Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three-Compartment Sink

The Three-Compartment Sink

Generally, food preparation areas will have a three-compartment sink used to wash, rinse, and sanitize utensils or any equipment not cleaned and sanitized in a dishwasher.

These sinks are especially useful for washing items that are too large for machine washing.

Using a Three-Compartment Sink: What You Need

The area around a three-compartment sink should include:
There are five steps you must follow to clean and sanitize items in a three-compartment sink.
  1. Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three-Compartment Sink: Step One

    The first step is to pre-clean the items by scraping, rinsing, or soaking them in hot water to remove some of the dirt and soil.
  2. Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three-Compartment Sink: Step Two

    The next step is to wash the items in the sink filled with hot water and detergent.

    The water must be at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to loosen or remove surface grease and soil with either a brush, cloth, or scrubbing pad.

    You must replace the detergent/water solution once it becomes dirty or when the suds are gone.
  3. Cleaning and Sanitizing in a Three-Compartment Sink: Step Three

    The next step is to place the items you're washing in the middle sink. Here the goal is to remove any remaining detergent solution and/or leftover food.

    Items can be rinsed with a sprayer or immersed in clear, hot water. Once the water becomes dirty or soapy, change it.

Learn about all five steps involved in cleaning and sanitizing items in a three-compartment sink in our online training course,
Food Safety: Cleaning and Sanitizing. This interactive online course teaches the step-by-step procedures needed to ensure the effectiveness of a food service establishment’s cleaning and sanitizing program.

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