Kitchen hood cleaning is an important but often neglected part of kitchen design and upkeep. Often left dirty and dusty, kitchen hoods and vents accumulate excessive dust and grease over time. This can create a toxic environment that can encourage mold, mildew, bacteria, and allergens. It can also lead to poor ventilation, which can cause serious health issues and even burn your eyes!
It’s easy to assume that the task of kitchen hood cleaning only involves scrubbing and cleaning. But there’s more to it than that. Your kitchen hoods and vents aren’t just a surface to be cleaned. They are also a source of air circulation and a means of helping food cook properly by reducing the heat that passes through the room. Properly maintained, your restaurant kitchen’s hoods and vents can help promote clean and safe working environments for you and your staff.
The first step in kitchen hood cleaning is to turn off the power to the vent. Then remove any debris with a damp cloth or sponge. Ideally you should use a fan blade cleaner to get rid of any large pieces of food that may have fallen to the ground. Be careful not to damage any electrical wires. Then you can put the hood into a bowl of warm water with a few drops of dishwashing detergent added, making sure that the exhaust hood is completely submerged in the solution.
If using a fan blade cleaner isn’t enough to get the build-up under the hoods removed, then you will need to follow up with oven cleaner or oven gloves. These will kill any remaining grime and ensure that your cooking remains safe and clean. After ensuring that everything is completely free from grease, wipe down the vent hood. Next, check to make sure the exhaust hoods have been installed properly, and that they are connected to the correct opening.
A good commercial hood cleaning service should check and refill the filter on a regular basis. This will prevent dirt and other contaminants from building up in them. Filters can be over-scrubbed with a scrubber but scrubbing too often can actually cause debris to be stripped from the filters themselves. If your commercial kitchen is frequently cleaned, then it will save time for you, the chef, and anyone else who may need to use the facility.
Another important thing to remember is to never clean the duct work or access panels by yourself. Hire a professional. While the scrubbing and washing procedures will be repeated, this is not an easy task for someone who has never done it before. The scrubbing can get very hard on some parts, which is why you want someone who is trained in doing this to do the job. Cleaning too often will mean that you are likely to miss spots, and that means that the next time you hire a kitchen hood cleaning company, you’ll probably have to pay more.
If you do need your kitchen hood cleaned for any reason, such as when you are doing a serious food inspection, then you should request a solid fuel cooking operations inspection. As part of the inspection, the inspector will check for problems with the ventilation system, flue lines, solid fuel tank, vent stack, chimney, exhaust system, gas system, combustion chamber, and burners. If any of these areas are found to be functioning properly, then the restaurant needs to be cleaned. On the other hand, if any of these parts are found to be damaged or broken, then you should have the kitchen hood cleaned immediately. You can usually tell whether a part is damaged or broken by looking at it and seeing if the metal has a worn or cracked edge.
Your hood cleaning service may also be called in if a grease fire occurs. Grease fires occur because grease fumes can get up into the air and can ignite. They also happen because grease splatters on things when it burns. Many times grease fires happen in restaurants because there are no fire exits that allow people to escape quickly. It is important to always have an emergency exit in a place where grease fires occur. You should also have at least one emergency exit in other kitchens in case of a grease fire.