Next, you’ll need to decide how large you need your compartment bowls to be. Consider the largest object you will be washing and think about whether you will be able to submerge the object at least halfway on both sides. Common bowl sizes include a width and length of 14”x16”, 18”x18”, or 24”x24”. Common bowl depths – maximum water level – are 11”, 12”, 13” and 14”.
Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three Compartment Sink
For starters, rinse, scrape or soak all items prior to washing. Some units come with a pre-rinse sprayer, which makes this step much easier. Users can also add sprayers onto existing units.
Use the first compartment to clean your pots, pans, dishes, etc. Wash them in a detergent solution using water set at least at 110°F, making sure to replace water when the suds are gone or it gets too dirty.
Use the second sink to rinse the items. Use your sprayer to remove all traces of food and detergent, or dip if no sprayer is available. If you choose to dip, make sure to replace the water when it gets dirty or too full of suds.
Use the third sink to sanitize in hot water or sanitizer solution. Make sure to verify the time and temperature requirements for the specific sanitizer you are using, as well as a test kit to check concentration.
Place items upside down to let everything air dry. According to the FDA’s guidelines, dishes should never be dried with towels. This is where drainboards come in handy.
Drainboards are the landing area for clean or dirty dishes, and are either on the right, left, or both sides, depending on their intended use. Drainboards provide an extra work or drying space, and with sinks with multiple compartments, can operate in an assembly line manner where dirty dishes compile on the left drainboard, progress through the above cleaning steps and advance to the right drainboard to dry. Drainboards are typically pitched slightly downward towards the compartment so excess water flows right back in, aiding in the drying process and preventing pooling water buildup.
General drainboard sizes are 18” or 24”.
Upkeep and General Maintenance
Stainless steel itself can’t rust, per se, but after time, iron particles can contaminate the surface of your sink. Those particles can rust. Furthermore, depending on the type of stainless steel construction (see above), your sink may be prone to corrosion over time. Regular and proper cleaning is necessary in order to maintain appearance and protect your sink against deterioration.
Soft cloths, sponges and scratchless pads work great. Avoid rough or metal scratch pads that could scuff the surface and allow room for contaminates to collect and fester.
Make sure to clean with the “grain” of the stainless steel and not against it. There are several types of stainless steel cleaners and wipes available, but it is imperative to avoid detergents containing chloride as this can increase the risk of erosion.