Commercial Dishwasher Maintenance

It’s a Saturday night and your restaurant is full to capacity. Dishes of your perfectly executed creations are being delivered to eagerly awaiting customers. Wine glasses and mixed drinks are being enjoyed by all. Yep, it’s every restaurateurs dream until, UH-OH your Commercial Dishwasher decides to just stop working. That dream is now your worst nightmare come true.

So what can you do to prevent a Commercial Dishwasher breakdown? Like all of your commercial equipment, proper maintenance will improve its performance and extends the machines life expectancy. Keep in mind, a well-maintained Dishwasher will last up to 20 years. Below are several maintenance steps that you can take to care for your Commercial Dishwasher.

Read Your Owner’s Manual: Before you clean, maintain or service any equipment, always read the provided Owner’s Manual or look it up online.

Prescrapping Procedures: Even the best Commercial Dishwasher is not a food disposal. Make sure that your employees are thoroughly removing food debris before placing them in the Dishwasher. Failing to do so will clog the filter.

Clean the Filter: Check the filter regularly. If you see food particles and gunk on the filter, the flow of water will be blocked causing dishes to be poorly cleaned. A clogged filter will also prevent water from draining. To avoid these issues:

  1. Clean the filter every 20 cycles or more often if you are using the Dishwasher for heavy cleaning.
  2. Never beat the filter against anything to dislodge particles. Instead, remove the filters and clean them with a brush under running water or use a toothpick to clear out stuck food.
  3. After cleaning, make sure to re-install the filter (believe us- people forget to re-install more often than you think).

Thoroughly Clean Inside: This needs to be done daily.

  1. Turn off On-Off push button and the main water valve.
  2. Remove the overflow tube from the wash tank to empty the water. To do so, turn off the On-Off push button, and press Drain Pump push button until all the water has been completely emptied.
  3. Remove the spray arms loosening the fixing screws, and thoroughly clean the nozzles and cleaning and rinsing arms under running water.
  4. Reassemble all parts and refit the spray arms in their seats, fixing them with the relative screws.
  5. Clean the tank thoroughly. Do not use bleach or chlorine based detergents, or use metal brushes or corrosive products, which can damage the machine

Rinse-Aid: Just like with your dishwasher at home, Commercial Dishwashers require rinse-aid to prevent streaks and spots on your flatware and glasses. Insufficient rinse aid will also cause dishes and glasses to not dry completely. Check rinse-aid levels every morning. You can increase or decrease the amount of rinse-aid being released during each cycle by adjusting the screw on the dispenser.

Tank Water: To avoid poorly cleaned dishes, replace the tank water by refilling the tank at least every 20 wash cycles, or twice a day. Tank water left in the machine from the day before may also cause the machine to stop and draw water.

End of the Day Routine: At the end of the day, leave the dishwasher door open to allow the machine to air out.

Annual Routine: Have a qualified technician inspect the machine to clean the solenoid valve filter, remove scale from the heating elements, check the tightness of the seals,  check condition and/or wear of the components, and check operation of the dispensers.

Vitamix Blender Care Tips

Ensure your Vitamix Blender continues to perform for years to come by regularly checking on the functionality of the main components of your machine. Like with any blender, three parts of the Vitamix are most susceptible to going bad if not properly cared for.

  • Blade Agitator… Slowly rotate the blade assembly by hand to ensure it turns smoothly with some resistance. Replace the blade assembly if the following occur:
  1. Washer failure or oil leaking.
  2. Seal failure/visibile seal indents due to worn socket.
  3. Seal gone / visible ball bearings.
  4. Rounded teeth due to removing container while running.
  • Centering Pad… Check every 5 months to make sure that your pad is laying flat on the base. Replace the centering pad if the following occurs:
  1. Tearing at container posts due to banging on counter or improper cleaning of centering pad (caused by placing pad in dishwasher or using improper cleaning or sanitizing products).
  • Drive Socket… Check the condition of your drive socket every 3-4 months to ensure that the “teeth” are sharp. Replace drive socket if the following occurs: 
  1. Worn teeth due to removing container while running.
  2. Worn grooves due to placing container on motor base without centering pad or touching container while machine is running.
  3. Cracking at setscrew due to overtightened screw or a foreign object in the container.
  4. Drive socket or blade assembly needs to be replaced.

Just checking these three components on a regular bases and making sure to properly use your Vitamix Blender will extend its performance. If you need to replace any of these parts, please contact our Sales Consultants for assistance. 1-800-828-8564.

Commercial Flatware, Glassware, Dinnerware Maintenance

While flatware, glassware, and dinnerware may not be the most expensive items in your kitchen, any restaurateur knows that the continuous replacement of these items will leave you with a hefty price tag each year. Simple and small steps will ensure the long term performance of your smallware.

Flatware: Dingy, spotty, and dirty flatware will definitely drive away customers.

    1. Keep stainless steel flatware shiny by hand washing with warm water and mild soap  and dry immediately.
    2. Flatware Washing Basket

      Non-stainless utensils should be washed in a dishwasher on high temperature/sanitary cycle. Placing them in a separate flatware carrier will protect dinnerware from getting cracked during the wash cycle and ensure a thorough cleaning.

    3. Do not presoak for more than 10 minutes and never use acidic detergents like lemon scented dish soap on stainless steel flatware to prevent discoloration. Never use chlorine on your flatware.
    4. To remove excess water, thoroughly dry your flatware even if your dishwasher has a dry setting.


Glassware: Cracked and chipped glasses are dangers to your employees and customers!

    1. 20 Glass Compartment Cup Rack


      Stacking glasses will cause tension and easier breakage. Use a glassware carrier to store and carry glasses in your restaurant or bar.

    2. Restaurant kitchens are a busy place and all though many of us are guilty of doing this, do not add ice to a hot glass as it will cause the glass to crack or break.
    3. Protect yourself, your customers, and your business. Inspect glassware for chipped rims and cracks that can injure your customers. If you see any damage to the glass, throw it away immediately.

      Black 7" Deep Poly Bus Tub

    4. Remind bussers to carefully clean the table and lay down glasses in bus tubs as opposed to staking them up. If possible use a separate tub for glassware.

Dinnerware: Chipped and cracked plates are a turn off to customers.

    1. Let’s face it, chipped dinnerware looks bad. Really bad. Before serving a delicious quality meal, make sure the plate that you will be using to serve is clean and free of chips and crack.
    2. Do not pre-soak in water over 160 degrees, use hard water, or leave china unwashed after use. This will leave unattractive discolorations and stains.
    3. When bussing tables, stack dishes and bowls in separate stacks. Large piles or carelessly place dishes in bus tubs will cause unsightly chips and cracks.
    4. To ensure proper dishwasher loading and cleaning, wash one type of dishes (plates, salad plates or bowls) on each dishwasher rack.
    5. Do not serve cold food in a hot dish- this can cause the dish to crack. If you require hot plates, keep them in a heated dish dispenser.
    6. Short stacks: Keep plates stacked low to keep dishes from falling and breaking. For that reason, never stack more than 15” high.

Taking these extra steps means you won’t have to replace your smallware so often and will help you save money.

(Click on images for more product information)

Commercial Range Maintenenance

It’s pretty safe to say that if your Commercial Range stopped working- even for just a few hours- your restaurant would be in serious trouble. Your chef won’t be able to prepare the essential ingredients necessary to make the dishes on your menu which would cause you to turn away customers and loose money. You can prevent this from happening by maintaining your Commercial Range ensure its long-lasting performance.

Keep it Seasoned! Seasoning is essential to prevent food from sticking to the surface.

  • Griddle: Wash griddle with hot water and mild soap first. Apply a thin coat of cooking oil to the surface (1oz per square foot). Spread with a cloth to create a thing film and wipe off access. Light all burners on lowest setting for 15-20 minutes then wipe away oil. Repeat 2-3 times until griddle is slick with a mirror like finish.

**If griddle is overheated, product begins to stick, and after the griddle is cleaned with soap and water you will need to reseason the griddle surface.

  • Cast Iron Top Grates: Wash and dry grates thoroughly. Immediately after drying season the tops lightly with vegetable oil or Pam spray. (Never season grates while on the range top) Return grates onto range and turn all burners on low for at least 20 minutes.

**Reseason after each cleaning to prevent rusting.

Clean! We really cannot stress this enough. The #1 way to keep your commercial equipment properly working is to keep them clean. Daily and even hourly cleaning for heavy use equipment is vital. ALWAYS DISCONNECT ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY BEFORE CLEANING!

  • Exterior: Immediately wipe down all surfaces when splatter or spills occur to prevent caked on messes using a soap and water mixture. Remember to wipe dry. If the food becomes cooked on and cannot be easily wiped away, clean with a commercial-grade cleanser and sponge or cloth. Rub clean in the direction of the metals polishing lines. If necessary, carefully use a stainless scouring pad. Wipe dry. (Never use steel wool as it will leave particles on the surface that could cause it to rust.)
  • Open Top Burners: Grids and trays should be removed daily, cleaned and dried thoroughly before replacing. Clean burner ports with a wire brush. If you have a clogged hole, the burner should be lifted out and brushed inside and out. Clean grease with soap and hot water.
  • Cast Iron Top & Grates: Clean with mild soap and warm water. For baked on material, use a wire brush. Lightly coat with oil after cleaning to prevent rust. Do not scouring powder as it is very difficult to completely remove and can damage the range.
  • Griddle: For evenly cooked, browned griddle products keep griddle free of carbonized grease which can hinder the transfer of heat from the surface to the food. Clean griddle with a scraper or spatula after each use. Use a grill brick and pad to clean the surface and grease container at the end of the day. To remove discoloration use a non abrasive cleaner. Make sure to re-season the grill before reusing.
  • Components: At the end of the day, remove rings/plates, grates, burners, grease traps and drawers and clean these components as well as their area on the Range before replacing. Soak components in soapy water to help release dirt particles.

Use with Care! While the griddle plate may be steel, the surface is still soft and can be dented, scratched and gorged with a spatula if care is not taken. If the griddle is to be shut down for an extended period, put a heavy coat of grease over the griddle plate.

Move It! Inevitably food will fall behind and around your Commercial Range. Make sure you move it and clean around it. Consider using casters on the range to make moving easy for cleaning as well as when maintenance is necessary.

Lubrication: Don’t let range valve knobs get stuck- grease them regularly. If your range has a steel griddle use a light coating of oil to prevent rusting of exposed and uncoated areas.

Contact Burkett to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get your range back up and running! Burkett Parts Support can be reached at: 1-800-828-8564 ext 299.

Commercial Oven Maintenance

Ranges, Refrigerators and Ovens are all vital components of any commercial kitchen. From warming foods to baking your fabulous dishes your Oven is perhaps one of the most used piece of equipment in your restaurant so let’s keep it performing at 100%. While specific maintenance requirements vary for each manufacturer, here are a few tips to keep you Oven working. Refer to your Instruction Manual for more specific maintenance advice.

Convection Ovens:

  1. Clean exterior with a cloth and stainless steel cleaner. Dry with a clean cloth.
  2. To clean interior, remove racks, rack supports and back panel. Soak parts  in a water and ammonia solution. Clean porcelain interior with commercial oven cleaner but do not allow cleaner to come in contact with temperature probe, heating element or blower wheel. Let cleaner sit 10-20 minutes then wipe clean with wet cloth. If you have caked on spills inside your oven, use an oven brush to thoroughly clean these spots.

    Oven Brush

    Clean painted and stainless steel surfaces with a wet cloth. Reinstall removed components.

  3. Clean air intake weekly.
  4. Clean fan daily to prevent grease buildup.
  5. Inspect oven seal to prevent heat from escaping. Clean around door to remove food particles that prevent a proper closing.
  6. Annual Maintenance: Venting system should be checked annually for possible deterioration from moisture and corrosive flue products. This must  be done by an authorized service technician.

Conveyor Oven:

1. Clean interior with a wet cloth regularly to remove spills, crumbs and grease as this will prevent even airflow and cooking.Use a damp cloth for light cleaning and a non-caustic cleaner for heavier, baked on messes. To prevent costly damage, do not use excessive water or caustic oven cleaner.

2. Cooling Fan Grill: Clean daily with a stiff nylon brush and check air intake.

3. Conveyor Belt: Remove excess crumbs from conveyor belt with a brush. Remove and clean crumb pans. Remove the belt once a month for a more thorough cleaning.

4. Blower/Fan Motor: Thoroughly blow out the fan motor components and vents with compressed air to prevent the failure of the blower fan motor. Do this every 3 months. Check Blower Fan Belt for wear and tear.

5. Electrical Terminals: Every 3 months tighten all electrical control terminal screws.

6. Ventilation: Check air circulation every 3 months throughout the oven to make sure it’s not blocked and is properly working.

Contact Burkett to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get your Oven back up and running! Burkett Parts Support can be reached at: 1-800-828-8564 ext 299.

Commerical Mixer Maintenance Ensures Longevity, Efficiency

globe sp60 floor mixerIf you’ve invested thousands of dollars in a commercial mixer, chances are you rely heavily on this piece of equipment for your daily operations. The last thing you want is for it to break down and interrupt your sales. A well-maintained mixer will last many years regardless of how often or rigorous its use. For that reason, it is important that you understand how to maintain your mixer to maximize its longevity.

Read the manual and refer to it when you need advice: If you have any questions about your mixer or do not fully understand how to properly use it, refer to your Instruction Manual

A clean mixer Improves its longevity: The reasons to clean your mixer are pretty obvious. Besides contamination, a poorly cleaned mixing bowl could cause discoloration of the mixed product. Before you begin to clean your mixer turn it off and disconnect or unplug it from the electrical source.

  • Dilute detergent per supplier’s instruction.
  • DO NOT hose down or pressure wash any part of the Mixer.
  • NEVER use a scrubber pad, steel wool, or abrasive material to clean the Mixer.
  • NEVER use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or bleach based cleaner.
  • ALWAYS remove the agitator after each batch. If not, the agitator can become stuck on the shaft and become difficult to remove.

Generally, hand washing the Mixers components with mild soap and water, drying and sanitizing is the proper way to clean your equipment.

The recommended cleaning frequency for the bowl cradle, exterior and hub interior is daily. After each use, clean the agitators, bowl, safety guard, rear splash guard, and planetary shift

Lubrication for maximum performance:  A mixer is only as strong as its weakest link, so keep your mixer well oiled to maximize its performance. For example, a mixer that is not regularly lubricated will cause the safety guard to seize up (not move freely) or cause the agitator to not go onto the planetary shaft easily. Another problem that can occur is that the mixing bowl will stick or stop operating entirely. Mineral oil or food quality grease is generally recommended for lubrication.

NEVER Overload: Prior to purchasing a mixer, determine how much product you’ll be mixing in each batch. Remember to leave yourself extra space in the bowl so the mixture can be properly mixed. Don’t forget, once you combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients, your mixture will expand (also known as Absorption Ration or AR%). For an easy way to calculate this, refer to the mixer’s capacity chart, located in the instruction manual.  An overloaded mixer will be noisy, cause whip wires to break or lead to a broken dough hook.

Repairing a mixer can be a costly, and a poorly maintained Mixer will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Contact Burkett Customer Service at (800) 828-8564 to discuss options to troubleshoot your issue and get you back up and mixing.

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