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Your restaurant’s kitchen grease extraction system is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you have – it allows you to safely remove all the grease and debris from the air and other equipment in a fire-safe and tidy manner.

To make sure that your grease extraction system is in tip-top shape, follow these cleaning timelines when scheduling cleanings for your system:

  • Kitchens that are open 24 hours a day, and have wood-burning or charcoal-burning stoves, charbroilers, solid fuel cooking operations or wok cooking, should be cleaned once a month, at minimum.
  • Kitchens that are open 12 to 16 hours a day and/or moderate-volume cooking operations (employee cafeteria, hotel kitchen, hospital kitchen) should be cleaned every three months, at minimum.
  • Kitchens that are open 6 to 12 hours a day and/or low-volume cooking operations (day camps, churches, seasonal businesses, senior centers) should be cleaned every six months, at minimum.
  • Kitchens that are open 2 to 6 hours a day and use very little grease when cooking (small soup restaurants, fresh-food kitchens) should be cleaned once a year, at minimum.

If you stick to the schedule above, the chances of running into any cleanliness problems with your kitchen grease extraction system are slim. However, how do you tell if you need additional cleaning?

  • If there is a visible buildup of grease on the system’s metal, including the external and internal metal within the system. To check that, take a flashlight and look into the ducts. If you see very visible layers of grease, it’s time to clean.
  • If strong fumes emit from the extraction system – ones that are stronger than usual.
  • If your fans are covered in grease and working slower than normal.

While you should check on those factors, almost all the work that you have to do to ensure a well-cleaned kitchen is to stick to the cleaning schedule provided above. When it’s time to clean, we recommend reading our post “Questions To Ask When Hiring A Hood Cleaning Service Company For Your Restaurant.”

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