Ready to shine
The right glass needs the right glasswasher
Whether in Hong Kong, Vancouver or Dubai – drinks yield high margins in the food-service industry. Serving wine, beer, mineral water and other drinks in the right glasses is, of course, more enjoyable for the customer but it has real-world advantages for the bar, restaurant or hotel manager, too. Professional glassware management befits the significant expense represented by glasses and other washware in the hotel and food-service industries and reflects the value it adds. One essential aspect is how glasses are washed. After all, it is not easy to get a glass hygienically clean and give it a perfect sparkle.
Many factors must come together to produce perfect results. First and foremost, glass quality plays an important role. Since glasses are washed so often in food service, they should be of better quality. In an ideal world, glasses should only break when they are dropped and not due to glass corrosion.
Different water treatment techniques are available depending on the water quality available. These include water softening and partial or full demineralisation which help to prevent the kinds of effects we have mentioned. However, truly improved water quality can only be the result of demineralisation. See our article, ‘The best water for the best results’.
In addition, water that has not been properly treated for dishwashing can leave a grey film and limescale deposits on glassware, even after an intensive wash cycle. Commercial dish and glass washing machines such as the ones made by German commercial dishwasing specialist MEIKO are therefore designed with optional water treatment modules, such as reverse osmosis systems.
"But I just want to wash up" - is what someone with less experience of glass management in the hotel and catering business might think. What they also want to do, or rather must do: take drinking glasses into consideration as part of the value chain.
For clients who want their glasses and dishes to sparkle, improving the water quality is essential – and that calls for demineralisation or osmosis.
In full demineralisation all minerals are extracted from the water and exchanged for ions that leave no residue
Water does not always behave the same way when we clean with it. Some of the minerals it contains can inhibit performance by leaving those familiar ugly and unappetising smears on cutlery and glasses. In dishwashers they may deposit a fur commonly known as limescale.
When water is hard, it needs softening to achieve good results, whatever type of dish, glass or ware washer is used.
A further significant consideration is how the different aspects combine: water; chemical products, such as detergent and rinse aid; and the right dishwashing technology in the machine. Finding just the right chemical products is key to getting the best results. Dispensing too little detergent, for example, causes the machine to grey quicker and leads to increased glass corrosion. Dispensing too much, on the other hand, means that not all the detergent can be rinsed away, more finish may be washed away and glasses may be corroded. Incorrectly dosing the rinse aid carries similar risks. Too much rinse aid results in unsightly streaks and too little can even cause the boiler and the rinse nozzles to clog with limescale.
The best water produces the best results
Water softening switches out hardening substances for sodium ions, making hard water soft. This is an effective way to prevent limescale build-up, which would require more frequent cleaning and descaling.
Partial demineralization removes only some hardening substances, replacing them with ions. In this case, hydrogen ions are used rather than sodium ions as they do not leave a residue.
Full demineralization removes all minerals from the water, exchanging them for ions which do not produce a residue. Just like with full demineralization, a reverse osmosis system will produce almost 100 % pure, fully demineralized water. The water is pushed at high pressure through a membrane that filters out almost all of the contents. This technology provides a whole host of real-world benefits. Firstly, it achieves perfect cleaning results without limescale residue. It also prevents machine defects and breakdowns caused by limescale deposits. This in turn leads to longer intervals between maintenance appointments. In addition, much lower levels of detergent and rinse aid are required in the wash, which makes the whole process much more environmentally friendly. Finally, a reverse osmosis system makes the machine more cost-effective as it eliminates the need to manually polish glass and cutlery after washing, which results in fewer breakages.
MEIKO's own-brand detergent ‘MEIKOLON’ is perfectly tailored to suit commercial dishwashing machines. Choosing compatible materials, achieving great results and getting the technology right are all closely intertwined. Getting that relationship right will ensure optimum results and maximum protection for your dishwashing machine. Highly concentrated products can be dosed in small quantities and are therefore particularly economical.