Kitchen Exhaust Hood Cleaning And Maintenance In Commercial Kitchens

Posted January 28 2014
French Country Kitchen / Foter / CC BY-ND

If you own and manage a commercial kitchen you must know that kitchen exhaust hood cleaning and maintenance forms a solid base for keeping your establishment running efficiently. Regular, daily cleaning of floors, counters, sinks and kitchen hoods are just some of the chores that need to be undertaken frequently - not including washing your dishes of course.

Other than kitchen sinks and cooking appliances, such as your oven  and grill, your kitchen hood is probably the one appliance which gets the most use and hence the most grime, grease and dirt build up. You will require kitchen hood and exhaust cleaning on a regular basis - as grease and dirt builds up in the exhaust hood, bacteria and other contaminants soon find their way in, which will, eventually, lead to the growth of mold and mildew. A commercial kitchen is significantly heated as compared to a regular kitchens and if the exhaust hood is blocked in anyway, the whole place can literally go up in smoke and catch on fire.

Not only it is a good idea to clean your hood regularly, but it might be required and inspected by your local health department, as it falls under the food and kitchen safety regulations.

Not having a clean hood, will also affect your food quality and your establishment's ambiance, not to mention that your insurance company may also require that you have keep your kitchen hood and  the exhaust well maintained. It is therefore evident that keeping your hood clean is in your best interest as well as necessary.

When to Clean the Kitchen Exhaust?

As far as the health department regulations are concerned, laws of different places differ as to when you should opt for commercial exhaust and kitchen hood cleaning. The rule of thumb is that you have to carry out this procedure at least once a year. Moreover, how often you should clean the kitchen hood also depends on how busy your kitchen is. The busier your business, the more cooking is  done resulting in a more frequent maintenance and cleanup procedure.

There are a couple of different ways to keep your kitchen exhaust cleaned.

  • You can either do the cleaning yourself or have your staff undertake this chore.

  • Alternatively you can contact a professional company to perform this service for you.

If you are taking the in house approach, you have to start off by turning the exhaust fan off and and allowing sufficient time for the exhaust to be cooled. You can disconnect the fan either at the unit or at the breaker.

There are a number of excellent products on the market or kitchen hood cleaning, but most will contain ammonia. You will also need an excellent steam cleaner. A commercial steam cleaner is the best choice to tackle the dirt and grease build up. If you do not own one, these can be rented from a local hardware store in your neighborhood. It might be a good investment, in the long run, to actually invest some funds and own one outright.

It is a good idea that while you are cleaning your kitchen hood, you make sure that all the kitchen surfaces including and surrounding the stoves and counters are well covered with plastic sheets or old newspapers in order to avoid contamination.

If you are truly a commercial kitchen, then hiring a professional cleaning service will be a better option for you. The larger the kitchen, the more difficult it is to clean your hood, and professional expertise might be required. Should you decide to go this route, make sure that the company you hire has a good reputation, years of experience and that they are insured and bonded.They should also offer some sort of warranty with the job. If they cannot meet these stipulations, you might as well do it yourself, instead of spending your hard earned money.

Ax a summary - there really are no right or wrong ways. If you feel the kitchen hood reached a point where it has to be cleaned, just do it to the best of your ability!

Check out some great kitchen hood cleaners from Envyss!