White dishes stacked on a basket after washing through an automatic commercial

Best commercial dishwasher 2023: Buyer's guide

What’s inside this buyer’s guide


  1. Introduction
  2. What is a commercial dishwasher?
  3. Different types of commercial dishwashers
  4. Features to consider
  5. Other purchase considerations
  6. Best commercial dishwashers
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Commercial dishwasher glossary
  9. Keep your cash. Use ours!



Mouth-watering cuisine? Check. Captivating ambiance? Check. Spotless dishes? Check.

So, you've got a delectable menu and a perfect ambiance in your restaurant, bar, or cafe.

But let's be real – if those plates and glasses aren't gleaming, are your guests really getting the best experience?

The way to ensure all crockery in your venue has its sparkle on is simple – get the right commercial dishwasher.

There’s no scarcity of choices in the market for commercial dishwashers.

But which model is the right one for your business, can be difficult to decide.

This commercial dishwashing machine buyer’s guide particularly addresses this concern.

It provides you with in-depth information on everything you need to know about commercial dishwashers sans all the fluff.

From type and features to purchase considerations and a list of the top commercial dishwasher brands, we have it all covered.



What is a commercial dishwasher?

Crafted for the hustle and bustle of commercial kitchens, commercial dishwashers, often dubbed warewashing machines, are the powerhouses behind the squeaky clean dishes, glasses, and utensils that emerge in mere minutes.

These machines are robust and designed to handle substantial workloads, ensuring every piece of kitchenware is pristine and germ-free.

What's more, they're resource-efficient, optimizing water and energy consumption.

The right dishwasher isn't just a tool—it's a game-changer to streamline your kitchen operations.


Different types of commercial dishwashers

When it comes to commercial environments, choosing the right type of dishwasher is crucial.

Let’s check out the main options available.


Conveyor dishwasher 

A stainless steel conveyor dishwasher

For businesses that see a mountain of dishes piling up by the hour, the commercial conveyor dishwasher, sometimes referred to as the rack-type dishwasher, is the knight in shining armor.

This powerhouse can effortlessly manage towering volumes (imagine 1700 to 2200 plates or more per hour) courtesy of its automated conveyor mechanism.

Some models might even boast a built-in drying feature, ensuring your dishes are table-ready post-wash.

But remember, with great power comes great size—so make sure your establishment has the room to house this mammoth machine.


Door type dishwasher

A door type commercial dishwasher

The door-type dishwasher, colloquially known as the rack dishwasher, brings an efficient balance between the large conveyor models and the more compact undercounter ones.

Here, the door lifts up for easy access, and a rack filled with dishes is placed in it before closing the door and running the cycle.

A pass-through dishwasher is also a door-type dishwasher.

Unlike their under-the-counter counterparts, these are meant to be nestled between your kitchen counters, not under them.

These workhorses can clean up to 175 racks per hour, depending on the make and model.

And the cherry on top? No more bending over backward to load or unload—your back will thank you.


Undercounter dishwasher

Commercial undercounter dishwasher

Commercial undercounter dishwashers, often referred to as front loaders, are the epitome of sleekness, designed to slide effortlessly beneath counters in smaller kitchen settings.

Perfect for quaint cafes, bustling bars, and charming eateries, these compact wonders require hands-on loading and unloading.

Though they might bear a passing resemblance to your home dishwasher, their performance is on another level.

With rapid wash cycles and the capability to handle up to 500 plates or more per hour, they're efficiency personified.



Specialized dishwasher variants


Undercounter glasswasher

Commercial glasswashers are the secret of establishments that pride themselves on pristine glassware.

Whether it's wine glasses, beer mugs, or classic tumblers, these machines are up to the task.

While they adhere to the rigorous temperatures of commercial dishwashing, they're gentle at work, ensuring your fragile glassware remains intact.

Some models are so efficient they can clean a staggering 2,000 glasses per hour, completing a cycle in a mere minute and a half.


Pot washer

Heavy duty front loading pot washer/ware washer

For those heavy-duty kitchenware cleaning tasks, pot and utensil washers come to the rescue.

Tailored for cleaning oversized kitchen items like pots, pans, and large containers, these machines are indispensable for high-traffic kitchens.

Their design, complete with towering doors, offers ample space to house even the most cumbersome cookware that a standard dishwasher wouldn't accommodate.


Features to consider

Let's break down some must-have commercial dishwasher features so that you can make a savvy investment that’s worth every cent.



Dishwashers are as diverse as the dishes they clean.

While the type of dishwasher largely dictates its size, the brand and model fine-tune the specifics.

Before considering a particular model, take a beat to assess your kitchen's dimensions.

Also, consider if your chosen model requires overhead ventilation and the space it will take.

You’ll also need some extra space around the machine to ensure there's room for necessary accessories and plumbing.


Conveyor dishwashers

These large machines are perfect for handling a mountain of dishes, but remember, they'll command a sizable chunk of your kitchen real estate.


Door type dishwashers

More compact than their conveyor cousins, they do, however, require space on both sides for benches to ensure a seamless workflow. Don't forget to account for overhead space for smooth dish rack transitions.


Undercounter dishwashers

The beauty of commercial undercounter dishwashers lies in their compatibility with standard kitchen and bar counter heights, as they fit snugly under them. But it's prudent to double-check your counter dimensions before ordering a model.




Evaluate your kitchen's demands. Are dishes piling up by the minute? Or is it a steady stream throughout the day? Your answer will guide you to the right dishwasher capacity.


Conveyor dishwashers

Ideal for large venues and services where dishes accumulate rapidly.


Door type dishwashers

These are perfect for medium food services with a consistent but not overwhelming flow of dishes.


Undercounter dishwashers

Tailored for intimate settings, these machines offer a more modest capacity. They are ideal for cafes, small diners, and bars.


Remember, an oversized dishwasher might be overkill, wasting valuable resources like water and electricity, while a smaller one could leave your staff waiting during peak hours, which will add to your serving time and have a negative impact on your business.

So, consider your needs minutely before making a choice.


Vent or ventless

Dishwashers with hood

A commercial-grade dishwasher might require a hood to expel the steam and heat generated during warewashing.

The hood helps to maintain a pleasant kitchen atmosphere by dissipating excess heat and steam. The specific hood requirements depend on the dishwasher model and your kitchen's size.

Typically, if you’re getting a high-temperature commercial dishwasher, having a hood is a wise choice. However, you might not need it if the model is an undercounter, benchtop, or ventless variant.  


Ventless dishwashers

Commercial ventless dishwashers are truly transformative. Rather than expelling the heat generated during a cycle, these models ingeniously capture and repurpose it.

Some cutting-edge versions even recycle the steam, prepping it for the subsequent wash cycle.

If your kitchen is on the cozier side or if the thought of hood installation feels daunting, a ventless dishwasher could be your kitchen's new best friend.

However, a heads-up: while they're marvels of efficiency, they might not quite reach the dish output capacity of the vented variants, but again, that depends on the model.

It boils down to assessing your needs and making a well-informed decision.



Every drop of water used to scrub the dishes spotless needs a way out from the dishwasher.

Here are the drainage alternatives you have in commercial dishwasher machines:


Gravity drain

This is the natural method for drainage.

Relying on gravity, the water exits from the base of the machine.

These designs are easy on the pocket, but there's a snag.

Larger food remnants might lodge themselves inside since gravity alone might not give them the nudge they need for removal.


Pump drain

In this design, a pump takes the reins, forcefully expelling the water and ensuring even those tenacious food particles are ousted.

They're highly efficient, but bear in mind, they're a tad more intricate.

Over the years, these components might call for some extra maintenance.

Additionally, these variants might carry a heftier price tag and consume more energy.


Also, note the commercial dishwashing machine’s drainage opening position to guarantee effective water elimination.

Always be in sync with local guidelines when it comes to wastewater disposal.

Clean dishes are important, but so is eco-conscious operation.


Wash cycle and cycle time

Modern commercial dishwashers boast an array of wash cycle selections, tailored to the needs of every dish.

A 'light' cycle might suffice for those barely-touched salad plates, but the dinner plates and other hard-working utensils might necessitate a 'heavy-duty' treatment.

A commercial dishwasher for restaurants should provide these options. 

The cycle time is vital in any commercial setup.

Envision a thriving eatery or pub. A ceaseless supply of gleaming dishware is non-negotiable.

Thus, the rapidity of a dishwasher's cycle is paramount.

Some state-of-the-art models can blitz through a cycle in a swift 90 seconds, while others might take up to 240 seconds for a ‘heavy’ wash.

Some even offer a specialized sanitization cycle, ensuring an added layer of cleanliness.


Chemical dispensers

Think of the chemical dispensers as reliable assistants for your commercial dishwasher.

They ensure that your machine is consistently loaded with the appropriate food-safe cleaning agents, sparing you the hassle of constant refills.

Many high-capacity dishwashers incorporate these dispensers, making the entire cleaning process more seamless.

The trio you'll often encounter includes soap dispensers, rinse agent dispensers and sanitizer dispensers.

For peak performance, it's essential to use food-grade chemicals recommended by your commercial dishwashing machine's manufacturer.

It's akin to ensuring your machine runs on the right fuel.



Other purchase considerations

Energy efficiency

While commercial dishwashers pack a punch in terms of efficiency, they also come with a certain appetite for energy.

Unlike their domestic counterparts, commercial models are crafted for intense, continuous use, sometimes drawing a hefty electrical current.

Before settling on a specific model, delve into its energy specifications. Some might necessitate a direct link to your main power supply.

This info is typically available on the product label or within its manual.

But here's the silver lining: many top-tier brands are innovating commercial dishwashers that strike a balance between power and energy conservation.

Ventless models, for instance, are stellar at conserving energy.

So, if you're scouting for a new commercial dishwashing machine for restaurant, it's worth considering more energy-efficient options.

They might come with a slightly steeper initial cost, but they'll be kinder to your utility bills and the planet in the long haul.


Water efficiency

Water usage is a big deal, not just for getting those dishes gleaming but also for the planet and your wallet.

In the world of commercial dishwashing, it's about maximizing cleanliness while minimizing water use.

Some top-tier commercial dishwashers have embraced this with jet sprays that deliver spotless results without being wasteful.

Sure, these models might have a slightly heftier price tag, but think about the long-term savings.

For instance, many leading commercial dishwashers impressively use a mere 0.50 - 0.90 gallons of water per cycle, depending on their type and size.


Water temperature

Clean dishes are great, but they also need to be safe from harmful bacteria.

Industry standards dictate that during the final rinse, water should hit at least 180°F to ensure dishes are sanitized and meet hygiene benchmarks.

When you're shopping for commercial dishwashing machines, you'll come across two types as far as the water temperature is concerned: the high-temperature models and the low-temperature models.

The high-temperature models run hotter, which means they don't lean as heavily on chemical sanitizers.

On the flip side, low-temperature dishwashers work at cooler temperatures and lean on chemical sanitizers for a thorough clean.

While the latter might be more budget-friendly upfront, the reliance on chemicals could pose environmental concerns.

Now, while most high-temperature commercial dishwashers come with integrated heaters to reach the right temperature, ensuring complete sanitization, some other models might need an external boost. In such scenarios, an external booster heater becomes essential.

It's also handy when commercial dishwashers feature a temperature display, allowing staff to keep an eye on the water temperature, ensuring optimal washing conditions.


Water pressure

For a commercial dishwasher to operate at peak efficiency, the right water pressure is crucial.

If it's too low, the machine might lag in filling up or performance, causing potential hold-ups.

The solution? A dishwasher equipped with a rinse booster pump.

It's like giving your machine a little pep in its step, ensuring top performance regardless of water pressure hiccups.

Making the right choice here can be the difference between a seamless kitchen operation and unnecessary delays.


Safety features

When it comes to commercial dishwashers, there are a few non-negotiable safety features to keep an eye out for:


Overheat protection: This feature automatically powers down the dishwasher if temperatures soar too high, preventing potential fires or damage.


Door interlock: This ensures the machine only operates when the door is securely closed.


High water temperature protection: If water temperatures spike, this feature stops operations.


Automatic shutoff: Essentially a built-in timer, this ensures the machine powers down when not actively in use.


Tight seals and minimized gaps: These design elements ensure water and steam stay within the machine, which improves energy efficiency and reduces operational risks.


Thankfully, most top-tier brands prioritize these safety features, so if you're leaning toward a reputable brand, you're likely covered.


Ease of use and cleaning

In every bustling commercial kitchen, efficiency is key.

Your dishwasher should be intuitive and user-friendly, ensuring easy and seamless operations.

Clear, accessible controls are essential.

And if multiple team members are using it, simplicity is paramount.

Considering a door-type dishwasher?

Look for ones with lightweight doors. Some even offer automatic door lifting—a nice touch.

Post-shift cleaning shouldn't be a chore.

Dishwashers that prioritize easy cleaning can make a world of difference.

Features like removable rinse filters and easily detachable spray nozzles simplify the process.

And when it comes to material, high-quality stainless steel is the best.

It's not only aesthetically pleasing but also easy to clean and maintain.


Noise level

Yes, machines make noise, but that doesn't mean your commercial dishwasher can’t be a tad bit quieter.

While some larger models might make more noise, many modern commercial dishwashing machines incorporate noise-reduction features.

If you're curious about specifics, the manufacturer's manual should provide clarity.

A quieter dishwasher ensures a more harmonious kitchen environment.



Best commercial dishwashers


 Hobart Logo

Hobart isn't just another name in the commercial food equipment scene; it's an industry titan. For over a century, Hobart has been the go-to for food service and retail professionals.

And with a whopping 125+ locations and a brigade of 1,500 expert technicians spread across the US and Canada, they're not just selling equipment; they're offering peace of mind.

When it comes to commercial dishwashers for restaurants, Hobart is in a league of its own. Hobart commercial dishwasher lineup spans from sleek undercounter dishwashers to robust, industrial-grade conveyor systems.

Take the Hobart LXeR Advansys™ Two-Level commercial undercounter dishwasher, for instance. It's a compact powerhouse, perfect for tighter spaces, but doesn't skimp on efficiency.

With an optional second rack, it can handle up to 48 racks an hour. Plus, its Auto Delime feature ensures top-notch cleaning with minimal chemical use.

Got a bit more space and need something heftier? The Hobart AMTL Two-Level door-type commercial dishwasher is your answer. It's not just about capacity; it's about cutting-edge technology that consistently exceeds expectations.

If you’re on a budget, the Hobart Centerline range brings some of the top choices. The Centerline CUH-1 undercounter dishwashing machine is a testament to that. Efficient and reliable, it can wash up to 24 racks in an hour, using a mere 0.84 gallons of water per rack.

Check out more Hobart commercial dishwashers here.                   



 Jackson Logo

Jackson WWS, Inc. is a prominent American manufacturer known for their top-notch quality. For nearly a century, Jackson has been crafting machines that not only ensure dishes sparkle but also save on labor, chemicals, and utilities.

Take a look at their DishStar HT-E-SEER High Temperature commercial undercounter dishwasher machine. It's a compact, budget-friendly gem perfect for front-of-house setups in cafes or bars.

With its steam elimination and energy recovery system, this model can handle up to 20 racks an hour, using just 0.65 gallons of water for each.

Need something more robust? The TempStar High Temperature door-type dishwasher is a favorite among larger establishments.

With its electric booster heater, it can tackle up to 58 racks an hour, using only 0.89 gallons of water per rack. And with its sturdy stainless steel build, it's ready for the hustle and bustle of any busy commercial kitchen.

For those who need the big players, the Jackson AJ-64 Dual Tank conveyor dishmachine is the way to go. This powerhouse can manage a whopping 287 racks per hour. It's packed with features like user-friendly controls, adjustable conveyor speed, and durable stainless steel components.

Check out Jackson commercial dishwashing machine collection here.


Moyer Diebel


Moyer Diebel Logo


Nestled in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but making waves globally, Moyer Diebel crafts top-notch dishwashers for the commercial food scene.

From snazzy bar glasswashers to robust conveyor dishwashers, they've got it all. And with a solid 70-year track record, they're not newbies. They're part of the esteemed Ali Group Company.

Now, let's talk stars from the brand. The 383HT High Temperature undercounter dishwashing machine is compact but packs a punch with its built-in booster heater, sleek LCD controls, and nifty features like auto clean.

Then there's the MD2000 HR door-type dishwasher, which boasts heat recovery and other tech-savvy features. It completes one cycle in just 60 seconds using 0.90 gallons of water and can complete 36 racks of dishwashing in an hour.

But if glasses are your game, the Moyer Diebel SW600L Low Temperature pass-through glasswasher is a game-changer.  

It can handle a staggering 2,000 glasses an hour, and with its 72" footprint, it's perfect for places that see a lot of toasts. Plus, its polypropylene conveyor is highly durable yet gentle on your glassware.

Check out the Moyer Diebel commercial dishwasher machine range right here.




 Jet Tech Logo

Jet-Tech, a gem under the MVP Group Corp umbrella, is all about crafting top-tier, energy-efficient dishwashing gear for the food service pros. Their machines are all about delivering pristine cleaning while being kind to your pocket.

Now, for a quick tour of their standout models:

The Jet-Tech 737E High-temp Deluxe commercial undercounter dishwasher is a favorite among cafes and mid-sized eateries. Made in Italy, it boasts a user-friendly electronic control panel, keeps the noise down to a whisper at 58 dBa, and holds onto its heat like a champ.

For the bigger players, the 747HH High-temp Deluxe door-type warewasher steps up. It's got power, thanks to its twin wash motor pumps, and comes with a built-in temperature booster, plus a fully automated door. And for that extra sparkle? It's got adjustable rinse-additive & detergent pumps.

For those tight on space but big on needs, the Jet Tech F-14 High-temp countertop warewasher is a lifesaver. Think smoothie bars or ice cream joints.

It can handle 20 racks an hour and sips just 0.5 gallons of water per rack. Plus, it heats water up to a toasty 185 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring every glass and plate is spotless.

Check out more Jet-Tech commercial dishwasher machines here.



CMA Dishmachines


CMA Logo

Located in California, CMA Dishmachines is a proud member of the Ali Group Companies. CMA has been crafting top-notch warewashing solutions since the '70s.

Their mantra? Delivering stellar, eco-friendly solutions that not only leave dishes sparkling but also stand the test of time.

Now, for a quick spotlight on some of their stars:

The CMA-180-S Single Rack straight high-temperature dishwasher is a powerhouse. With its 1hp wash pump and a swift 1-minute wash cycle, it's efficient, using just 0.82 gallons of water per cycle. The result? A whopping 60 standard dish racks cleaned per hour.

The rotating wash and rinse arms ensure every nook and cranny of the dishes are spotless, while its nifty soil purging system keeps the wash water clear.

On the hunt for a ventless dishwashing machine? CMA's got you covered. The smallest member from the range, the 181-VL is a compact undercounter marvel. It features hot water sanitizing and a neat single-rack design. Perfect for those smaller food joints.

Check the full CMA Dishmachines collection here.



Frequently asked questions

How to use a commercial dishwasher?

Operating a commercial dishwasher can differ depending on its type, specific make, and model.

It's always best to check the user manual for thorough instructions. 

Here's a broad rundown:

  • First off, ensure the chemical dispensers are filled, the drain is sealed, and the machine is spick and span to start the wash.
  • Position the tank grid and basket wheels correctly. Close the door and switch on the main electric point.
  • Use the control panel on the dishwashing machine to fill the tank and heat the water up to the right temperature.
  • Before tossing in the dishes, check and swipe off any lingering grub.
  • Choose the appropriate wash cycle for your dish pile, and let the machine do its job.
  • When it wraps up, retrieve the gleaming dishes, empty the water, and give the machine a thorough cleaning.


Remember, most commercial dishwashers don't have a drying phase.

If that's a must-have for you, consider a model that boasts this perk.

Alternatively, ponder on adding a post-rinse heater to aid in drying the dishes.


Do commercial dishwashers require a hood? 

In the US, there isn't a universal requirement for hoods over commercial dishwashers.

However, specific local health departments might have their own stipulations on commercial kitchen ventilation.

While not always mandated, if you operate a high-temperature commercial dishwasher for restaurants, especially a sizable one, integrating a hood is a strategic move.

These machines release substantial heat and steam, which can intensify the kitchen's ambient conditions.

Conversely, if you're using an undercounter or a ventless dishwasher model, the need for a hood diminishes.

The primary advantage of a hood is its ability to effectively vent out the surplus heat and steam produced by the dishwasher machine, ensuring a balanced and conducive work environment.


Which commercial dishwasher is best?

With several commercial dishwasher brands vying for your attention, finding the best one can be a journey. 

Hobart commercial dishwashers boast a long-standing reputation for reliability.

Jackson, another trusted name, offers powerful dishwashers, always ready for a dinner rush.

Moyer Diebel commercial dishwashers for restaurants, on the other hand, bring finesse and style to your kitchen.  

Jet-Tech and CMA are some of the other mighty contenders.

So, the best one? It's all about what your kitchen needs and matches your preferences.

There's no one-size-fits-all, but with these brands on your side, you know where to look.

If you’re looking for the best commercial dishwasher but don’t want to invest a hefty amount for it right now, check the top brands available on our site.

You can get them on easy weekly rent. 


Commercial dishwasher glossary


In commercial dishwashers, filters play a crucial role in trapping leftover foods. To keep the machine running seamlessly, it's essential to routinely inspect and clean these filters.



Hoses in dishwashers are responsible for directing water from its source to the specific sections of the dishwasher machine.


Heating element

It warms up the water inside the dishwasher, facilitating efficient removal of oils and ensuring thorough sanitization.



In tandem with the pump, the impeller amplifies the water's pressure in the dishwasher, enhancing the mix and spread of water and detergent.



Racks are the designated spaces where the utensils are placed. Instead of individual items, efficiency metrics often use "racks per hour" as a standard, given the diverse load capacities.



It sets the duration of the wash cycle.


Water valve

This part controls the water's ingress into the dishwasher machine, ensuring the appropriate volume for each wash cycle.


Wash curtain

Certain conveyor-style dishwashers feature these barriers or partitions to reduce water splatter and guarantee a smooth passage for dishes.



Keep your cash. Use ours!

We hope this guide has helped you better understand what you need to look for in a commercial dishwasher and how to choose the right model for your needs. If you want to know more, you can always reach out to the SilverChef team.

Hospitality equipment can be expensive, and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.

Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.

Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow; it gives you unrivaled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.

You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.

If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments afterward — to put toward the purchase price. If you buy the equipment within a year, the interest will be 0%.

Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.






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