This article is part of our series covering the best products and tips for how to clean a bar. We know how important it is to keep your bar glassware clean. So, we've researched the top glassware cleaners on the market and listed them here.
In this post, we review the three types of glasswashers and share our picks for the best glasswashers and glassware detergent. Whether it's wine glasses, champagne flutes, shot glasses, or beer glasses, you want to keep them sparkling clean for your patrons. Your bar guests will drink from them, and the glasses will probably also be front and center in your bar layout dimensions.
Be sure to read the additional articles in our bar cleaning checklist series. We give you recommendations for the best glass and surface cleaner, tips for cleaning wood furniture, and instructions on how to clean bar floor mats. Whether you're starting a bar or already running a successful bar, you'll have everything you need for your bar supplies list to fulfill your bar operations manual needs.
Three Types of Glass Washers
Before we talk about the best glassware cleaners, let's review the different types of glasswashers. Commercially available glasswashers look and operate differently, so it's good to familiarize yourself with them before you purchase one. It should be a piece of equipment you include in your bar or restaurant business plan.
This will help you save time deciding what you need for your bar. There are three types of glasswashers that commercial establishments typically use. No matter which one you choose, check to make sure it's functioning properly when you're going through your bar opening checklist.
1. In-Sink Glasswashers
This is the most basic glasswasher suitable for smaller bars with low traffic. You place it inside a sink, and it utilizes a combination of rotating brushes and hot water to clean glassware. This is a good option if your sink doesn't have room behind the counter for an undercounter glass washer.
Frequent and Thorough Cleaning
You can quickly clean dirty stacks of glasses, but this glasswasher requires frequent and thorough cleaning. Otherwise, it's easy for microorganisms to grow at the bottom of the brush machine.
Additionally, your bartender might not have time to wash glasses when it's busy in the bar. Again, this is why it suits small bars with low turnaround instead of large and crowded bars and pubs.
2. Undercounter Glass Washers
An undercounter glasswasher is suitable for a mid-sized or larger bar that's busy during specific times of the day. It has a design that makes it easy to install inside of a cabinet.
Two Types of Undercounter Glasswashers
There are two types of under-counter glass washers you install in your bar's cabinet. One is no longer visible with the cabinet door shut, while the other remains visible at all times. Moreover, undercounter glasswashers usually have a built-in heating function that heats water for rinsing to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Conveyor Glasswashers
Conveyor or pass-through glasswashers are suitable for large establishments, such as cafeterias and hospitals. They can clean approximately 400 racks per hour and are too large for regular bar and restaurant operations.
The conveyor system moves glassware packed in baskets through the upper and lower wash system. Dirty glasses and other small items go in one side through a splash curtain and come out clean on the other side. This machine usually offers left-to-right and right-to-left operations to deliver better efficiency and positioning.
Best Bar Glass Washers
You'll have to decide on the type of glass washer for your establishment based on its size and your customer volume. It's vital to keep your glassware clean, disinfected, and in line with local and federal standards.
1. Commercial Triple 3 Brush Bar Glasswasher for Sink With Suction Cup Base Kitchen
The Commercial Triple 3 has an innovative design with one long and two short brushes. Its sturdy suction cup base sticks to your bar sink.
The three brushes come from thick PVC material that provides strength and durability. The long brush lets you thoroughly clean longer glasses, while the short brushes handle pint and standard glasses.
2. Bar Maid A-200
The Bar Maid A-200 is easy to use and is durable enough to handle the busiest bars. You can use it for multiple hours per day and it runs without making too much noise.
Its low noise level permits your bartender to keep working while your barback is washing glasses. Install it in any sink to remove stubborn stains on your glasses.
3. WIPPhs Matte Black Bar Glass Washer
This kitchen sink glass washer has a plastic tray and a brass rinser shank. You might be concerned about the durability of the plastic, but it uses strong plastic that is as tough as metal. It has spray jets with different angles that can thoroughly clean your glassware.
The WIPPhs Matte Black Bar Glass washer comes with a user manual and installation tools that make setting it up easy. It provides good value for its price, helping keep your bar and restaurant expenses in check.
4. Delta Champagne Bronze Glasswasher
The Delta Champagne Bronze Glasswasher cleans various glasses, including wine and beer glasses. The gold color of this glass washer matches bars that have an antique brass accent in their bar layout. If you manage or bartend in one of the oldest bars in your area, its effective cleaning and stylish look might be a perfect fit.
Best Bar Glassware Detergent
You want to choose the best detergent to clean your bar's glassware. The glasses are part of the investment you make in your bar. Use a gentle but effective detergent to clean and protect your glassware.
It reduces your bar costs associated with purchasing new glasses. Here are a few detergents you should consider adding to your cleaning supplies.
1. Noble Chemical Bar Pro
Noble Chemical's Bar Pro is a low sudsing, manual glass washing detergent that's an excellent choice for any bar, winery, or brewery. It easily removes dirt, grime, lipstick, and other stains from your glassware.
The low sudsing solution makes it perfect for manual or submersible electric glass cleaning. You can use Noble Chemical's Bar Pro at any temperature, and it doesn't contain phosphates. This means that no chemical residues remain that would affect the taste of your wine, beer, or cocktails.
To use it, add the solution to water, then thoroughly wash and rinse your glasses. When manually using it, add the detergent and water to your sink before thoroughly washing and rinsing your glasses. Read the easy step-by-step instructions on the bottle's label to see the many other uses for the solution.
2. LFD Tablets Low Foaming Detergent for Electric Brushes
These detergent tablets dissolve in hot, warm, or cold water. LFD tablets have a low sudsing formula for electric brush glassware washing systems. They don't leave residue, taste, or anything that could affect the carbonation and foam in beverages.
LFD tablets also provide low foaming to reduce spotting, filming, and streaking on your bar's glassware. They contain built-in water conditioners, meaning there aren't any mineral solvents added. This is our recommendation for cleaning beer-ready glassware.
3. Keystone Liquid Bar Glass Detergent
Keystone Liquid Bar Glass Detergent is a portion-controlled glass detergent solution designed for bar sink application. It has a lower foam profile and less detergent carryover than Keystone's previous bar glassware cleaning formulas. The packaging contains a built-in dispenser cap, meaning you won't need a wall dispenser.
It's a liquid detergent for manual bar glassware cleaning that treats dirt, grime, and other beverage stains. Furthermore, its packaging protects the detergent from moisture in the bar area.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Bar Glassware Cleaners
1. What Do Bars Use to Clean Glasses?
Generally speaking, a bartender or barback uses three sinks to clean glasses. They take a dirty glass and dip it in a sink filled with a mixture of warm water and cleaning solution. If there's a difficult stain, they might scrub it a bit.
Next, they dunk the glass in a second sink filled with lukewarm, soapy water. Finally, they submerge it in a third sink filled with cold water, and wipe it with a towel. After this process, the bartender fills it with alcohol and serves the beverage to a customer.
2. Are Glass Rinsers Worth It?
It's easy to install a glass rinser in your bar. Even if you have a dishwasher, a glass rinser removes tough dirt and residue. A glass rinser provides good value for the money you spend on it.
3. How Hot Should the Water Be When Washing a Bar Glass?
Your water temperature should be at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit for proper sanitization of your bar glass. Remember to use a good sanitizer after washing and rinsing your glassware. This will eliminate bacteria that could cause infections.
Cleaning Should Be Quick and Easy
It's necessary to clean your bar to keep customers satisfied and avoid paying fines after health inspections. But it shouldn't take too much time away from other bar management priorities, such as ensuring you're stocked with the best bar liquor, beer, and wine. If you have the right bar equipment and products on your bar supplies list, then you can save time and money.
With the right glass washing machine and an effective detergent, you'll be able to keep your bar running smoothly. You'll also make work easier for your bar staff. Most importantly, you'll have extra time to strategize on how to increase bar profits.