Re: Report on switching from sanitizer to dishwashers
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 08:18:38 -0700 (PDT)
Chuck Harrison <cfharr [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after putting the attached image online with link below.
(cohousing-L does not distribute attachments)

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Our community is about half the size of Takoma Village (23 units) and we
have meals two or three times a week.

Our dishwasher is probably the kind that Takoma Village just got rid of
(see pic) at

It was ten years old when the community was formed (1999) and it
just keeps going. I guess thirty years of a few meals a week isn't really
much usage for a restaurant-grade machine. I don't know that anybody loves
it or hates it; it's kind of noisy but we're all used to that.

It takes 50 seconds to run a cycle on a standard 20x20 dish rack, so
dishwashing is kind of a continuous flow thing where rinsing, loading, and
putting away can be a fairly efficient multi-person & social activity. "Can
be" -- not saying it always is!

We worry vaguely about the unit eventually breaking down beyond economical
repair and the cost of a new replacement, but we have been assuming that
this is the right approach for our kitchen. Maybe we should be evaluating
alternatives like Sharon mentions.

Duwamish Cohousing, Seattle

On Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 10:55 AM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> 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, totally.
> 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
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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