The Truth About the Three Compartment Sink

A three-compartment sink is mandatory in most if not all commercial kitchens and food service establishments for cleaning and sanitizing dishes, utensils, and other kitchen equipment. Most state law is mandatory, “Every food service establishment must have either a 3-compartment sink or a properly functioning commercial dishwasher to operate legally”, according to the state of Florida. On the federal level, Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, you go into even further detail on types of sink uses in certain areas of the property. Sadly, what we find in the F&B industry is the failure to follow the regulations to their fullest extent. In the article below, we will explore some of the pros and cons of the three compartment sink. We will also show how the DECARBONATOR can save your operation time and money and keep your customers safe from food borne illnesses.

The DECARBONATOR is a commercial kitchen appliance that uses the combination of heated water and our proprietary solution to remove carbon build up as well as cleaning and sanitizing dishes, utensils, and other kitchen and bakery equipment. 

Comparing Cleaning Methods

Let’s dive into the Three-Compartment Sink: When it comes to manual cleaning, the three-compartment sink is a classic essential if not regulated by your local state and federal law within the department of health and human services. The kitchen contains three separate sink basins, each with a specific purpose to ensure thorough cleanliness. 


In the first basin, you’ll find yourself scrubbing and washing your items by hand, bidding farewell to dirt and stains. The second basin acts as the rinse station, where you can easily wash off any remaining detergent, leaving your items fresh and ready. Finally, in the third basin, is where your equipment should receive its sanitation soak. Here, your items receive a sanitizing bath using a potent sanitizing solution, guaranteeing that germs and bacteria are eliminated from the equipment surfaces.  


Where the sanitization method often goes wrong and gets commercial kitchens into trouble is when the sanitization sink isn’t drained, refilled and new sanitizer added. Three compartment sanitization sink water and chemicals should be changed and refreshed a minimum of every 4 hours to maintain its potency and sanitization properties. Ideally if you have a high volume kitchen, the kitchen should be changing those out much more often.


Next up, let’s look at the DECARBONATOR. Say goodbye to stubborn grease and grime! The DECARBONATOR heated soak tank is a game-changer in the world of cleaning. With a mixture of hot water and our powerful cleaning solution called  CarbonZyme, this large container becomes a sanctuary for your dirty dishes. CarbonZyme, a dynamic detergent and degreaser, works its magic to tackle even the toughest stains and baked on carbon to breathe new life and longevity into your kitchen equipment. Plus you don’t have to change the water every 4 hours AND the tank keeps your water heated to a constant temperature of 185° F. What’s even more exciting, you only need to change the water and solution combination once a month. 

Here’s how it works: simply submerge your items in the tank and let them bask in the cleansing solution for a specific period (depends on what you are cleaning and how much build up it on that equipment). The heat and solution in the tank work together to break down stubborn grease, grime, and pesky food residue, leaving your items sparkling clean and ready to shine.


When you pull out your equipment, they look almost brand new without having to scrub for hours and change out your sanitization water multiple times. 


Valuable Efficiency Gains

While the three-compartment sink may require more manual labor, its method offers its own unique charm. It provides an opportunity for a hands-on approach to dishwashing, ensuring each item receives meticulous attention. *cough-cough* That was a dishwasher inside joke


It’s important to note that this method is time-consuming and laborious, particularly when dealing with large quantities of dishes. Each item needs to be individually scrubbed and washed, demanding careful dedication. Furthermore, to make the most of this process, proper organization and workflow are essential. By establishing an efficient system, you can streamline the dishwashing journey and maximize productivity. Creating harmony between your team members and the sink is the key to success. But how many dishrooms have you seen organized and running smoothly with happy people, happily scrubbing away, our bet is not many. 


Unlike traditional methods, the DECARBONATOR offers an innovative solution and leverages gains in efficiency. Simply place your items in the tanks baskets and let them soak away the caked on layers of carbon, grime, grease, and gross. No need for excessive manual scrubbing or back-breaking effort. Changing you the cleaning process from nightmare to effortless. This not only saves valuable time but also reduces the labor required. Your staff can load the items into the tank and attend to other important tasks.

Let’s Talk About Sanitization

Remember we mentioned in the above that three compartment sinks need the water in the sanitized sink to be changed a minimum of every 4 hours. To recap, the three-compartment sink method embraces a dedicated step for sanitization, ensuring that your items are truly safe for use. This process typically involves the use of a chemical sanitizing solution or a high-temperature rinse, guaranteeing thorough sanitization and peace of mind. 

Keep in mind that if you opt to use the chemical sanitizing solution on its own you need to make sure you; 


  • Put the right amount of chemicals into the sink according to the amount of water it holds
  • Ensure that you are testing the water prior to use to confirm you have the right amount of chemicals in the sink
  • Keeping the water at the right temperature based on the pH you are targeting
  • Soak each item (depending on the item and the amount of chemical solution concentration) for a minimum of 7 and up to 30 seconds each. 

Let’s play a numbers game with the above. Your kitchen is turning 30-40 full sized ceramic plates every hour. 40 plates time 30 seconds is 1200 seconds which is about 20 minutes. And your sink water cools off every hour, meaning you have to empty, refill and put in more chemicals and test again. This does not include cups, utensils, cooking pots and pans that need to be reused, food containers, etc. Based on the numbers above, this commercial kitchen may need 3-4 separate three compartment sinks just to keep up and maintain the required sanitization regulations. 


The DECARBONATOR heated soak tank can work wonders in removing residue and grease, it’s important to note that we are not recommending that you replace your three compartment sink. Instead, supplement your commercial kitchen with a DECARBONATOR. Adding this NextGen commercial kitchen appliance will change how your kitchen operates.

What are the benefits of adding a DECARBONATOR to my kitchen?

To enjoy the benefits of the DECARBONATOR Heated Soak Tank, you’ll need dedicated space to accommodate the tank itself. These tanks have been specifically designed to fit underneath a standard countertop. You will also need a hose and access to a reliable water supply. We recommend you set up your DECARBONATOR near the sinks. 


The steps are quick and easy;

  1. Step 1 – Fill the tank with water
  2. Step 2 – Add your CarbonZyme solution 
  3. Step 3 – Plug the DECARBONATOR into an outlet 
  4. Step 4 – Turn on the DECARBONATOR 

Yes, it’s literally that easy. Once the tank has heated to its full capacity it’s ready to use. And the next part is we have studies showing that the CarbonZyme solution combined with the consistently heated water will last you approximately one month. You don’t have to change the water multiple times a day. The sanitization remains consistent and effective. 


In conclusion, while the three-compartment sink method provides a hands-on approach to dishwashing and ensures thorough cleanliness, it can be time-consuming and laborious, especially when dealing with equipment that has heavy carbon, grease, grime, and food build up. On the other hand, the DECARBONATOR offers an innovative solution by utilizing the power of heated water and our proprietary CarbonZyme solution to effortlessly remove carbon build-up and clean and sanitize kitchen equipment, simultaneously with little to no scrubbing. With quick and easy steps, the DECARBONATOR saves valuable time and reduces labor, making it a valuable addition to any commercial kitchen. By supplementing your kitchen with the DECARBONATOR, you can revolutionize your operations and enjoy the benefits of efficient and effective cleaning.

About Us

We are passionate about revolutionizing the way commercial kitchens and bakeries clean and sanitize their equipment. Our nextgen product, the DECARBONATOR, is a state-of-the-art heated soak tank that removes carbon build-up and grease with unparalleled cleaning power. Our environmentally friendly, award-winning solution reduces water and energy consumption, earning us recognition for sustainability. Discover how our innovative technology can transform your kitchen, your business and your operations.


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