The law mandates kitchen exhaust cleaning as a safety measure to be handled with due seriousness. In a bid to save on expense, commercial kitchen operations have been hiring second-rate technicians for the job. And this has flooded the market with instances of unregulated work by often untrained and uncertified personnel.
On top of this, kitchen exhaust cleaning was not mandatory on the service roster. There are many areas where this is still the case, although most states have recognized it as an integral part of kitchen and establishment safety.
Commercial cooking facilities are now bound by legislation to follow safe practices, especially with regard to kitchen exhaust cleaning. Penalties are served if an inspection team finds the business to have been negligent in their kitchen cleaning. The minimum requirement is that a certified company manages this cleaning at regular intervals, with a certified technician having to be at the job site while it is undertaken. The cooking establishment is held responsible for ensuring proper cleaning of the kitchen exhaust in order to minimize risks of fire and smoke.
A certified technician holds greater accountability, having to follow NFPA 96 regulations comprising of certain codes and standards. If they fail to deliver in accordance with these definitions, a subsequent inspection that reveals a deficiency could lead to the technician losing their license.
IKECA is the prime authority, which certifies and regulates kitchen exhaust cleaning in commercial establishments. This organization has grown considerably since its onset, now collaborating with the NFPA and contracting fire marshals around the country. Their main objective is to regulate the fire safety industry across the nation, and even abroad.
So the next time you seek out a hood cleaner to minimize the smoke discharged in your kitchen, remember that this is not just a matter of achieving a comfortable workspace. If proper cleaning is left undone, a lot worse could happen. A fire in your establishment is certainly not something you wish to contemplate, let alone invite.
Find a technician who has adequate certification in the field, which no doubt ensures skill and knowledge. While you are sure they know what they are doing, it is easier to avoid significant safety problems over the long run.
One of the things that many commercial kitchen owners fail to grasp is the importance of cleaning their exhaust systems fully. Kitchen exhaust cleaning is not something to be taken lightly. Done poorly, it can pose a safety hazard, which nobody wants to deal with. That is why, it is important to be thorough, no matter whether it is your staff or a professional team that is doing the kitchen exhaust cleaning.
The functional nature of a kitchen exhaust is that it pulls in smoke and grease in the air inside the kitchen. When the latter gets to be too much, which is what happens over time, the next thing you can expect is a fire caused by this. Cleaning needs to be done regularly, to make sure that exhausts are kept in good working condition. It is not enough to simply maintain the filter and the fire suppressions systems in a restaurant, but this is a fairly common scenario.
One good thing about professional kitchen exhaust cleaning services is that they understand how important their work is from a safety standpoint. Commercial and institutional kitchens are places where accumulated exhausts can pose a huge hazard. With an agency hired to take care of this job, you can rest reasonably assured of having dealt with the negligence factor that often leads to disaster.
A good professional service can be enlisted to remove all the wastewater, grease, debris, and contaminants from your kitchen exhaust systems. As already mentioned, they would understand what it takes to ensure safety; specifically related to the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of your kitchen exhausts.
Incomplete cleanings are almost always the major issue leading up to kitchen fires. In other cases, it is simply the fact that maintenance activates are spread too far apart. Frequent and thorough kitchen cleaning can eliminate many of the dangers in a commercial kitchen. It helps greatly if the exhaust systems are accessible via built in hatches or doors, which allow the cleaning of maximum area in the system. This holds well for ductwork, where opening need to be put in so the areas can be cleaned.
A grease fire is one of the worst ways to let your kitchen go down. Find out about the safety standards and regulations surrounding the cleaning of exhaust systems, and hire a capable kitchen exhaust cleaning agency for the work. Run a safe kitchen and a sound business.
It is important to keep the kitchen in your restaurant clean if you want the business staying healthy. Under this, periodic kitchen exhaust cleaning is the most vital activity for ensuring you maintain a clean kitchen.
The restaurant hood is where you should start. You have the restaurant hood for two things: protecting the kitchen from fire by getting rid of the grease, and getting the smoke out so the kitchen staff can cook without suffocating.
The exhaust works by pulling the greasy smoke into the hood on top of the cooking area, after which it proceeds to the filters at the back of the exhaust. There, it is turned back to grease, which is then dumped into a catch tray.
There are three basic designs of restaurant hood use. These are the canopy, the galley, and the downdraft. The efficiency of the hood is decided by how close it is to the cooking surface. It is the place where the first filtration of the smoke happens. The size of this is usually decided based on how big the cooking equipment is.
Most restaurants use one of two types of commercial hoods. Type 1 is generally situated over where the grease producing equipment is used. It has legally required that these hoods be continuously welded and suspended using non-combustible hangers.
Then there is Type 2, which is used over the kitchen appliance that only gives out steam, fumes, and odors. Cleaning these hoods is not as big a part of kitchen exhaust cleaning, as with Type 1. Type 2 hoods should not be placed above grease producing equipment, and if this is found to be the case, the kitchen cleaning service is responsible for informing you that this is a fire hazard.
Where kitchen exhaust cleaning is concerned, if there are dampers in the throat of the hood, there should be proper access for the cleaners. NFPA #96 says this access should be no farther than 18 inches from the hood.
You do not see many downdraft hoods these days, but they are still in use. Before the smoke is let out of the building, it is diverted under it using air currents. During kitchen exhaust cleaning, this poses a hazard because of the heavy amount of grease that accumulates under gravity.
Canopy style hoods are more common now, because of the simple design and easy maintenance. Here, you need to make sure the service is cleaning the exhaust system as a whole, and not just the hood.
If you are not aware, the kitchen exhaust fan is in most cases used nearly every time; as an important part of the household cooks for improving the quality of air circulation in the kitchen. These exhausts play a really important role by removing odors and smoke. Though it is used nearly every day, the grave mistake most of us commit is overlooking the exhaust fans while cleaning the kitchen. But in fact, kitchen exhaust cleaning is an extremely important thing to do.
Getting the job done
You might think that cleaning grease from the kitchen exhaust may not really be the most pleasant of tasks you have to do, but it is actually very important for maintaining hygiene and safe surroundings. The problem is that when the grease develops in the exhaust fan and ductwork, there is every chance for the fire to increase its intensity. Keeping your kitchen exhaust system extremely clean and grease-free alleviates the possibility of fire hazards and increase the performance of the exhaust system. So, here is how to go with kitchen exhaust cleaning.
For kitchen exhaust cleaning, first you need to unplug the exhaust or shut off the circuit at the breaker box, which supplies the power to your kitchen exhaust system. Then you have to remove the exhaust mesh filters and pour some boiling water on them for loosening of the grease. You may do this in a bucket or basin for preventing grease from clogging your kitchen drainage.
Remember to wear rubber gloves and a facemask for protecting your hands and face from the harmful fumes. You then need to soak the filters for one to two hours in a cleaning solution. The standard cleaning solution used is a mixture of 1 gallon hot water with ½ cup ammonia.
When rinsed, scrub the fan housing and blades using a kitchen scrub brush and then clean using water and ammonia solution. When wiping loosened grease from the housing and blades, it is best to use paper towels. After that, clean the exhaust fan with a cloth dampened with the prepared cleaning solution.
You need to clean the duct using water or ammonia solution and a soft sponge. Rinse grease from the sponge using hot water and repeat it until all the grease is removed from the ductwork. You will have to wait overnight for ensuring that the ductwork is completely dry before re-assembling the exhaust system.
That’s it! This completes your kitchen exhaust cleaning task.
Grease in an annoying thing, which can easily affect even the best kitchen exhaust systems. This is why periodic kitchen exhaust cleaning is extremely important. If the grease problem is irritating for normal house, think about the grease accumulated inside the exhaust systems in huge restaurants. It can be a huge problem for the owners and at times, can inconvenience the guests too.
Once you are completely conscious about how important kitchen exhaust cleaning can be, there can be various effective methods to clean it. But first, you need to consider the parts of a usual kitchen exhaust, and make sure that they remain safe during the process.
A typical kitchen exhaust consists of filters, extractor hood, plenum, ducts, and extractor. When it comes to the hood and filters, it is possible to use manual or mechanical methods for cleaning it. If cleaning manually, you have to take the hood out and then start the cleaning. However, remember that it is really inefficient, dangerous, and expensive. The problem mainly is that you have to come in contact directly with chemical products and hot water, and it can be really risky for the person doing the task.
When you apply the mechanical method for kitchen exhaust cleaning, there are two different options available there too. First, you can make use of high-pressure machines or low-pressure equipments. The second method consists of spreading foam, usually an alkaline one, to the surface that needs cleaning.
Actually, the best method is going with the low pressure cleaning equipment, and the best results can happen at much less cost. The issue with high-pressure washers is the fact that the foam will not remain on the greased hood, which can prove to be counterproductive. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you clean the hood and filters of the sticky and greasy kitchen exhaust by spreading hot foam over it. This way, you will be able to see that the foam remains there while it will be acting against the dirt. After that, when the grease becomes the orange-like colored, you can start rinsing.
Kitchen exhaust cleaning may not be the easiest of the tasks. And so, hiring experienced people to do it is the best option, especially if you are not confident of doing it yourselves. Most people prefer going with pro kitchen-cleaning service providers to deal with exhaust cleaning. Any ways, the choice is yours.
Nowadays, you may find several professional cleaning companies that claim to provide the best cleaning services for your residence. However, most of them may not offer the best service when it comes to kitchen exhaust cleaning. This is also one of the major reasons why it is always recommended to hire certified cleaning companies who have a proven track record in the business.
The Kitchen exhaust cleaning service that you have chosen or planning to hire must be IKECA certified. This organization provides certifications and education resources for professional exhaust system cleaners. In short, if you’ve chosen an exhaust cleaning service that is IKECA certified, you can be assured of the fact that the cleaning process would get completed without any hassles.
There are numerous kitchen exhaust cleaning companies, which offer their cleaning services at cheap rates. Well, it is always a good option to hire cleaning services that fit your budget. You may not get the required quality of service that you are seeking from the company if they are ready to compromise on their rates. Moreover, such exhaust hood cleaning services mainly focus on hand scraping, which is the easiest way to clean the kitchen exhaust system and it can also be done without acquiring proper certification and training.
But the benefit of choosing a professional kitchen exhaust hood cleaning service is that along with doing a better job of hand scraping, the company would provide other effective cleaning methods. Hence, even if they charge you a bit more than other cheap cleaning services, it is always better to choose such experienced kitchen cleaning services.
Also, the certified exhaust hood cleaners would have undergone rigorous training in this field and would also be aware of the process involved in cleaning your entire kitchen. Hence, even if you pay a little more, you will get good quality services for sure. Also, choosing professional kitchen exhaust hood cleaning will also ensure service for your complete air control system.
By doing so, such companies ensure that all other systems are also maintained well along with the cleaning of the kitchen exhaust system. Some additional services provided by such professional cleaning companies include grease filter exchange service, service for swamp cooler and for the emergency fire suppression system.
These are some of the benefits of using professional kitchen exhaust cleaning services. In short, instead of looking for cheap cleaning services, always go for well-experienced kitchen cleaning companies.
Kitchen cleaning is a common concern for hygienic and aesthetic reasons. However, there are some areas in the kitchen, where adequate maintenance is important from a safety standpoint. The kitchen exhaust is one of such things.
Cleaning out your exhaust regularly has other benefits too, such as lowered insurance premiums. Providers are willing to offer this to restaurants if they know that the latter comply with such insurance requirements. The reason for this is that there is significant danger in leaving your kitchen exhausts filthy. On a minimum, you need to clean them out at least four times in a year.
Make sure before you clean the exhaust that the restaurant is shut down. No amount of safety should be presumed to cover customers. So set up the kitchen exhaust cleaning for an off-business day, and make sure you complete the cleaning in a short time. Shutting the restaurant down for longer than a couple of hours can be really bad for business, especially if you get many unpredictable customers. But if you are set to go, here is how to clean the kitchen exhaust fan.
Steps to follow
Turn off the power to the fuse or the breaker box.
To start with, get the cover off the fan, if possible. Now take the fan and put it in hot water with ammonia mixed in. If the fan cannot be removed from where it is, sponge clean the outsides using the solution. For this, you will need to dip sponges in for at least 20 minutes before you start the kitchen exhaust cleaning. Use a different sponge to wipe the fan blades, or else, a soft-bristled brush.
Make sure to wear gloves at all times, preferably rubber. Also, keep the lighting bright while you are working.
When you are finished with the kitchen exhaust cleaning, place the fan on a dry cloth, or newspaper. Wipe it to get any dirt off, which you might have missed. Make sure you do not let any water touch the motor.
Get the filters off and soak them in heavily diluted dishwasher solution, for 20 minutes. After this, take them out, and rinse and dry properly.
The safety improvement, and the lowered insurance premium rates, can make kitchen exhaust cleaning worthwhile. In hotels, the stewards need to oversee these matters. In fact, regular cleaning is good practice for any establishment that has a kitchen.
When you cook with oil, you will notice that when the same oil is used repeatedly, it would emit plenty of smoke. To remove such smoke, most of the restaurants have specialized hoods and advanced exhaust fans. What usually happens with excessive usage of oil and smoke is that oil combines and settles on these exhaust fans and hoods. Therefore, when oil and grease are not removed from the hood, they turn into a sticky greasy substance that would eventually damage the exhaust fans and the hood. This is when you think about kitchen exhaust cleaning. A number of companies render services to clean exhaust hoods and fans. They make sure that it is so clean that it prevents any type of bacterial or fungal development, which is very disgusting. Apart from being disgusting, they are dangerous as well, since it is a place where food is prepared. Chances of the food getting spoilt are more in the presence of such gross. Most importantly, with the practice of regular cleaning, you are not only preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms, but you are also trying to keep the place neat and clean. Another important advantage of regular cleaning is that you are reducing the possibility of fire outbreaks due to grease. Make sure the company that you hire knows what to do, just do not blindly hire people for kitchen exhaust cleaning. In case you are utilizing a restaurant-style exhaust hood, then it might require professional kitchen exhaust cleaning, which only the experts will be able to provide. You need a particular substance for cleaning along with hot pressurized water to clean exhaust hood. Hence cleaning restaurant-style exhaust fans and hoods obviously need a professional touch while cleaning.
When it comes to kitchen exhaust cleaning, you need to make sure to clean the hood and exhaust fan along with each blade for every three months. There are plenty of advantages when you clean so often. Microbial growth is reduced, thus protecting food materials from spoiling. This also reduces the possibility of a grease fire, thus keeping everyone safe in the kitchen. When you hire an exhaust hood cleaning company, make sure they are certified, insured and bonded from NPFA. Ask around about the company and find out more on the services. You need to put safety over everything else. Hence, make sure that you do not miss on the cleaning part even if you miss cooking one day.
One of the areas you often ignore while cleaning your house is the kitchen exhaust ducts. It is understood that the kitchen ventilation system is not easy to dismantle to give it a thorough clean up. But, kitchen exhaust cleaning is very important, mainly due to the fact that grease tends to accumulate in the exhaust ducts over time, and if you ignore this completely, this might turn out to be a serious fire risk.
How to do kitchen exhaust cleaning on your own
It might be a smart idea to hire a professional house cleaning service provider to do the kitchen exhaust cleaning for you. However, if you have the time and necessary tools at your disposal, then you can do this on your own as well. Just follow these steps mentioned here.
First, you have to disconnect the source of power going to the kitchen ventilation system, especially the one to the exhaust fan. It might be a smart idea to turn the breaker switch off from the main power panel before you proceed with the kitchen exhaust cleaning. Do not forget to cover the stove with some old newspapers.
Remove the mesh filter from the ventilation system. You will probably find that it is fully covered with grease and other dust particles. This requires thorough cleaning using a strong cleaning agent like ammonia.
Use a big plastic basin, in which you can place the mesh filter. Make the cleaning solution by mixing about a bucket full of boiling water with a cup full of ammonia. Let the mesh filter remain soaked in this solution for a few hours. The ammonia will act on the grease stuck on the filter and will slack it off in about two to three hours.
Now, you need to remove the exhaust fan blades, which will also be covered in black kitchen grease. Place these too in the ammonia solution in the plastic basin.
Use a power steam cleaner to clean the opened exhaust duct properly. You can use the long stem and nozzle to reach as far as you can to clean the inside parts of the duct. Use a sponge immersed in the ammonia solution to clean the inside surface of the duct. Make sure that you scrub thoroughly and remove as much of the dirt as possible from the fan blades and mesh filter.
Use paper towels to dry the insides of the exhaust ducts, the blades, and the mesh filter. After making sure that they are completely dry, put them back and re-fit the ventilation system you dismantled.
Owning and managing a commercial kitchen can become quite a headache for people, especially if they don’t know how to do the kitchen exhaust cleaning. Cleaning of kitchen floors, counters and kitchen hoods need to be undertaken frequently. The exhaust systems in kitchens provide exit for the heat and the odor. In fact, such kitchen exhaust cleaning systems can release the heat from your kitchen, making you feel comfortable while being in the room.
But then, even the best quality exhaust cleaning systems are prone to damages. Usually, your kitchen would have high humidity because of the steam produced while you cook food. While this steam passes through the exit of the exhaust line, the vapors may cling to the exhaust. Eventually, this can make the exhaust system more dirty. If you do not clean your kitchen exhaust system on frequent intervals, the walls will have a thick layer of dirt, which can weaken them and lead to rusting.
As far as the cleaning of your kitchen exhaust system is concerned, it is necessary that you do it regularly. Most of the exhaust systems in kitchens are placed near the immediate exit point of the steam. So, if the system continues to accumulate dust, it can even lead to health issues once it starts falling while you cook. Well, how often you should engage in kitchen exhaust cleaning should depend on how busy your kitchen is.
For cleaning your kitchen exhaust system, you can try two options i.e. either clean it yourself or contact a professional company to do the job for you. If you’re choosing the first option i.e. cleaning the exhaust system all by yourself, you need to first turn the exhaust fan off and then allow sufficient time for it to get cooled. Once it cools down, you can start removing the dirt and grease in the system. The second option in kitchen exhaust cleaning is a more practical and convenient one. You can hire a professional kitchen cleaning service that can help you out with the task. Moreover, the workers will be experienced enough in cleaning the exhaust system in your kitchen more efficiently. In short, the larger your kitchen is, the more you would require professional expertise in cleaning it.
So, the next time you get worried about cleaning your kitchen exhaust system, make sure you hire a professional kitchen cleaning firm to complete the task for you.