Washing glasses in a standard dish machine can be a seamless process for glassware used in the dining room, but operators often prefer a separate glass washing system for the bar. This eliminates trips back and forth to the kitchen and allows bartenders to take extra care with fragile glassware like snifters, flutes, and glasses with flared rims.
The term “glass washer” can mean any of the following:
- Underbar Cycle Type Glass Washer – These resemble the type of dish machine found in many consumer households. Most can clean about 30 racks of glasses per hour, and some include a steam elimination system that prevents clouds of water vapor from escaping when the door is opened. With low-temp units, lipstick and sugar may not be reliably removed from glassware. With high-temp units, glassware must be allowed to cool following the hot rinse cycle.
- Carousel Type Glass Washer – These are also underbar units, but instead of a fold down door, they feature an open front with strip curtains and a slowly rotating platform. Glasses placed on the platform are carried through the strip curtains into the rear of the machine where they are washed, rinsed, and sanitized. When they reemerge on the other side, they are clean. Carousel type glass washers eliminate the need for racks and provide a continuous supply of 800 to 1400 glasses per hour.
- Rotating Brushes – These sit in the first compartment of a three-compartment bar sink. They typically feature five spinning brushes and a motor that sits above the water line. Bartenders manually invert each glass over the center brush to scrub the interior of the glass while the four outer brushes scrub the exterior. The glass is then ready to be rinsed and sanitized.
- Stationary Glass Brushes – Non-motorized versions have static brushes. They are used the same way, only bartenders must provide the scrubbing action by turning each glass manually and moving it up and down over the vertical brushes.
Which you choose likely depends on the size of the bar, volume of glassware to be washed, availability of labor, and whether an existing system such as a three-compartment sink is already in place or not.