How to Use a Three-Compartment Sink

Three-compartment sinks are used in many restaurants and food-service businesses for compliance with food safety regulatory guidelines. Such sinks have three individual basins with a drain at the bottom of each, permitting separate functions to be performed throughout the washing process. When the proper cleaning agents are used in each of the individual basins, the outcome will be washed, rinsed and sanitized items ready to be air-dried in a rack.

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Fill the far-left sink basin with hot water and 5 to 10 drops of dish-washing detergent. Stop when the basin is about three-quarters full. The water should be 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Fill the center sink basin with hot water only, adding no other chemical cleaners or sanitizers.

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Fill the far-right sink basin with warm, 75-degree-Fahrenheit water. Pay close attention to the total number of gallons the right basin holds when filled 100 percent full. This information is provided with the sink. Fill the basin with only half the total gallons of water it is capable of holding.

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Read the use instructions on the label of the food-grade sanitizing solution bottle. Pay particular attention to how much of the sanitizer is to be used per gallon of clean water. Add the correct amount to the half-filled basin on the far-right of the sink.

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Place soiled dishes into the far-left wash basin containing soapy water. Allow them to soak for several minutes, then use a scrubber to remove any hardened food material sticking to each dish. Continue with each dish until clean.

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Dip each dish or item into the center basin, and move back and forth several times to rinse off the soapy water, then remove.

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Dip each rinsed dish or item into the far-right basin containing the sanitizing water. Move each piece back and forth several times so the sanitizer covers all surface areas evenly. Allow the dishes to stay there at least one minute and then remove them from the sanitizer water.

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Place the sanitized dishes into a dish rack and allow them to air-dry before putting them away or stacking.