Choose water efficient kitchen appliances

High water use in commercial kitchens is often due to inefficient appliances and staff behaviours. Major water using fixtures are usually water cooled woks, dishwashers and ice making machines. Food preparation and cleaning make up the balance of water used.

Check out this video for handy tips that will help reduce water use in your kitchen.

Read a transcript of this video

To make your kitchen water efficient start with:

Wok stoves

  • Reduce water use by up to 90% by replacing water cooled wok ranges with low flow or air cooled models. Water cooled woks typically use 4 litres per minute, all of which runs to waste
  • Don’t leave a tap running for wok cooking and cleaning convenience, fit taps with automatic on/off mechanisms or knee operated timer taps


  • Choose water and energy efficient commercial dishwashers which use less than 5 litres per cycle and recycle the final rinse water for the initial rinse in the next cycle
  • Scrape, rather than rinse dishes and utensils, before loading into the dishwasher and run only when full
  • Regularly replace worn spray nozzles in dishwashers

Ice making machines

  • Typical air cooled machines can use up to 10 times less water than similar water cooled models
  • Replace water cooled ‘once through’ ice machines with air cooled models
  • Adjust the machine to dispense only the required amount of ice


  • Choose water and energy efficient glasswashers, which use less than 2 litres per cycle and recycle the final rinse water for the initial rinse in the next cycle
  • Run only when you have a full load
  • If using a conveyor system, ensure water turns off after each load

Food preparation

  • Avoid thawing foods in cold running water; instead thaw in the fridge, in a microwave, or in the cooking process
  • If using a garbage disposer for food waste, limit water use to allow water flow only during operation
  • Wash produce in a filled sink, not under running water
  • Use a broom or mop to clean the floors, instead of a hose (this will also reduce your discharge costs)
  • Avoid using running water to wash produce, fill the sink instead


  • Ensure that commercial steamers are working efficiently and there are no leaking gaskets or pipes
  • Look at replacing old steamers with more efficient models or combi ovens that cook faster and use less water and energy

Need professional assistance?

Contact a commercial kitchen specialist for advice based on your kitchen requirements.

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