As a new restaurant owner, you may find yourself surprised by some of the smaller details of running the kitchen, including some of the maintenance requirements. For example, a commercial stove hood is a prime surface for accumulating cooking debris and grease. They're also easy to overlook when it comes to quick post-shift cleaning. Unfortunately, the grease that can build up in the range hood can reduce ventilation and may put your kitchen at risk of a grease fire if it isn't kept clean. Here's a look at what you need to know about keeping the hood vent clean.
Cleaning the Removable Parts
Wait for the end of your last service of the night before you clean the range hood. Do your normal shut-down routines, then cover all of the equipment with drop cloths or safety tarps. This keeps grease out of them.
Pull the exhaust filters out of their slots and remove the grease drip pans from underneath the range. Empty the drip pans into a disposable collection bucket, then wipe the tray out with a damp paper towel. This removes any particles inside the pan. Wipe the filter down the same way.
Create a solution of dish detergent and hot water, then apply that solution with a nylon scrub pad. Clean both the filter screen and the trays with the pad. Once clean, rinse them completely with hot water. Then, apply a powdered scrubbing cleaner to the surface of each drip pan and the filter.
Work the cleaner in with a soft cloth. Wash them with detergent and a cloth to remove the powdered cleaner, then rinse them completely. Make sure everything is completely dry before you put it back into place.
Cleaning the Stove Hood
Use a hot, soapy solution to clean the exterior of the stove hood. Make sure you dry the surface as you work so that you don't leave moisture behind. When you move to the underside of the hood, work in small, circular strokes to remove the grease efficiently.
Scrub inside the exhaust pipes with the same soapy water solution and a nylon brush. This will help you get the grease particles free from the surface. Just be careful not to dislodge the joints or the inspection tags on the pipes.
After cleaning, make sure that you dry the interior completely. Then turn the hood on and let it run for a little while to evaporate any residual water. If there's any residual grease, a commercial degreaser product will help you get rid of it.
If you aren't comfortable tackling the job yourself, a local range hood cleaning service like Missouri Kitchen Pro's & Pressure Washing can help.