Grease buildup poses multiple hazards in a restaurant. It increases fire risk, contributes to poor indoor air quality, and presents a safety hazard for your employees and guests.

Kitchen hood cleaning isn’t something you want to skip. To keep up with NFPA 96 requirements and to protect your guests, it’s best to have professional cleanings on a regular basis. Learn more by clicking here.

Interior

The filters in your range hood collect smoke, cooking odors, and grease before they go outside or are recirculated. They need to be soaked in hot water, scrubbed clean with a non-scratching scrub brush, and rinsed thoroughly before replacing them. Keep them in good condition to extend the life of your hood and ensure it performs its job effectively.

The interior of your kitchen hood also needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. It’s best to use a degreasing product like Method Heavy Duty Degreaser, Krud Kutter, or Citra Solv, and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad or brush. Rinse the inside of the hood and the exposed vent and let it dry before you start cooking again.

It’s important to wipe down the outside of your hood too because it’s where grease, dust, and other debris tend to accumulate. Use an anti-greaser solution and a soft rag or paper towel and wipe with the grain to avoid scratching the stainless steel.

Exterior

The hood’s blower pulls smoke and vapors through several layers of aluminum or stainless-steel mesh filters, catching grease as it passes through. These removable filters should be cleaned regularly to prevent clogs that can slow airflow.

Using a non-scratching microfiber cloth, start by wiping down the exterior of the range hood. Spray a degreaser (Method Heavy Duty Degreaser, Citra Solv, or Krud Kutter are our top picks) onto the surface and scrub with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad or brush.

Rinse the surface and wipe it dry with a clean microfiber cloth. For tough stains, try using a bit of mineral oil on the spots. The natural cleaning agent d-limonene in the oil will help break up grease stains. Finally, make sure to rinse and dry the exhaust vent pipe that leads outside to the outdoor ducting system. It is often overlooked but should be included in your regular kitchen hood cleaning schedule along with the hood itself.

Fan Blades

Kitchen exhaust systems must be cleaned regularly because left unchecked, grease accumulates and can create a fire hazard. Over 60% of restaurant fires are caused by cooking equipment. Regular kitchen hood cleaning reduces this risk and keeps employees and patrons safe.

During a typical kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, the ductwork, hoods, and fans are disassembled. The cooking equipment is covered with plastic to prevent mess and contamination, and the filters are placed in a cleaning solution to soak. The hood is then manually scraped and rinsed.

The technician then removes the fan blade covers and detaches each individual fan blade. Each is sprayed with cleaner and scrubbed with either a non-abrasive scrubbing pad or a nylon-bristled brush to remove grease build-up. They are then soaked in a cleaning solution and left to dry completely before being reattached to the fan. Once everything is reinstalled the technicians leave a sticker on each hood to indicate it has been cleaned, which shows health inspectors and fire officials that the system has been inspected.

Filters

Hood filters help capture smoke, grease, and other airborne pollutants before they reach the ductwork. Most are metal and can be cleaned and reused. Some are disposable charcoal filters. The filters are essential to a clean kitchen exhaust system and are a fire safety requirement in residential and commercial kitchens.

Regular cleaning prevents clogging, which can lead to a hazardous cooking environment and is a fire hazard. It is important to follow the instruction manual for your range hood when removing and cleaning your filters. Some filters may need to be disconnected from the hood and fastened to the sink or another heat-proof container.

To wash a filter by hand, fill your sink or another large container with hot water (again, refer to the manual for instructions on how to isolate electricity in your kitchen). Add a squirt of degreasing dish soap and 1/4 cup baking soda to cut through grime. Submerge the filters and let them soak for several minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Browse the next article.

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