Breaking Down Commercial Water Treatment Options
The investment in a commercial dishwasher comes with the expectation of consistent, impeccable results. The reality is when washed ware leaves the machine with streaks, spots and buildup, it appears to be anything but clean. One factor that can cause these problems is water quality.
Often overlooked, water quality is a key determinant in the results of a wash. If the water is not free from minerals, it can cause spots and buildup on ware. Even when using a top-notch commercial dishwasher, high quality detergent and rinse aid, poor water quality in a commercial dishwasher can mean underwhelming results.
So how does water get treated to ensure high quality? Below, we explore different treatment options and how these fit specific customer needs.
Water softening is the basis for any water treatment. Hard water interferes with detergents properly bonding with food soil, leaves spots on cleaned ware, and causes limescale deposits inside the dishwasher. So, hard water needs softening to improve results, no matter which type of commercial dishwasher is used. The minerals are replaced with water-soluble salts, preventing the build-up of limescale both on dishware and the dishwasher itself. Water softening also results in less detergent and rinse aid needed to achieve optimal results. As a result, the use of softened water is always recommended for any type of commercial dishwashing, as it not only improves results, but reduces downtime required for deliming your commercial dishwasher.
In this process, the dissolved salts and minerals are partially removed from the water, reducing the salt content. Ion exchange reduces the hardeners in the water by adding hydrogen ions to the water. Unlike the sodium ions used in the softening process, they leave no residue. There is no additional rejection wastewater involved with this process, saving its associated costs. Partial demineralization is an economical solution for improved first-time washing and rinsing results for all applications.
With full demineralization, all the minerals and salts are removed from the hard water using an ion exchange method — leaving virtually no residue and almost no need for polishing for an unrivaled shine. Full demineralization meets even the most challenging water quality requirements. It is recommended for dramatically reduced spotting on china and cutlery.
Water does not always behave the same way when we clean with it. Some of the minerals it contains can inhibit performance by leaving those familiar ugly and unappetising smears on cutlery and glasses. In dishwashers they may deposit a fur commonly known as limescale.
When water is hard, it needs softening to achieve good results, whatever type of dish, glass or ware washer is used.
With reverse osmosis, the minerals and soluble salts in hard water are completely removed from using an osmosis unit. The unit is a membrane filtration system that retains almost all the extraneous substances, and like the full demineralization process, produces almost pure water. This process produces the best results, leaving all washed items sparkling straight from the dishwasher with no hand-polishing required. In addition, both detergent and rinse aid consumption is greatly reduced. The process does result in some additional rejection wastewater to carry away the removed particulates. However, it is the best solution for spot-free results for fine glassware, eliminating labor and breakage expenses from hand-polishing.
For clients who want their glasses and dishes to sparkle, improving the water quality is essential – and that calls for demineralisation or osmosis.
Each of these methods produces improved washing and rinsing results, especially when combined with top-class MEIKO warewashing technologies. The systems can be fitted to the MEIKO commercial dishwahers and will not only improve the quality of washes, but they will also ensure the longevity of the commercial dishwasher.
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