabinetry.

If you decide on a sanitizer, have a closed kitchen. Ours is open and the noise 
discourages sitting around talking after meals. At least for most people—we 
have 4 who have equally large voices and don’t mind.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.