One restaurant’s response to drought: washing dishes with air blasts

An Orange County restaurant is using compressed air instead of water to clean their dishes.

The air blasts away food from dishes before they're placed in the dishwasher.

"We are a large user of water just in our dishwashing practices," said Greg Daniels, executive chef at Haven Gastropub in Orange. "It's like a gallon of water just to wash one glass."

Daniels saw a social media post by another chef, John Cox at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, who wanted to conserve water. Cox started using compressed air last April and the restaurant is saving about 1,000 gallons of water a day.

"My first thought was I have to do it right now," Daniels said.

The air compressor costs about $200 and comes with a learning curve.

"Anything we can do to find unique ways to avoid using water gratuitously sounds great to me. As long as the air actually cleans, I'm pretty happy with that," Fullerton resident Kyle Strobel said.

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