Hood cleaning, or kitchen exhaust cleaning, is the act of removing accumulated grease from ducts, fans, hoods, and vents of commercial kitchen exhaust systems. If kitchen exhaust systems are not regularly cleaned, the grease accumulated inside the systems can pose extreme fire hazards.
Hood cleaning is required in nearly every commercial cooking establishment across the United States. Many jurisdictions have adopted the National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 – the nation’s minimum standard for hood cleaners and commercial kitchen operators. In addition, the International Fire Code now requires cleaning to be performed to IKECA ANSI C10 standards. Hiring a company such as Western Commercial Services, an active IKECA member company, ensures your facility is served by a company that has the latest information and keeps you safe and in compliance.
1. All kitchen exhaust systems are scraped clean from top to bottom. Next, food-safe caustic chemicals are applied to break down the grease. These chemicals are typically applied with a garden-type sprayer, downstream injector pressure washer, or with a chemical foamer.
2. The chemicals are left on the grease surfaces for a period of time before they are washed off with hot water. In extreme cases, where a chemical application and rinse is not enough to remove heavy grease buildup, scrapers can be used to remove the excess buildup before the chemicals are applied.
3. High-powered, hot water pressure washing is used to remove the grease and chemicals from the surfaces. Typically, heavy-duty tarps are attached to the exhaust hoods and angled into trashcans to collect the run-off. As the cans become full, they are switched out with empty cans.
4. Lastly, hoods are often polished to both improve appearance and to allow for easier cleaning. Hood cleaners apply a sticker to each exhaust system’s hood to show that the hoods are in compliance with local fire codes for both insurance adjusters and the authority that’s enforcing compliance.
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