Using the 4-bin system

The 4-bin system is a DIY dishwashing station constructed with 4 plastic dish bins, a sponge (and sponge holder), soap, bleach, dish towels, and water from a nearby sink. A cart comes in handy to roll the water-filled bins to their cooking areas.

At the beginning of cooking crew, the young chefs set-up their 4-bin system. 3 bins are filled halfway (or a bit less) with warm water. 1 bin is empty. The bins are placed in order.

  • Bin 1: This is the HOLDING BIN. It is empty, except for the containers of soap and bleach. The sponge holder and sponge hang on this bin. It is used to hold dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned in the 4-bin system. Food is scraped from dirty dishes into the trash before being put into the HOLDING BIN.
  • Bin 2: This is the WASH BIN. It has warm water and soap. Young chefs take dirty dishes from the HOLDING BIN and was them with the sponge in the soapy water in the WASH BIN.
  • Bin 3: This is the RINSE BIN. It only has water. After dishes are washed, the soap is rinsed off in the RINSE BIN.
  • Bin 4: This is the SANITIZE BIN. It has warm water and bleach (approx 2 tablespoons). The last step of the 4-bin process is to sanitize dishes by placing them in the bleach water for 15-30 seconds. If the dishes can’t be fully submerged, use the sponge to make sure the dishes have full contact with the bleach water.

After dishes are cleaned in the 4-bin system, they are completely dried with a dish towel and placed back in their appropriate storage space.