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Home / Blog / E.R.E.S. News / High Temperature Cleaning vs. Low Temperature Sanitizing

High Temperature Cleaning vs. Low Temperature Sanitizing

It is difficult to not only clean, but “sanitize” dishes. A low-temp system typically washes dirty dishes at 120°F, and rinses them with a chemical sanitizing solution to neutralize any remaining bacteria or pathogens. A high-temp system washes dishes at 160°F and then rinses them at 180°F, relying on heat to sanitize the dishes.

Low-temp systems do not require a “booster” water heater or a large electrical service, so they’re typically less expensive to manufacture and install. The tradeoff is the ongoing expense of a steady chemical supply that can quickly erase your initial savings. Another tradeoff is their limited application. Low-temp machines are not recommended for stemware. The glasses can come out streaked, spotted or with lingering lipstick stains.

Low Temp Sanitizing (120°F wash, Chemical solution rinse)



Uses standard 115 v electrical service Requires chemical sanitizer for rinse cycle
Less expensive to manufacture and purchase (no booster heater) Not recommended for stemware
Installation can be less expensive (no need to upgrade electric service or existing water heater) Potentially higher reject rate (and labor costs) due to difficulty with proteins, fats and lipstick
Can be purchased or leased from chemical companies in most markets Corrosive sanitizer can limit service life of machine
Dishes come out cooler to the touch Dishes come out wet


High Temp Cleaning (160°F wash, 180°F rinse)



Unlimited applications Requires booster water heater
Hot water cuts through grease, proteins, lipstick Requires larger electrical service
Machine lasts longer without caustic sanitizer Typically more expensive to manufacture and purchase due to booster heater
Lower chemical costs Installation can be more expensive if electrical upgrades or a new hot water heater are needed
Less spotting  
“Green” solution  


High-temp systems typically cost more at startup, but once running, there are no chemical sanitizers to buy. High-temp systems also have limitless applications. Hotter water cuts through grease, proteins and lipstick. They’re better for stemware and have a much lower reject rate in general. High-temp machines typically last longer because they don’t have corrosive chemicals constantly eating away at their interior.

Champion Industries makes both low-temp and high-temp machines. For overall performance, longevity and a “greener” option, many people prefer the high-temp solution for most applications, but there are situations where a low-temp machine might be the best choice.

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