Highlights on how to clean, dry and store cookware and tableware.

September 12

One of the ways great kitchens deal with the pressure of having to continually delight and pleasantly surprise their guests is by establishing steady and strict routines. This week we’re going in-depth on dishes and tableware—how to clean and sanitize them. This year our theme is Know Safe & Show Safe, because it matters more than ever that your guests know that you know how to run a clean and safe kitchen. They need to see this in the details, like the tableware before them. Here are some highlights on how to clean, dry and store cookware and tableware properly: 

Machine Dishwashing 

Dishwashing machines sanitize by using either hot water or a chemical sanitizing solution. 

Keep the Machine Clean   

Clean the machine as often as needed, checking it at least once a day. Clear spray nozzles of  food and foreign objects. Remove mineral deposits when needed. Fill tanks with clean water, and make sure detergent and sanitizer dispensers are filled. 

Prepare Items for Cleaning   

Scrape items before washing them. If necessary, items can be rinsed or presoaked. This may  be necessary when handling items with dried-on food. 

Load Dish Racks the Right Way   

Use the correct dish racks. Load them so the water spray will reach all surfaces. NEVER overload dish racks

Always Air Dry  

Air-dry all items. NEVER use a towel to dry items. Doing this could contaminate the items.  Make sure they are completely dry before stacking or storing them. 


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Check water temperature, pressure, and sanitizer levels daily. Take appropriate corrective action if necessary. 

Operations using high-temperature dishwashing machines must provide staff with an easy and quick way to measure the surface temperatures of items being sanitized. The method used must provide an irreversible record of the highest temperature reached during the sanitizing rinse. This ensures that the dishwasher can reach correct sanitizing temperatures during operation.  

Manual Dishwashing 

Use a three-compartment sink to clean and sanitize large items. 

The sink must be set up correctly before use. 

  • Clean and sanitize each sink and drainboard. 
  • Fill the first sink with detergent and water. The water temperature must be at least 110°F (43°C). Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • Fill the second sink with clean water. This is not necessary if items will be spray-rinsed instead of being dipped. 
  • Fill the third sink with water and sanitizer to the correct concentration. Hot water can be used as an alternative, though only with appropriate protective equipment.  
  • Provide a clock with a second hand. This will let food handlers time how long items have been in the sanitizer. 

Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three-Compartment Sink 

Follow these steps to clean and sanitize items in a three-compartment sink. 

  1. Scrape items before washing them. If necessary, items can be rinsed or soaked. 
  2. Wash items in the first sink. Use a brush, cloth towel, or nylon scrub pad to loosen dirt. Change the water and detergent when the suds are gone or the water is dirty. 
  3. Rinse items in the second sink. Spray the items with water or dip them in it. Make sure to remove all traces of food and detergent from the items being rinsed. If dipping the items, change the rinse water when it becomes dirty or full of suds. 
  4. Sanitize items in the third sink. Change the sanitizing solution when the temperature of the water or the sanitizer concentration falls below requirements. NEVER rinse items after sanitizing them. This could contaminate their surfaces. 
  5. Air-dry items on a clean and sanitized surface. Place the items upside down so they will drain. NEVER use a towel to dry items, as it could contaminate them 


Take me to Week 3 Downloads →