Report on switching from sanitizer to dishwashers
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:54:52 -0700 (PDT)
We had a sanitizer for 15+ years. Some of the people who used it loved it and 
thought it was fun. Others avoided ever using it. Everyone disliked how much 
noise it made. They were the tall ones, not the under the counter.

We had two different kinds, a hot water and a cold water. People liked the hot 
water because the dishes were hot when they came out and dried quickly. The 
cold water (not totally cold but had to have sanitizer juice to sterilize) made 
dishes feel grubby  when they came out. Wet and didn’t dry for a while. But it 
was significantly cheaper to buy than the hot one.

And they kept breaking. The only service company, of course, was one that 
serviced restaurants. They charged $500 just to come out. Often the heater 
would go out and we would have to wait for another one to arrive and then get 
back on the schedule for the service person.  we were not an emergency when 
stuck behind a restaurant that was all but shut down with no sanitizer. 

Everything was complicated. We did learn how to clean lime off the filter 
ourselves (or two people did), though we have no idea where it came from. We 
are on DC water and it wasn’t a problem elsewhere.

So we switched to two Kitchenaid KDFE204ESS2. On the advice of the sales person 
we considered the Bosch but it doesn’t have a heated dry. One resident had one 
and didn’t like it. I have one and it is fine but I usually open it at the end 
so the moisture escapes while the dishes are hot and they dry. But I’ve never 
used a heated dry. Nevertheless in a group kitchen it would be hard to handle 
something that was weird. The water is supposed to condense on the sides of the 
washer and drain away. It doesn’t always.

The second E in the item number is important because it indicates a stainless 
steel filter.

Anyway, everyone finds them totally wonderful — as wonderful as you can be 
about a dishwasher. And _many_ more people use them. And it is more likely that 
someone will run a load in the middle of the week. And they are silent, 

We did have to change from Fiestaware to Corelle so more dishes would fit. We 
usually have 25-30 or less for meals and two machines has been totally fine. I 
thought we would need three but the kitchen people said no — two has been 
plenty. The only time we had dishes left over and had to run a load later was 
for a meal that used a lot of small dishes in addition to plates and glasses.

We do use the shorter cycle so dishes have to be rinsed or put in soaking pans 
( with ugly water). Seems odd to me but I don’t do the dishes. And they do like 
to hang around to empty the dishwashers. The same cook team empties as fills.

One thing we had done is put one next to the sink that is used the most, and 
put the other one where the sanitizer had been on the other side of the 
kitchen. One of our new residents has lots of professional kitchen experience 
and immediately said you don’t put clean-up next to food prep. They should be 
totally separate so people don’t run into each other and each one has separate 
counter space. Dedicated areas of the room. So we will move them next to each 
other we rehab the kitchen.

We have about 80 residents (seems to change every month) in 43 units. Sometimes 
it has been close to 90. Depends on partners and roommates.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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