Types of Commercial Dishwashers, Glasswashers & Warewashers

Types of Commercial Dishwashers, Glasswashers & Warewashers

Working your way through the types of dishwashers and glasswashers can be a difficult job. With a variety of names and sizes, how do you know which is best for your business needs?

Working your way through the types of dishwashers and glasswashers can be a difficult job.

With a variety of names and sizes, how do you know which is best for your business needs?

As technology advances, we see more and more types of washer on the market, which is why we are setting out a helpful guide, which aims to help you familiarise yourself with sizing, ware washer jargon and product descriptions which should allow you to recognise your own business requirements and match them with the product that suits you.

Going from smallest to largest, our list takes a look at the most popular washers available on the UK market and will hopefully provide you with answers to some of your questions.

Recommended reading: Hotel Kitchen Maintenance

Small Dishwashers

Smaller dishwashers come with the immediate benefit of being able to fit into tight spaces or be placed on a work surface, you can even get in-sink dishwashers.

Due to their size, these washers come with a height restriction on which items you can put into this dishwasher, this means some items like pots and pans will simply not fit.

For coffee shops who only use mugs and small saucers for cakes or snacks, this is an ideal size. With wash cycle times ranging between one and four minutes, this is a quick and efficient option.

Not only is it small, it can also draw enough power from a standard 13 Amp plug so you do not require any hardwiring connection, making this option the simplest to install. Many of these washers, with in-sink glass washers in particular, are often portable too.

Commonly Found: coffee shops, small cafes, office environments

Wash Cycle: 1-4 minutes

Best for: small dishes and crockery

Wash / Dump Glasswashers

These washers are built specifically for glassware. They can be super quick and are one of the most popular glasswashers in bars/clubs today as they can ensure that there are always fresh glasses ready for serving.

These washers can take up a little more room, as they often stand up and have a door for front loading, like the traditional dishwasher.

Due to a design specifically built for glass washing, it is hard to fit anything else in, you may also need to wash up by hand any particularly tall pint glasses or champagne flutes.

Commonly Found: busy pubs, clubs and bars

Wash Cycle: 1-4 minutes

Best for: glasses only

Large Dishwashers

This size dishwasher will usually be front loading and sit under a counter – much more similar to the ones we see in our homes.

With wash cycles that are just as quick and efficient as the small washer, and both 13 Amp plug or hardwired power connections available this option shares many of the benefits of the small washer, whilst being capable of taking larger items.

With an increased height, typical dinner plates can be loaded into this washer, making it perfect for small to medium size restaurants and pubs.

Commonly Found: restaurants, pubs, clubs

Wash Cycle: 1-4 minutes

Best for: large dishes and crockery

Hood Dishwashers

In opposition to the under counter dishwasher, the hood dishwasher is accessed via a hinged hood. Also known as a pass through dishwasher, these larger washers can fit around more items with fewer restrictions to height and size.

These versatile machines also allow the user to set up their racks, tabling and sinks to have a unique and personalised set up, making sure they can get their individual items washed.

Commonly Found: restaurants, hotels, schools

Wash Cycle: 1-8 minutes

Best for: large kitchens, restaurants, bars

Pot Washers

Pot / pan / utensil / tray dishwashers are specially designed to work best on catering / bakery equipment such as pots, pans, trays and cooking utensils which may have a larger amount of debris/food substance on them.

They’re larger in both height and capacity as the design is specific for catering equipment, rather than dinner services or cups.

Commonly Found: large kitchens, catering or food processing centres

Wash Cycle: 1-8 minutes

Best for: trays, pans, pots, cooking utensils and baking equipment

Conveyor Dishwashers

This is the most industrial option and much like its name suggests, a conveyor system moves items which can be packed into baskets through the washing system, depositing clean items in their baskets on the other side.

This system works at an equivalent speed of up to 400 racks an hour, so are perfect for large establishments.

Due to the size of this technology, most systems are bespoke and included as part of a larger washroom design and install or refurbishment.

Customer’s specific requirements are taken into consideration first before installation takes place with size, capacity and function all being discussed to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

Commonly Found: Hospitals, schools, function/events halls

Wash Cycle: constant cycle

Best for: anything


When it comes to choosing which ware washer is right for you and your establishment, it is important to acknowledge what items you wish to place in the system, how quickly you need the turnaround to be, how much room you have and the cost.

As the size increases of most of these washers, so does the price and it is important you can afford both the initial cost as well as the maintenance and upkeep.

Remember too, you may need more than one variety of washer and two can work in perfect conjunction and save you money, rather than investing in the largest or most versatile options.

TOP TIP: Using the right detergent can have a huge effect on the effectiveness of your machine. Use the manufacturer recommended detergent to avoid streak marks, damage.

Manuals should hold this information but if not speak to the product supplier