• 15.02.2023
  • 5 min

8 reasons not to wash glasses by hand in foodservice

Washing, drying and polishing glasses by hand has a number of serious disadvantages compared to using a professional glasswasher. Not surprisingly, inadequate hygiene levels are one of the most critical issues caused by handwashing. Insufficient water temperatures, dosage and type of detergent, inadequate water pressure, inconsistent wash times and the risk of cross contamination can cause serious hygiene problems when glasswashing manually. Meeting HACCP hygiene requirements can be extremely difficult, which is why hygiene experts advise against handwashing in foodservice. Here is an overview of the biggest problems of glasswashing by hand.

Hand washing: The biggest disadvantages at a glance.

Unreliable Hygiene
Danger of transferring germs
Staff costs of manual hand polishing
Higher costs for water, energy and chemicals
Risk of injury and additional costs of glass breakage
Monotonous and repetitive staff task

Problem 1: Temperature

When washing by hand, there are limits to the water temperature you can use. Generally, the maximum temperature should be 40 °C - otherwise staff face the danger of scalding. By comparison, a glasswasher operates at over 60 °C. Given that grease is only effectively removed above 55 °C, and germs are only inactivated above this temperature, washing by hand will always involve a hygiene risk.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et tient une main dans l'eau courante pour vérifier la température

Problem 2: Danger of germs

As well as temperature, manual drying and polishing is also critical in terms of hygiene control. Done incorrectly, there is a danger of transmitting pathogens. A used tea towel can harbour up to 100 million germs on an area of only 10 cm²! When cleaning in a glasswasher, the washing process is automated and provides the required high temperatures and active wash times - using specific, gentle glasswashing detergents in exact doses. Using a special rinse aid means that glasses come out of the machine in a way not needing to be re-polished before use, preventing transfer of germs.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et sèche un verre qui vient d'être lavé avec un chiffon de polissage

Problem 3: Water consumption

Manual washing requires two full sinks: one with wash water and one with clear water for rinsing. Depending on how much is washed and the level of soiling, the water may need to be changed several times. This adds up – both in terms of the cost of the water and the energy costs. A direct comparison with a glasswasher is difficult, but it definitely requires less water. Using a glasswaher from the Winterhalter UC Series uses only two litres of water per wash cycle – for an entire rack full of glasses.

Un homme se tient derrière un comptoir de bar devant deux éviers remplis à ras bord d'eau et ferme le robinet

Problem 4: Detergent dosage

Dosing detergent can be tricky when washing dishes by hand. Ultimately, everyone does it differently and according to feel. Or according to the principle “more is better!” Whether the results meet high hygienic requirements is questionable. The unnecessary use of chemicals is particularly problematic from the viewpoint of environmental sustainability.

As with the amount of water it requires, a glasswasher is very precise when it comes to dosing the chemicals and only uses as much as is absolutely necessary for cleanliness and hygiene.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et verse du détergent d'une bouteille dans l'eau

Problem 5: Pressure and duration

Reaching optimum mechanical water pressure is critical for a good wash result. For hand washing this left to the skill of your staff, which cannot be guaranteed. They apply variable pressure depending on how dirty and fragile the glasses are. With some glass shapes, certain places cannot be reached with a washing-up brush, potentially meaning incomplete cleaning. The care taken and whether the glasses are washed for a sufficiently long time depends on motivation and the time available. In comparison, wash pressure and wash time is fixed in a glasswasher, exactly matched to the respective type of glass and consistently repeatable.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et tourne un verre de bière d'avant en arrière sur les épurateurs de vaisselle

Problem 6: Possible risk of injury

There is a constant danger of glass breakage and therefore potential risk of injury both during the wash itself and when drying and polishing by hand. All it takes is a little too much pressure. For comparison: in a glasswasher, the risk of glass breakage is minimal because the glasses are protected in a special rack. In Winterhalter machines, there is also variable wash pressure adjustment which ensures that more delicate glasses are not washed with too high a wash pressure.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et tient un verre de bière cassé et un éclat de verre dans ses mains

Problem 7: Time and cost expense

In times of personnel shortages and rising costs in foodservice this aspect should not be underestimated.  Washing, drying and polishing glasses by hand costs an enormous amount of time, and ties up valuable personnel resources. And that’s not all: the more often that glasses are washed by hand, the more glasses break and the higher the costs for replacements. Over time, this can be quite expensive. And there could be staff absences due to injury. This means a foodservice operator switching from handwashing to a glasswasher can significantly reduce both the personnel required and the costs associated with washing.

Un homme se tient devant l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et, épuisé, s'appuie d'un bras sur le bord de l'évier

Problem 8: Motivation

While handwashing in foodservice is not comparable to washing up at home, the two have one thing in common: it is a pretty unpopular task – monotonous, time-consuming, exhausting. Those who have to do it usually don’t enjoy it: hand washing demotivates staff and scares off new employees.

Un homme se tient à l'évier d'un comptoir de bar et polit un verre avec un chiffon sec à s'ennuyer

Here’s how you recognise a badly washed beer glass.

Un verre à bière fraîchement lavé avec de nombreuses gouttes d'eau sur lesquelles le film d'eau ne s'écoule pas proprement
After washing:
Individual water droplets remain clearly visible on the glass. Some drip downwards, some get stuck on the glass.
Verre à bière fraîchement coulé avec mousse de bière effondrée et bulles de gaz à l'intérieur
After pouring:
The beer foam collapses. Tiny bubbles are formed on the inner wall.
Verre à bière fraîchement coulé avec mousse de bière effondrée et bulles de gaz à l'intérieur
After drinking:
There are no closed foam rings left on the inside wall of the glass, only scattered foam residues. “Please can we pay!”

Here’s how you recognise a professionally washed beer glass.

Un verre à bière fraîchement lavé, sur lequel le film d'eau fermé s'écoule proprement
After washing:
The closed water film runs off cleanly. There is at most a single drop of water left at the bottom.
Verre à bière fraîchement coulé avec une belle mousse de bière
After pouring:
The beer foam forms a beautiful head on the freshly tapped beer.
Verre à bière à moitié plein avec plusieurs anneaux en mousse
After drinking:
Individual foam rings remain clearly visible on the inner wall of the glass. “Another, please!”
Practical know-how

What is a nucleation point?

You will find them not only on high-quality champagne and sparkling wine glasses, but also beer glasses. They are tiny roughened or protruding spots in the middle of the base of the glass – often taking the form of an engraved logo. This is the “nucleation point” that makes it easier for carbonic acid dissolved in the drink to form bubbles. In the centre of the glass, these bubbles then rise up like pearls on a string, releasing fragrant aromas when they burst on the surface, ensuring beautiful bubbles or flawless foam.

Professionelle Spültechnik von Winterhalter: die Untertischspülmaschine der UC-Serie.

The time has come!

Make the change now: to a professional solution for glasswashing. Foodservice professionals all over the world trust the expertise and experience of Winterhalter and count on a UC Series glasswasher.

Find out more now!
Le restaurateur met les verres sales dans un panier