What Is The Perfect Temperature For Commercial Dishwashers?

Commercial dishwashers are the one equipment that is most in use and the information considered dishwashers are well… Rather important.

Commercial dishwashers are usually the priciest machine in the restaurant so the temperatures and other functions should be closely monitored and the dishwasher should be always cleaned properly.

In this article, we will go in-depth and examine commercial dishwashers and you will learn the optimal temperature for commercial dishwashers.

The perfect temperature for commercial dishwashers is 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit because FDA requires that commercial dishwashers achieve 160°F (71°C) temperatures to be considered sanitary and that the restaurant will pass health inspections. However, low-temperature dishwashers can’t reach those temperatures so 120-150°F is great as well as long you are using proper sanitizing chemicals.

However, there is much more to that for example can your dishwasher achieve that, and if it can’t what are the steps to ensure that you can use it in the future! First, we need to determine the difference between high and low-temperature dishwashers.

High-Temperature Dishwasher

High-temp dishwashers operate between 150 – 160 degrees Fahrenheit and rinse the supplies at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, high-temp dishwashers are more powerful which leads to bigger purchase costs but they aren’t without perks.

High-temp dishwashers do indeed cost more and cost more to run because of higher power needs, however, a high-temperature dishwasher sanitizes with only water heat so that’s a valuable perk especially if your restaurant uses materials that shouldn’t be sanitized with chemicals.

In addition to that thanks to the higher temperatures, plates, glasses, and everything else will dry much faster which can be invaluable in busy restaurants. Also, it will be much more efficient against grease, fat, and other hard-to-clean substances.

There is a complication to high-temperature dishwashers that low-temp ones don’t have and that is how to get those high temperatures safely out of the dishwasher. That’s why high temp dishwashers need condensate hoods or some other way of ventilation.

Low-Temperature Dishwasher

Low-temperature dishwashers are a bit more cost-friendly, and they don’t use as much power so it’s cheaper to maintain them as well. Even the name low-temperature dishwasher, they still operate between 120 – 150 degrees Fahrenheit so it isn’t exactly bathwater and will clean the kitchen supplies effectively.

However, low-temperature dishwashers don’t reach that 160°F (71°C) that is required by the FDA, they will need sanitizing chemicals along with the water.

Take note that a low-temp dishwasher might not clean heavily stuck and hard to clean supplies on its own but will require a little upfront scrubbing, after that it will get the job done.

The final perk that makes low temp dishwashers superior to high-temp ones is that they don’t need ventilation because they don’t produce steam, which will greatly ease the installation process.

Which One Is Better For You

When taking your time in research you will notice that high-temperature dishwashers are much more efficient and haves better overall perks, but it does cost more and it’s harder to find a place for them so ultimately you need to reflect on your needs to determine what is best for you. Let’s see what you should go through.


Let’s start with efficiency. Think about what kind of restaurant do you have and how often do you need to bring new dinnerware because with high temp dishwashers the supplies dry faster than with low temp ones.

If you have a limited supply or need to constantly bring new plates, glasses, etc then a high temp dishwasher gets a vote but if you don’t need to stress about constantly rotating the dinnerware then this isn’t so much of an issue and the point goes to low-temp dishwashers.

There is another thing to consider in efficiency which is the cleaning power and high temp dishwashers can easily clean doughy utensils, greasy kettles and other hard to clean equipment. So if you find yourself constantly scrubbing something in your kitchen you will save a lot of time and effort when choosing the high temp dishwasher however, if you haven’t noticed any problems in that aspect then it’s best to invest in a low temp one instead.


The costs can also be a huge if not the determining factor on where you will land because you always need to find ways to save money in a restaurant, therefore let’s take a closer look at the cost differences.

First, the initial cost of high temp dishwashers is higher, and with the additional ventilation needed the cost will rise up to even higher so the differences are thousands of dollars and if that wasn’t all the ongoing costs in high temp dishwashers are also higher due to the need of more power and maintaining the higher temperatures.

Low temp dishwashers are substantially cheaper however, the cleaning detergent costs are higher because they will need much more of it when compared to high temp ones.

In short, if you are on a budget and are willing to scrub a little more dishes every day, then a low temp dishwasher gets a vote from the cost category, however, if you have money to spend and want the best dishwasher for your restaurant then a high temp one will serve you better.


This is a factor that can force you to choose a low-temperature dishwasher instead of a high temp one. Let’s see why.

If you have limited space for the dishwasher you might need to choose a low-temperature one which isn’t bad but if you were hoping for a high temp one it can be disappointing of course.

You will need to think about the consense ventilation system and the space it will require on top of the dishwasher so be sure to measure everything properly before deciding.

All in all these 3 factors are the main ones which will lead you to your decision. Both of these commercial dishwasher types have different perks but ultimately your dishes will be clean one way on the other so don’t lose your sleep because of it.


The perfect temperature is really important to monitor to ensure that your supplies and dinnerware will come off sanitized and clean and if you are using a low-temp one remember to check that there are always cleaning detergent going in the dishwasher.

Taking good care of your kitchen equipment and appliances, especially the vital and expensive dishwasher is really, really important. This subject should be discussed within the staff so everybody knows how to monitor the functions properly and how to clean it carefully so there aren’t any mold and rust inside the machine.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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