Dumbwaiters provide unparalleled convenience for the hotel and kitchen industries, as well as being useful additions to busy commercial enterprises. In multi storey homes, hospitals and schools they can double as handy automated helpers.

They have become a firm favourite due to their versatile nature, sturdy design and ease of use in transferring goods between floors. However, as with any mechanical device, a certain level of maintenance is necessary to ensure your dumbwaiter remains working properly.

It is easy to overlook dumbwaiter maintenance and cleaning, especially if they are in busy use on a daily basis. Yet failing to do so can cause complications and malfunctions that can be costly to fix. Here are some of the main issues people have with their dumbwaiters that lack regular cleaning and proper long-term care:

Wear and Tear

The most common cause of breakdown in any machinery is down to the general wear and tear from sustained use. If used in busy kitchens, a typical dumbwaiter can be used hundreds of times on an average day. This can cause damage to the motor, the rope, or even the guide rails which direct the cabin. When these components wear down they can cause more serious malfunctions and breakdowns. These will put the machine out of commission until the malfunction has been fixed, which can be costly to businesses. Basic maintenance can prevent such a situation from occurring as these issues tend to originate from simple things such as lack of lubrication.

Stiff Doors

After the motor, the doors are a common component requiring careful and thorough servicing on a regular basis. If they become rusty or dirty, then they will start to become stiff and difficult to open and close. Doors can become stuck, rendering the whole lift unusable, even if internal parts are still operating properly. Luckily, regular inspection can prevent stiff doors from occurring in the first place, as the problem is nearly always a simple oversight or negligence.


If dirt and grime is allowed to accumulate within a dumbwaiter then it can easily stop working altogether. It is vitally important to make sure the working components of your dumbwaiter are kept clean, preventing detritus from building up and causing damage to the engine, doors or transportation rails.

Dumbwaiters can be a businessā€™ best friend, as long as it is operating smoothly, and a major hindrance if not. Ensure yours is being properly maintained and cleaned.