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Keeping Your Restaurant Clean

Updated on June 13, 2013

I’m like any other guy: I love to eat. More than anything else, I love to eat out. I go to some of my favorite in-town restaurants every other day or so, and whenever I visit for lunch or dinner, I like to believe that my food is always prepared on a perfectly clean surface. That’s where a little process called electropolishing comes in.

When I watched the chefs at one of my regular spots replacing a pan full of food in a buffet steam table, I came up with the idea to ask the manager about how hard it is to keep them clean after being used every day. What I thought would be a short-tailed answer involving simple scrubbing turned out to be a diatribe about a thorough and efficient process that made cleaning much easier. His explanation actually encouraged me to come back even more, knowing I’d be getting the cleanest service anywhere.

But let’s start with the basics—what is electropolishing? To put it plainly, it’s a process that removes stains from metal and smoothens it, while preventing future corrosion. I did some of my own research on it to find out more about how it works, being the cynical foodie I am.

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What Exactly is Electropolishing?

The technical aspect of stainless steel electropolishing involves the dowsing of nearly any kind of metal in a chemical electrolyte bath. The mixture is then electrically charged using a powerful direct current. Any stains or blemishes present before electropolishing, as well as bacteria (particularly biofilms), will be effectively removed. The end result produces a much shinier surface, and will restore any alloy to prime condition. Every aspect of a strong, clean metal will come out at the end of every process.

Restaurants may have a tendency to use a cleaning process called bead blasting or others to get grime and loose metal off of pans or other kitchenware. Bead blasting entails the application of small glass beads on a surface at high pressure, managing not to damage the metal. Unfortunately, bead blasting, like other alternative cleaning methods, doesn’t quite leave the clean, sleek appearance that electropolishing does.

What Else is it Used for?

There are so many industries that rely on this polishing method to maintain their parts. If manufacturers didn’t use electropolishing on every airplane part prior to passengers boarding, it might not still be known as the safest form of travel. Parts would begin to deteriorate over time because of bacteria and corrosion, leaving them unprepared for the high altitudes, harsh temperatures and fast speeds. Mechanical failure in airplanes and helicopters is extremely uncommon these days, and electropolishing intends to keep it that way.

Can you imagine what hospitals (or any other medical facility) would be like if electropolishing didn’t exist? Every medical tool depends on it to last for a sufficient amount of time, preventing the build-up of bacteria, disgusting staining, rust and ultimately deterioration. If a doctor’s or dentist’s office was required to keep up its budget while constantly buying new materials, they might eventually give up and make do with the increasingly clunky tools they have. I would have a panic attack as any metal touched me if I couldn’t tell whether or not it was truly clean.

When using it at home, any home appliances that come into regular contact with water, such as a metal sink, dishwasher or washing machine, wouldn’t last quite as long as they do today when using electropolishing. You might find that when washing your pots and pans, the inside of the dishwasher happens to defeat the entire purpose of washing them when the metal inside chips onto your dishes.

This method of cleaning has been responsible for maintaining medical tools, airborne vehicles such as planes and helicopters, and you can even use it at home.

Keep Your Food Service Equipment in Top Shape

Few things will deter customers more than poorly prepared food and unmaintained cooking appliances. All commercial ovens, tanks, pans and other easily dirtied, stained and corrodible appliances will be able to last much longer when electropolished. When you clean a surface, you’ll find that grime comes right off and that the metal appears smoother and cleaner than ever before, which will make customers like me ecstatic to know when visiting your establishment.

When your equipment goes through metal polishing, you’ll be able to use the equipment for much longer, never having to worry about it breaking down unexpectedly (especially at the most inconvenient times), and as a result you can spend more time and money focusing on further developing other aspects of your restaurant, such as enhancing the atmosphere, etc. Electropolished materials hold up a lot better, and now that I know about it I’ll be a little more curious to know which restaurants are truly keeping their food preparation sanitary.

Electropolishing Example

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