A restaurant kitchen hood adds functionality and safety to the kitchen. It is an outlet for smoke and grease laden vapors when your kitchen is working long hours. However, the commercial restaurant hood requires cleaning to work optimally. If you do not get your kitchen hood cleaned according to the national fire protection association schedule, you may be putting your customers and staff and business at risk from fire.  

Even if you have a heavy-duty kitchen hood with stainless steel ductwork and all the new technological features, it will need cleaning services on a regular basis. The clean-up involves professional checking the entire kitchen exhaust systems duct access doors, ducts, exhaust fans, and filters. This will remove grease that is a major fire hazard for commercial kitchens.  Some companies will only clean the kitchen exhaust hood and filters. Do not accept this substandard cleaning. Only a certified commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning company is trained to properly clean the entire kitchen exhaust system.

There are technical components and tools used in cleaning a kitchen exhaust hood. Here are some things that you should not do when cleaning your commercial kitchens hood.

Waiting too long between hood cleanings

Delaying in cleaning your restaurant kitchen hood can be detrimental to the entire commercial kitchens. Grease and debris from cooking operations will build up inside exhaust hood and coat the fire protection system components. This will limit the amount of heat being removed through the commercial kitchen exhaust system increasing the heat radiating from the kitchen exhaust hood. The built up grease, oil, and carbon build-up inside the stainless steel ductwork is a fire hazard as well. That is why the national fire protection association researches and publishes standards for cleaning intervals of kitchen exhaust hoods, kitchen exhaust systems and individual kitchen exhaust components such as access doors and fire protection. As a result, commercial kitchens exhaust cleaning should be done according to the national fire protection association schedule updated every other year. A certified kitchen exhaust hood cleaner will know the law and clean your commercial kitchen exhaust to meet the national fire protection association code. Your commercial kitchen exhaust will immediately work more efficiently when cleaned by a certified kitchen exhaust hood cleaner according to national fire protection association standards.  

While not part of the fire code, a proper and complete kitchen exhaust hood cleaning will ensure your commercial kitchen exhaust system is working properly. Let unclean your kitchen exhaust hood may develop some significant issues that may call for expensive repairs and replacements. Waiting too long may be more expensive than regular checkups in the long term. Therefore, it is ideal not to wait too long in scheduling a thorough commercial kitchens exhaust cleaning.  

Relying on DIY cleanups

You may want to take the job of cleaning your kitchen hood in your hands. While you should be cleaning your kitchen exhaust hood filter weekly the national fire protections association code requires professional certified kitchen exhaust hood cleaning on a regular basis. Without professional training, chemicals and tools required your commercial kitchen exhaust will not meet the national fire protection association standards. Moreover, by doing it yourself, you may skip some important steps leaving your kitchen exhaust systems dirty and clogged. Hence, your commercial kitchens exhaust may be at an even higher risk of fire hazards without a proper hood cleaning. 

Also, you may injure yourself due to the lack of proper training in cleaning commercial kitchens exhaust systems. As you know, there are safety guidelines for a commercial kitchen published by the national fire protection association. Missing a step could lead to a crucial mistake in the commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning process. Therefore, it is not recommended to clean your own kitchen hood, kitchen exhaust system, duct access doors or stainless steel ductwork.

Not contacting the best professional services

We have established from the above point that you will need help from national fire protection association certified kitchen hood cleaning companies with proper insurance and licensing. They have trained professionals who understand how the kitchen exhaust hood works and how to properly and completely perform a kitchen exhaust cleaning that meets the national fire protection association standards. Research and find the best hood cleaning companies in our area. Look for a company that answers the phone and takes the time to explain how and why a commercial kitchen exhaust system is cleaned. Get a written proposal of the kitchen exhaust cleaning work scope. This should include before and after pictures of the work for insurance and reporting.  

Look for an exhaust cleaning company with experience in your type of commercial kitchens who is efficient in their job and has transparent working methods. Look for kitchen exhaust system cleaning providers who have experience in the kitchen hood cleaning industry, are insured, carry workers compensation insurance and follow the required national fire protection association code as well as OSHA safety protocols. Excellent reviews that back up the company’s claims are a good place to start. 

Not conducting routine checks

When it comes to kitchen hood cleaning, different parts of the kitchen exhaust system may require routine checking. Just as your grease trap and inceptor need regular checking your stainless steel ductwork, access panels, filters and kitchen exhaust system require regular inspection for smooth functioning.

Routine checks also ensure changes to your commercial kitchens process will be reflected in your commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning. Meeting the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 96 Standard is the goal for a safe and efficient commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning.  

Regular cleaning will reduce the repair and replacement costs in future. Changing out the roof fan belt regularly will significantly reduce emergency belt repair cost and kitchen down time.

Ignoring an Inspection Report

After contacting a professional cleaning service, you will need to make sure they did the job well. This involves a detailed report for each step used during the clean. A reputable company will have before and after pictures of the different components of the kitchen hood to ensure they have been thoroughly cleaned. 

It will also help you avoid any confusion and let you be an active part of the cleaning process. Besides, this will ensure a transparent approach in preparing and cleaning the kitchen exhaust system. On the other hand, the lack of a detailed report may keep you in the dark about the cleaning process. 

Wrapping up

Now you are aware of all the major things that you should not do when cleaning your restaurant kitchen hood. Look for a cleaning service that provides a guarantee in case your exhaust system does not pass the inspection check. The guarantee will help in establishing proper cleanup rescheduling until the job is properly done.


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