How to Choose the Right Commercial Dish Machine for Your Business

Commercial dish machines are a great alternative to manually washing and sanitizing the wares your facility uses. Read this article to learn about the different types of commercial dish machines and how to choose the best one for your facility.

If one thing is guaranteed to make customers unhappy, it is being given dirty wares like spotty glasses, smudged silverware, and unclean plates during their dining experience. 

Whether you own a small business, run a restaurant, manage a cafeteria, or any other foodservice establishment, providing your customers with spotless wares is key to keeping guests satisfied. 

Unfortunately, this can be challenging especially if your facility still manually cleans wares after use or doesn’t have the best commercial dishwasher for your needs. 

Without the right commercial dish machine, you run the risk of having to deal with customer complaints and more time-consuming cleaning processes.

Commercial kitchens are busy with staff constantly moving around to prepare and serve food that is satisfactory to your customers. 

Adding the right commercial dish machine to your kitchen can help boost your staff productivity without sacrificing cleanliness. 

A commercial dish machine replaces manual dishwashing and sanitizing dirty dishes, pots, pans, and glassware in your facility.

There are many different types of commercial dish machines, which can make it difficult to find the right one for your business. The best dish machine for your facility will depend on the specific needs of your establishment. The goal is to find the best machine and ensure you’re getting spotless wares in one wash cycle.

You’ll also want to be sure that you choose a dish machine that can handle the volume of dishes produced by your commercial kitchen and that the dishwasher is capable of cleaning the various types of wares your patrons use in your facility.

In this article, we will review the different types of commercial dish machines and the available features to help you choose the best option for your facility.

How Does A Dish Machine Work?

You may think this is a silly question and that all dish machines work the same. In short, all dish machines use dish detergent to wash, sanitize, and dry the dishes used in your commercial kitchen.

However, there are two major types of commercial dish machines:

  • High Temp Dish Machines
  • Low Temp Dish Machines

Low and high temp dish machines perform differently. The temperature of the machine determines how much dish detergent is needed and affects how your wares are sanitized. Some commercial dish machines will also require external equipment to maintain the temperatures needed to complete the wash cycles.

High Temp Dish Machines Vs Low Temp Dish Machines 

High Temp Dish Machines

A high temp commercial dish machine washes dishes at 140-160+ °F and rinses them at 180-195 °F. 

The temperature of the superheated water allows for the dish cycle to sanitize the wares without using a chemical dish sanitizer and achieve faster drying times.

High temp dish machines can also clean visibly soiled dishes that are coated in fat, grease, and tough soils. This means that though your dishes should always be rinsed before being loaded into the dish machine, the high heat can tackle any leftover soils on your wares.

One thing to note about high temp dish machines is that most of them require both an external booster heater to maintain the heated water temperatures and a condensate hood.

The booster heater helps ensure the machine maintains its high temperatures. 

A condensate hood is used to capture heat or condensate from non-grease producing appliances, like a dish machine.

Some dish machines can be ventless, which uses an internal vent system to eliminate the need for a condensate hood. These ventless machines can also reduce the amount your business spends on energy expenses.

Low Temp Dish Machines

A low-temp dish machine washes and sanitizes dishes at a temperature of 120-140 °F degrees. 

Since these machines don’t use high temperatures, a chemical sanitizer is needed to sanitize and kill germs on the dishes.

Before dishes are loaded into the dish machine, they should be thoroughly scrubbed and pre-rinsed. A low temp dish machine isn’t able to handle grease on dishes, so your staff should be extra careful to remove any and all visible soil. 

It’s also important to note that low-temp machines generally take longer to clean dishes. 

The lower temperature machines don’t require a booster heater or a condensate hood.

What to Consider When Choosing a Dish Machine

There are three main features you should consider when determining whether a dish machine will be right for your kitchen:

  • High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine 
  • Dishwasher Footprint
  • Cleaning Capacity

High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine

How to Choose Between a High Temp and Low Temp Dish Machine

When deciding between a high temp and a low temp commercial dish machine, you will need to consider what kind of food your facility serves. 

High temp machines are better for establishments that have greasier foods, like barbeque, while low temp machines can clean non-greasy soils like salads or pasta.

You will also need to consider the electrical capabilities of your building. High temp dish machines require higher voltage outlets, so if you have concerns about your facility’s energy usage a low temp machine will probably be best.

Dishwasher Footprint

The footprint of your dishwashing machine is simply the amount of space that the equipment takes up in your facility. 

If you have a commercial dish machine that is both vertically and horizontally large, it will require a lot of space and affect the way your staff moves in your kitchen.

Commercial kitchens with ample space, like a cafeteria, hospital, or other high-volume facilities can use a machine with a large footprint. 

In larger foodservice facilities, you can benefit from a dish machine that is built for efficient ware washing in a busy facility. These machines, called conveyor dish machines, are large but have faster cycle times than smaller commercial dish machines.

If you don’t have a lot of space in your commercial kitchen, you will likely have to settle for a smaller dish machine that’s able to clean and sanitize your dishes quickly. Undercounter dish machines can be tucked away beneath counters to make the most of the space you have available in your kitchen.

Cleaning Capacity

Another feature you should consider when trying to find the right dish machine for your facility is the cleaning capacity.

There are a variety of different sized dish machines that can be used to clean soiled dishes in your kitchen.

Some dish machines are capable of cleaning a high number of dishes throughout the day while others may be smaller and clean fewer dish racks.

In a commercial foodservice facility, you will want a dish machine that makes it easy to quickly turn around dishes and wares for use.

For smaller facilities, like a cafe or a compact commercial kitchen, you’ll likely benefit from a machine that can clean up to 35 racks an hour. Larger commercial kitchens, like cafeterias or banquet halls, will likely need a dish machine that can process more than 150 racks an hour.

Types Of Dish Machines

Dish machines come in various types, sizes, temperatures, and operations for cleaning the dishes in your facility.

Each type of commercial dish machine comes in either high or low temp, depending on the specific make and model of the machine you’re looking at.

Below, we’ll cover the four most popular types of commercial dish machines that you can use in your facility:

  • Under Counter Dish Machine
  • Upright Dish Machine
  • Conveyor Dish Machine
  • Glassware Dish Machine

Under Counter Dish Machine

An under-counter dish machine is the most compact type of dish machine. 

Dishwasher Footprint

Undercounter dish machines are about the same size as a household dishwasher but they have a quicker cleaning cycle.

The small size of the machine allows it to sit either in the Back Of House (BOH) or in the Front Of House (FOH). The compact dishwasher can be tucked under a counter in your facility.

In facilities that don’t have a lot of space, an under-counter dish machine may be the best option.

Cleaning Capacity

An under-counter commercial dishwashing machine can clean about 20-30 racks per hour.

These dish machines are a great choice for small restaurants, hotels, or in foodservice businesses where the commercial kitchen is cleaned as you go. 

Upright Dish Machine

An upright type dish machine is a larger commercial dish machine that can clean a larger number of racks in an hour.

This type of dish machine is perfect for facilities with large dishware. For a restaurant or foodservice business that produces a lot of kitchenware, like pots, pans, and baking ware, you will benefit from having an upright dish machine.

Dishwasher Footprint

An upright dish machine will take up more vertical space than an under-counter dishwasher. 

This allows your staff to stack pots and pans in the dish machine. 

The vertical footprint also allows the machines to sit out of the way in the back of the house. They are designed to sit out of the way of traffic in your commercial kitchen.

Cleaning Capacity

Upright dish machines can clean between 35 and 60 dish racks each hour.

These machines are perfect for medium-sized food service facilities, like diners.

Conveyor Dish Machine

A conveyor dish machine is the largest type of dish machine and cleans dishes the fastest.

Kitchens that need to turn over a lot of tableware during operating hours and have plenty of space can benefit from using this high-capacity, heavy-duty machine. 

Dishwasher Footprint

Not only are these machines large vertically, but they also require a lot of horizontal space.

A conveyor dish machine has a loading area, where your staff places the dish rack to fill the basket with dirty dishes. Then, the rack is pulled into the wash/rinse tank for the cleaning cycle to begin. Once completed, the dishes are then moved into the unloading area for your staff to remove the clean dishes for use.

A conveyor dish machine is a perfect choice for a commercial kitchen that has a lot of space and requires quick turn around times for dishes. 

Cleaning Capacity

These conveyor dish machines can clean 150-200 dish racks an hour.

Commercial conveyor dish machines are perfect for large, busy facilities, like cafeterias, hospitals, and other high-volume businesses.

Glassware Dish Machine

Businesses, like busy bars or lounges, that use a lot of glasses or particularly fragile types of drinkware will benefit from using a glassware dish machine. 

Unlike the other types of machines, glassware dish machines produce reduced water pressure and power to safely clean your glassware with as little breakage as possible.

In facilities, like bars and restaurants, cleaning glassware quickly and accurately is important to provide your patrons with a steady stream of beverages.

Your staff will have access to clean, spotless glassware for each customer’s beverage needs. 

Dishwasher Footprint

Glassware dish machines come in either under-counter, upright, or in-sink models.

In-sink glassware cleaners use a combination of water and brushes to clean glassware. These machines usually clean one glass at a time, so in facilities that use a larger amount of drinking glasses, you will benefit from either an under-counter or upright dish machine.

Cleaning Capacity

Depending on the size of the specific machine, a glassware dish machine can clean up to 1,000 glasses per hour.


Final Thoughts

Dish machines will help you and your foodservice business increase the productivity of your workers and create a healthier environment. Instead of having to manually clean the dishware in your facility, your staff can run the dishes through a commercial dish machine to achieve clean wares in less time.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to commercial dish machines. Deciding which is the best fit for your facility can be difficult.

If you have a small foodservice business that doesn’t need to clean a lot of dishes throughout the day, an under-counter dish machine will likely be best for your facility.

Larger establishments with greater space will benefit from either an upright or conveyor dish machine, which can clean more dishes per hour.

Imperial Dade can help you select the best commercial dish machines for washing and sanitizing dishes, whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean.

Have a question about the best dish machines for your foodservice business? Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist today for more information on choosing the best dish machine to achieve your food service goals.

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3 Ways to Avoid the Spread of Foodborne Illnesses in Your Facility

Preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses, like Salmonella, Listeria, and E. Coli, is important to maintaining the health and safety of your customers. Read this article to learn three practices your food processing facility can use to avoid spreading illness-causing pathogens.

by John Thomas, Director of Health & Wellness at Imperial Dade

Did you know that every year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses? Foodborne illnesses can be spread in several ways, including through food prepared at a food processing facility. No matter the size of your food processing operation, it’s important that you’re taking the cleanliness and safety of your facility seriously to avoid spreading foodborne illnesses.

To maintain a clean food processing facility, you and your staff should have a good understanding of what food sanitation is and how to use the appropriate products and procedures. Food sanitation refers to the practice of maintaining a high level of cleanliness throughout the food processing establishment using certain cleaning and sanitization processes and procedures.

Failing to achieve a high level of sanitation can lead to product contamination that affects your food product quality, taste, and most importantly, consumer health. Foodborne illnesses not only lead to sick guests but also product recalls, which may damage the reputation and brand image of your facility and even lead to lost future sales. In addition to lost sales, you might also face fines due to failure to comply with food sanitation rules.

Organizations like the USDA and the FDA have created regulations to help you stay compliant with food sanitation guidelines and avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses. Compliance is key to avoiding fines and maintaining a clean, sanitary food processing facility.

In this article, we’re going to review how to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility to protect your customers and remain compliant with food sanitation guidelines.

What Is a Foodborne Illness?

A foodborne illness is a sickness caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are present in food. Toxins and chemicals that are harmful when ingested can also cause foodborne illnesses. If a consumer has a foodborne illness, they may experience discomfort and other, more serious symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Diarrhea

Removing illness-causing bacteria from food contact surfaces is key to protecting the food being processed and reducing the chance of a food recall.

What is a Food Recall?

Public food recalls are initiated to remove contaminated foods from the marketplace to protect consumers from buying and eating foods that have been contaminated by illness-causing bacteria. In the year 2021, there were 47 recalls initiated by the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS). The total volume of food being recalled annually is usually tens of millions of pounds.

What Are the Effects of Food Recalls?

All these recalls and the related health consequences can translate to a damaged brand image and have a negative impact on your bottom line. If your food processing facility is responsible for food that causes foodborne illness for customers, your business could experience a loss in sales and extra costs. Proper sanitation can save your business money on avoidable expenses.

The need to protect your customers, and your brand, requires that your operation implement effective and documented cleaning and sanitizing processes within your facility.

How To Avoid Foodborne Illness In Your Facility

Below, we’ll provide three practices that you can use in your cleaning program to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses to your customers.

3 Ways to Avoid the Spread of Foodborne Illnesses

Whether your food processing operation is a large meatpacking plant or a small producer of specialty items, it’s important to implement these processes and procedures to manage the operation’s food safety and sanitation programs. 

To avoid the spread of foodborne illness, your food processing establishment can implement practices like:

  • Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Using the Right Chemicals
  • Cleaning Before Sanitizing

Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Guidance from the USDA and the FDA stresses the importance of having a written food safety plan and established standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your sanitation program.

Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are a set of written instructions that give your staff step-by-step instructions to perform routine cleaning. With SOPs, your cleaning staff will have the correct information to know the right way to clean and be able to achieve consistent results. SOPs outline the tools, products, and procedures that your staff should use to clean areas in your facility. By following thoroughly created SOPs, your janitorial team will know how and when to complete cleaning.

For example, a meat packaging establishment may create and implement SOPs that outline how their equipment should be cleaned and sanitized. The steps for completing that task may include:

  1. Disassemble the equipment
  2. Remove all product debris from equipment
  3. Rinse equipment with water to remove remaining debris
  4. Use a food-grade cleaner on the equipment
  5. Reassemble the equipment
  6. Sanitize the equipment with a food-grade sanitizer. Rinse with water, if necessary

Implementing written SOPs will also help support your efforts to stay compliant with the FDA’S Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Each of these food safety programs and laws provides guidelines on how to minimize contamination and keep your food processing facility safe through proper sanitation practices.

The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in order to ensure that food is safe by preventing contamination. This act requires facilities to create a plan and retain documentation on their food safety and sanitation practices.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) is a management system that addresses food safety through the control of hazards in food processing facilities.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) helps reduce cleaning inefficiencies through certification and provides auditing benchmarks.

Imperial Dade has had success with providing Spartan training programs to food processing customers. Spartan offers food processing sanitation training that will teach your cleaning team how to eliminate food pathogens.

Practices that will help your facility remain compliant with the FDA regulations include:

  • Establishing Written SOPs
  • Identifying Procedures
  • Specifying Cleaning and Sanitation Frequencies
  • Provide and Document Necessary Education and Training

Spartan is prepared to deliver the employee training and program documentation you need with products like their 9 step sanitation training program, their CleanCheck® Training Program, and CompuClean® Sanitation Management Software.

These programs will train your cleaning staff and equip them with the knowledge of how to remain compliant in the workplace. During training, they will learn exactly what to do, how often to do it, and the best products to use.

Using the Right Chemicals

Food-safe sanitizers should be used to reduce the presence of bacteria on the surfaces in your food processing facility. It’s important to note that sanitizers and disinfectants are not the same. Disinfectants are not typically used for food contact surfaces because they can leave behind harmful residues. Sanitizers that are food-grade effectively kill germs and are safe for contact with food without contaminating it.

Each sanitizer can remove up to 99.99% of the germs listed on the product label. The best sanitizing chemicals for your facility will be able to kill illness-causing germs and remove bacteria from surfaces.

Imperial Dade offers food production sanitation solutions including a line from Spartan Chemical.

Their Sani-T-Plus food equipment surface sanitizer is specially formulated to be effective against illness-causing bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E.Coli. Imperial Dade also carries Spartan’s PAA Sanitizer, which is a peroxyacetic acid-based sanitizer that can be used on hard, non-porous food-contact surfaces in your food processing facility. This product is so safe, it can even be used as a fruit and vegetable water treatment.

For surfaces that don’t come into contact with food, Spartan’s Metaquat is an option for removing germs from the surfaces in your facility. This product can effectively kill bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses and can spread to food contact surfaces.

Cleaning Before Sanitizing

Any surfaces in your food processing facility that come into contact with food products should be cleaned and sanitized. Pathogens can easily spread on surfaces that aren’t being sanitized properly. Before using a food-safe sanitizer, you should always clean your surfaces. A dirty surface cannot be sanitized effectively. Surfaces like counters and prep tables should be clean and sanitized often to prevent the spread of foodborne illness-causing bacteria.

These surfaces should be cleaned:

  • Before each use
  • Between uses when preparing RTE (ready-to-eat) foods and raw food
  • Any time there’s a risk of contamination

Cleaning surfaces removes any soils and prepares the surfaces for sanitizing. Sanitizing surfaces reduces the number of harmful bacteria present to levels that are acceptable by the EPA.

PRO-TIP: You must sanitize after cleaning. Cleaning removes soils, but it does not kill germs. The best way to ensure you are removing all germs is to use a food-grade sanitizer. Food grade sanitizers remove 99.99% of all germs.

John Thomas

Whether you’re cleaning surfaces that are covered in grease or stubborn soils, Imperial Dade carries products that will help you achieve clean surfaces and equipment. The High-Performance Alkaline FP is a highly concentrated alkaline cleaning solution used to effectively remove sugars, proteins, and other soils found in food processing facilities. Spartan Chlorinated Degreaser will quickly cleans soils from equipment in your facility.

Final Thoughts

Avoiding foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility is an important way to keep your customers safe. Properly cleaning and sanitizing the surfaces in your building will kill illness-causing bacteria before they can infect food that touches the surface.

Imperial Dade has a wide range of food-grade sanitizing products and programs. Spartan Chemical is one of the premier chemical lines we provide which helps your janitorial team create a clean, safe environment in your facility. Spartan provides economical cleaning and sanitizing products that meet all regulatory requirements.

Whether you need sanitizing products or programs to help you create SOPs and thorough cleaning practices, Imperial Dade can help match you to the perfect products for your business.

Check out the food sanitation products that Imperial Dade carries from Spartan to help reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses in your facility:

  • Chlorinated Degreaser
  • High Performance Alkaline FP
  • Sani-T-Plus
  • Metaquat
  • PAA Sanitizer
  • Consume LIQ
  • And more…

Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist for help deciding which sanitation products are right for your facility. We will conduct a review of your sanitation program and suggest the best products, training, and processes for you and your cleaning staff. Visit our website for a location near you and call today.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Did you know poor IAQ or indoor air quality can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article.

Did you know poor IAQ, or the indoor air quality, can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article by learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your business’s facility.

What are the Downsides of Poor Air Quality?

IAQ, or the indoor air quality of your building, has a big impact on your occupants. Poor indoor air quality can create discomfort and illness amount the people in your building. Sometimes it can even lead to health issues that seemingly have no direct cause, meaning that fresh air is crucial for the well- being of everyone in your facility.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) refers to this as “sick building syndrome,” which is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. There are numerous causes for sick building syndrome including chemical and biological contaminants, but inadequate ventilation and poor air quality are notable sources of discomfort for many.

These symptoms typically include, but are not limited to: 

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation of nose, throat, and eyes
  • Respiratory diseases

Depending on the type of facility you manage, this can create several issues.

Poor IAQ in schools can create long and short-term health effects for students and staff, which can affect their performance. Students that are affected by poor air quality may have reduced attendance, comfort, and performance. Given how students attend school with the primary purpose of learning, poor air quality can inhibit their growth and development in the classroom.

For businesses, employees can also be affected by poor indoor air quality which can cost tens of billions of dollars each year because of reduced worker productivity and illnesses. Poor air quality can also be detrimental to the well-being and experience of customers who visit your facility.

Up until recently, improving indoor air quality wasn’t a high priority for many businesses. However, as COVID-19 surged, more people realized the importance of clean air since illnesses including COVID, the flu, and the common cold are spread through the air.

While COVID-19 has been around since 2019, removing the virus (SARS-CoV-2), and other contaminants, like dust, allergens, and other illness-causing germs is still as important as ever.

If there is one concept that will last well past the current COVID-19 surge, it is the importance of improving indoor air quality. Before we tell you how to improve your building’s indoor air quality, let’s review:

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality refers to the number of pollutants inside and around the outside of your facility. The air outside of your facility contributes to the quality of air inside your facility because ventilation systems allow air to pass into your building. If there are high levels of air pollution outside of your building, your indoor pollutant levels will also likely be high.

What Are the Most Common Air Pollutants? 

There are many pollutants that linger in the air that we breathe every day. Some of the indoor pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality include:

  • Bacteria, Mold, and Viruses
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Dirt and Dust, Including Dust Mites
  • Building Materials
  • Outdoor Sources (such as tobacco products, etc.)
Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance.

Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance, among many other factors for an individual’s well-being and performance. Allergens, like mold, can cause musty odors and are linked to health issues like headaches, allergic reactions, and respiratory discomfort.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using an air purifying system to help you understand if it might be a good indoor air quality solution for your facility.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce the number of pollutants that are present in the air.

While this can be done in several ways, some of the most popular include:

  • Increase ventilation. There are several ways to accomplish this including opening windows and doors to create natural ventilation allowing fresh air into your building.
  • Have your building’s HVAC (Increased Filtration and Purification Technologies) systems inspected to ensure it is operating properly. Make repairs and upgrades if needed.
  • Check and clean or replace air filters.
  • Clean and maintain your facility on a regular basis, reducing the build up of dust.
  • Invest in portable air purifying technology.

While there are several ways to improve indoor air quality, the most flexible, versatile, and economical option is through the use of a portable air purifier.

What are Portable Air Purifiers and Why are they a Flexible Option for Commercial Buildings?

Portable air purifiers are commercial air purification systems that operate separately from your facility’s HVAC system. These purifiers filter the air in a certain area of your facility and complete multiple air changes per hour.

A portable air purifier can either be wall-mounted, recessed into the wall, or standing. The Fellowes Air Purifier provides flexibility to install units in locations that are most convenient while not occupying a large amount of space.

Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifier

Some of these systems have features that are easy to use and can provide your occupants and visitors with clean air, faster. These features include:

  • Multiple Layers of Filtration
  • Smart Technology
  • Easy Movement

Multiple Layers of Filtration

There are commercial air purifiers that use multiple layers of filtration to remove as much of the air pollutants from an area as possible. The different filters work together to remove different kinds of particles from the air, like odors and VOCs.

Smart Technology

Some units have smart technology that will allow the purification system to run most efficiently. This smart technology uses a sensor to sense when people are in the area and will adjust fan speeds to best clean the air while conserving energy and extending the filter life. There are also settings that accommodate the need for quiet fan speeds and will emit less noise when the room is occupied.

The air purifier may even have the capability to show you the percentage of particles being filtered out of the air and the quality of the air in the room.

Many commercial air purifiers are built to be run 24/7 without affecting the effectiveness of the system. Because of this, you can rest assured that your air is being cleaned consistently.

Easy Movement

Another feature of portable air purifiers that makes them a good option for cleaning the air in your facility is that they can be moved easily. If you notice that an area is being used less, you can move the equipment from a low-traffic area to a higher trafficked one.

What are the Drawbacks of Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Though portable air purifiers are a great air cleaning solution, their size affects the amount of space they’re effective in. Each commercial air purifier has a maximum space recommendation that will allow the air purifier to achieve 3-5 air changes per hour. It’s important to note that you may need more than one device to clean the air in your entire facility.

By putting a system in a room that is too large, you may not be able to remove pollutants from your air. This means that you will need multiple portable air purification systems to efficiently clean the air throughout your building.

What Businesses Can Benefit from Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Now that you understand how you can improve indoor air quality, you may be wondering what types of facilities are most applicable for their use. All types of businesses, whether they are large or small, and no matter what types of services they provide, can benefit.

Imperial Dade has had success with the Fellowes Aeramax Pro® line of portable air purifying devices, which is a great option for cleaning the air in your facility to create a safer environment.

In fact, one of our customers purchased the Fellowes Aeramax Pro ® purifiers to help them improve the quality of air in their school. They were looking for ways to ensure that their students were coming into a safe and healthy building as they returned to school after the summer.

Many of the students have medical issues that are related to allergies and asthma, which are triggered when there are higher levels of pollution in the building. They chose to implement portable air purifiers throughout their school because of the company’s experience with air purifying technology and the purifiers are inexpensive to run.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance, enhancing focus, and making students more comfortable. With the addition of portable air purifiers, schools can ensure the air their students are breathing is clean and safe.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance.

Final Thoughts

By learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your facility and implementing improvements that lower the amount of contaminants in the air, everyone in your facility will be more comfortable.

If you’re interested in improving your facility’s indoor air quality, an Imperial Dade Specialist can help you decide on the best air purification system for your building. Our specialists will assess your specific needs, building size, and budget to match you with the system that will be most effective. In addition, Imperial Dade also offers a complete line of cleaning products and janitorial equipment to help your facility clean.

Reach out to an Imperial Dade specialist today! Visit our website for a location near you.

What are the Various Types of Stretch Film?

Stretch film, or stretch wrap, is customarily used to secure products onto pallets to ensure the load is stable and secure during transport and storage. This greatly reduces the possibility of the damage and protects people from injuries should a load topple over. Using stretch film is less labor intensive compared to metal strapping and is easy to remove. Stretch film should not be confused with shrink film, which requires a heat source to melt the edges and close the wrap around the load.

Stretch film is available in a variety of materials, sizes, gauges, application methods, and colors. Custom print stretch film is also available for maximum branding. The use case will dictate which is the best option for your needs.

There are two main categories of stretch film: cast and blown. Cast stretch film has a high level of clarity, ideal for scanning barcodes through the film, and requires minimal force to stretch. It also has high tear resistance, offers excellent cling abilities, and is quieter. Blown stretch wrap is a premium quality film that delivers powerful stretching ability and high tack. It has the power to help loads stay securely in place in some cases better than the cast film can.

Hand wrap is applied manually, with the operator moving around the load and wrapping the film. This can be physically demanding, so if a great deal of hand wrapping is necessary, pre-stretched film may be a better option. Pre-stretch is just that, already stretched to a degree. It requires less effort to achieve the same results. There are also very small rolls of stretch film, 3” to 5” wide, called bundling film. These provide a quick, inexpensive film for bundling odd-shaped items together.

Machine grade film is used in conjunction with a stretch wrap machine. There are turntable style machines where the load is placed on a rotating platform and the wrap is applied by an arm. Robot style machines automatically circle around a stationary load until completely wrapped.   

Robotic Stretch Wrapper

Other options include colored films that can help with identification or branding and opaque film that can conceal the contents for security purposes. For agricultural use, there are perforated wraps that allow airflow to maintain freshness. And, the latest innovation coming to market is hand film made with bio-assimilation technology. This allows the film to breakdown into a food source for microorganisms without exposure to sunlight or oxygen.

Stretch film is one of many industrial packaging options available from Imperial Dade. It is important to consult with an experienced supplier to determine the right products for your operation. For more information or to download our industrial packaging brochures, visit our website and request a complimentary consultation today.

Four Things You Need To Know About No-Touch Disinfection

As we’ve always known, schools are where most students need to be, and they are now reopening while we’re still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we will also be entering another annual cold and flu season with its attendant absenteeism and other adverse health impacts. It’s enough to make anyone responsible for providing and maintaining healthy environments lose some sleep!

Disinfecting all of the critical high-touch objects in our buildings is a challenge for any housekeeping program at the best of times, even more so during periods of increased illness rates and outbreaks. However, we believe that an established technology known as No-Touch Disinfection (NTD) can help solve this problem. 

Through the use of electrostatic spray devices, NTD augments your current daily cleaning and disinfection practices, allowing you to ensure complete disinfectant coverage of all high touch surfaces economically and efficiently.  As you are probably aware, this approach is now being used to provide enhanced disinfection for everything from nursing homes to passenger planes to schools.

Implementing NTD can be easy once the facility’s requirements are appropriately matched to the correct application technology and disinfectant chemistry.  Once the technology is selected, education and training enable the safe deployment of NTD.

Here are some guidelines when evaluating NTD:

What is electrostatic spray application?

During periods of heightened threats of infection or actual outbreaks, you need to be able to ensure 100% coverage of all frequently touched surfaces and objects. Imperial Dade offers electrostatic and spray disinfection systems that can meet everyone’s budget and application requirements.  These units impart an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant to achieve 360 degree surface coverage. As a result, large areas can be effectively and efficiently treated economically.

Handheld Victory Electrostatic Sprayer

What needs to be considered when instituting a NTD program?

In an educational setting, the disinfectant needs to be matched to the organisms of most concern, be it the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the infection known as Covid-19, Influenza, Norovirus, MRSA, or any number of other bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Then, is it necessary to treat the high-touch objects on a weekly or more frequent schedule?  Also, will the areas to be treated be adjacent to occupied spaces?  Can corded equipment be used in the desired regions, or is there a need for battery-powered devices for portability?

Which disinfectants can be applied electrostatically?

Most importantly, the disinfectant chemistry for NTD needs to be compatible with this type of application equipment.  Is the disinfectant product approved or authorized for this application method, with electrostatic spray, mist, or fog?  What is the label dwell time requirements and the efficacy against the microorganisms of concern?  Regarding SARS-CoV-2, is the disinfectant on the EPA List N of products approved for use against the coronavirus?  Fortunately, according to the EPA website, products on List N are effective against all strains of SARS-CoV-2 as genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  Finally, regarding your staff, what is the safety profile of the product and the recommended Personal Protective Equipment?

What types of NTD devices and disinfectants are available?

There are several manufacturers of NTD devices and chemistries that are available.  Many customers have found success with the corded Clorox Total 360 systems. However, many others prefer the ease and portability of the Victory Innovations line of battery-powered electrostatic sprayers.  Furthermore, the Victory units are designed to use a wide range of disinfectants, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets, so the chemistry can be tailored to meet the individual educational facility’s budget and infection prevention needs.

Clorox Total 360 System

Your Imperial Dade sales consultant has the resources, knowledge, and expertise to make the correct product recommendation for your specific needs.  Don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you to learn more about how No-Touch Disinfection can benefit your school.

Hand Hygiene – An Important Way to Beat COVID-19, the Flu, and Other Illnesses

If we have learned anything from our experience with COVID-19, we know that we are supposed to wash our hands.  Study after study shows that proper hand hygiene is the most critical thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection in education, healthcare, or any other field serving the public.  This is mainly in viral diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory maladies. Even gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus can be controlled through proper hand hygiene.  Beyond COVID-19, the stakes remain high as colds, the flu, and norovirus outbreaks result in millions of lost school and work days and costs the economy tens of billions of dollars.

Unfortunately, even during the pandemic, research shows that poor compliance to proper hand hygiene continues to be a significant obstacle to controlling these illnesses, even in the highly regulated healthcare field where healthcare-associated infections are a constant threat. For example, while over 50% of students wash their hands in schools, less than 20% use soap.  Men are also less likely to wash their hands properly – come on, guys, we need to get into the game.

Poor compliance can be attributed to several different factors we can control.  The condition of the restroom and the supplies provided throughout the facility can and does encourage people to help keep their hands in a more hygienic condition.  The following four considerations can summarize these key actions.

1.            Hand Care Products that Encourage Use

Get rid of the bulk soap dispensers.  There has been significant development in hand soap formulations that improve performance and reduce skin irritation. In addition, hand soaps from many manufacturers come in hygienically sealed cartridges, eliminating contamination.  These are the types of products people are looking for when washing their hands away from home.  Remember, the idea is to encourage hand hygiene and not look at the expenditure only as a cost.

2.            Convenient Dispenser Locations

There should be sufficient dispensers in the restroom to facilitate the hand washing process.  In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers should also be available throughout the building.  As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol hand sanitizer is effective against the SARS_CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as those pesky colds and flu viruses. It is a viable option for hand hygiene when hand washing isn’t an option.  However, as with hand soap in the restroom, empty hand sanitizer dispensers are a common complaint.  Dispensers need to be routinely checked and filled. 

3.            Access to Paper Towels and Facial Tissue

Simply put, most people like to dry their hands with paper towels, and most people don’t actually like hand dryers.  Paper towels provide for higher compliance, and the mere wiping of wet hands can remove bacteria and viruses through mechanical action.  But, just as with soap and sanitizer, empty dispensers discourage compliance.  Lastly, where practical, providing facial tissues is a great way to control cross-contamination from sneezes and runny noses. 

4.            Established Educational Programs

As with any behavior change, education is key. Every primary hand care and paper company can provide educational programs and materials appropriate for a wide range of audiences.  Whether it be elementary students, college campuses, or the workplace, tools are available to help promote effective hand hygiene.  Talk to your Imperial Dade sales consultant and find out if there is more that you can be doing to encourage this vital health and wellness behavior.

Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a branch near you.

Best Odor Control Practices for Carpets, Restrooms, Dumpsters, and More

Controlling odors in and around a facility is a common problem for most cleaning professionals. Odors can lurk in many places: carpets, restrooms, dumpsters, and more. The best way to eliminate odors is to understand the cause of the smell. Once you identify the problem, consult this list of solutions to control the offending odors.

CARPETS

  • Carpet odor stemming from a food source, vomit, or urine should be approached with a carpet sanitizer.
  • Using an extractor to kill the odor source is recommended. If you can still smell the odor after thoroughly rinsing the carpet, follow up with an enzyme product.
  • After extracting the carpet, use a carpet fan, not a box fan. It dries carpet faster. Be sure your carpet is dry in 24 hours, or there is a risk of mold bloom.
  • Pet odors can linger in carpets. Enzymatic digesters will get to the source, killing the odor and not just covering it up.

RESTROOMS

  • In restrooms, urine is often the source of odor. Disinfectants will not impact urine that has dried. If urine odor is present, use an enzyme. If you are using an enzyme, do not use a disinfectant in the same area. Disinfectants destroy the enzymes before they are able to digest the bacteria. 
  • Check the floor drains, a common source of the odor. If the trap in a floor drain dries out, it will emit sewer gas. Use a drain cleaner, enzyme, or water to keep drains odor-free.
  • Don’t forget to clean often missed spots. The base of toilets, under urinals, urinal throats, partitions, and walls are often overlooked. Ceilings should be cleaned once or twice a year.
  • While it doesn’t replace a good cleaning program, adding an air care unit to help with transient odors will add to a pleasant restroom experience.

OTHER BUILDING LOCATIONS

  • Janitor closets can omit odors. Keep a tidy closet! After use, rinse mops with clean water and hang to dry. Empty and rinse mop buckets.  Clean, empty, and air out recovery tanks on equipment.
  • Inadequate ventilation can be cause challenges. If possible, open windows or clean air vents to improve air quality
  • Is the odor coming from the dumpster area or wastebaskets? There are several products made specifically for this application.

If you need more information on a specific odor or area, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant. A good daily cleaning routine will keep odor problems to a minimum! Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a location near you.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

5 BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL MOLD

Mold and mildew are hot button topics any time of year but especially during humid summer months. According to the EPA, “Mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to buildings and building contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.”

How is mold linked to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

When mold grows indoors, there could be reports of musty or moldy odors. These should be investigated immediately. Mold can be linked to various health issues such as headaches, allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, nasal irritation, and nausea.  For more information on Indoor Air Quality, please review the EPA’s Guide for Building Owners & Facility Managers.

What are the 5 best practices to prevent and control mold?

  1. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cleaning
  2. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials or furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  3. In areas with a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (e.g., by drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  4. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (e.g., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  5. If mold is a problem, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

If you think your facility has mold or mildew you should first understand what type issue you have.  If the issue is flood water, please review the EPA Fact Sheet Flood Cleanup Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems”

There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

If you see mold, how do you get rid of it?

Who should do the cleanup depends on several factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you and your team can handle the job yourself by following the guidelines below.

However, if the affected areas are greater than 10 square feet, a professional remediation contractor may be required for the cleanup.  In any event, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types.

What do you wear when removing mold?

  • Wear an N-95 respirator.  Please note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that respirators fit properly (fit testing) when used in an occupational setting; consult OSHA for more information (osha.gov).
  • Wear gloves. Long gloves are recommended.
  • Wear goggles.

What are the best methods to cleanup mold?

  1. Scrub mold off hard surfaces, and dry thoroughly.
  2. Discard contaminated absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles.
  3. Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.  Wear appropriate PPE.
  4. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.

What chemicals should you use when removing mold?

Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial cleaning products, disinfectants, or a bleach solution. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label) and ensure proper ventilation throughout the cleaning process.

If you choose to use a cleaner-disinfectant product, check the label to ensure that it has efficacy claims for fungal organisms, such as Aspergillus niger. Niger is a black mold commonly associated with high moisture events.

Some disinfectants may even offer residual antifungal benefits that can help control the return of the mold problem.  Most importantly, certain disinfectants contain odor control agents that help eliminate the moldy odors, which are frequently a cause of student and staff complaints.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

Who else can help when I have a mold problem?

Whatever mold situation you may be facing, it is suggested that you consult with your Imperial Dade sales consultant for recommendations specific to the needs of your case and your facility.  Our representatives know what products and equipment may be needed to help you resolve your problem as quickly as possible. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find an Imperial Dade location near you.

Improve Your Cleaning Program Results With Resources from Imperial Dade

Maintaining an efficient cleaning process is vital for any business but improving that process and garnering better results are equally important. As a customer of Imperial Dade, numerous programs and resources are at your disposal to ensure that a healthy environment for your staff and customers is provided.

Imperial Dade’s HyProtection Zone Program: Hand Hygiene and High-Touch Surface Disinfection

This program provided by Imperial Dade is ideal for educational facilities, restaurants, fitness centers, office buildings, retail stores, hotels, and houses of worship. This program assists customers in improving their hand hygiene, cleaning, and high-touch surface disinfection protocols. By participating in this program, consumers will benefit from site surveys where critical touchpoints will be identified, product reviews that ensure that the right products are being used on each surface, and an in-depth explanation of the best practices. For even easier accessibility, onsite or virtual HyProtection Zone training is available through the Imperial Dade Cleaning Institute. The training will be conducted by experienced consultants who will guide you through the process and provide informed recommendations to guarantee a healthy and clean environment that prevents the spread of illnesses.

Imperial Dade’s EatSafe Program: For a Clean Dining Environment

The EatSafe Program assists restaurants and other foodservice establishments in providing a safe and welcoming environment for their customers. The program contains core product recommendations for every individual area in your facility, help for visual learners such as wall charts for cleaning tasks, and assets that can be used to promote the EatSafe program to your guests. In addition, the increased sanitation performance helps present an establishment that is hygienic and clean. The three core areas are front-of-house touchpoints such as table-tops, chairs, and menus, restroom fixtures like faucets, flushers, dispensers, door handles, and floors, including hard surfaces and carpeting and matting.

Imperial Dade’s Environmental Service Program: Victoria Bay Equipment and Chemicals

This program is customizable to each customer’s needs. Offered are dish and laundry equipment, chemicals, and dispensers. All of which are backed by 24/7 emergency technical service. Whether it’s warewashing, tackling everyday kitchen cleaning challenges, following proper 3-compartment sink procedures, or utilizing Victoria Bay’s chemical management system, this Imperial Dade program can maximize efficiencies and effectiveness.

Imperial Dade’s Cleaning Institute: Delivering Cleaner, Healthier Facility Solutions

Imperial Dade offers exceptional training to customers on a variety of topics ranging from general cleaning to floor care. Our Director of Training teams with our sales staff to make specific labor-saving recommendations. A computer-aided task analysis system identifies opportunities for a company and then suggests relevant training to accomplish the tasks at hand. The benefits of this program include improved safety, enhanced wellness, increased productivity, and reduced overall costs.

Imperial Dade offers highly effective consultative programs to better customers’ processes and help them maintain peak performance in areas of cleanliness. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations and contact a location near you.

7 Things You Need to Know About Caring for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Around since the 1970s, vinyl composition tile flooring (VCT) has been the most common type of commercial flooring. It can be found almost everywhere: hospitals, offices, retail, and schools. Building managers love its durability and life expectancy, whereas custodians prefer it because it is familiar and easy to maintain.

Recent trends have seen a surge in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) placement in commercial properties. It is easy to see why. Everyone loves how LVT can imitate many different varieties of hardwood or stone. In addition, LVT is very budget-friendly, easy to install, and durable!  Caring for these floors can be a snap if you follow some simple guidelines. But first, don’t forget these essential steps:

  • Check the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Test products in an inconspicuous area to determine suitability.
  • Safety first! Wear PPE and set up wet floor/area closed signs during floor maintenance.

Best Practices for Daily LVT Cleaning

  1. Proper use of floor matting provides the first level of protection to your floors by preventing soils from entering the building.
  2. Sweep or vacuum floor (Do not use a vacuum with an agitator).
  3. If needed, use a microfiber mop to pick up fine particles.
  4. Do not use harsh chemicals. Use a product specifically made for LVT.
  5. Clean floors using a damp microfiber cloth.
  6. Do not saturate the floor. Too much water can work into seams and edges destroying bonds.
  7. NEVER USE A HIGH SPEED BURNISHER! Burnishing can cause the layers to separate.
Before and After

When these steps are used for daily cleaning they can reverse the visual effects of standard wear and tear. The solution will fill the scratches and will help flooring maintain its original look.

For more information on luxury vinyl tile or any other types of floor care, contact the experts at Imperial Dade. For a location near you, visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations today.

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