The three-compartment sink is used for the cleaning of dishes and other small pieces of equipment that may become soiled. It compartments are for:
- Washing with hot, sudsy detergent water
- Rinsing with hot, plain water
- Sanitizing through at least one minute's immersion in sanitizer water which is permitted to be cold
The detergent side (which may be on the left or the right) typically has a small platform for storage of soiled dishes prior to cleaning; the sanitizer side also will have a similar platform for drying dishes.