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Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Explained

Kitchen exhaust cleaning

Kitchen exhaust cleaning (often referred to as “hood cleaning”) is the process of removing grease that has accumulated inside the ducts, hoods, fans and vents of exhaust systems of commercial kitchens. Left uncleaned, kitchen exhaust systems eventually accumulate enough grease to become extreme fire hazards. Exhaust systems must be inspected regularly, at intervals consistent with usage, to determine whether or not cleaning needed before a dangerous amount of grease has accumulated.

Cleaning Processes

The complete Kitchen exhaust systems (top to bottom) are first scraped clean and then washed clean with food safe caustic chemicals and hot water pressure-washing where possible to safely collect dirty water by-product.

Caustic chemicals

Caustic chemicals can be applied to break down the grease. After that, hot water can be used to rinse away the residue. Chemicals are generally applied with either a garden type sprayer, downstream injection through a pressure washer or with a chemical foamer. Once the chemicals are applied, they are allowed to dwell on the surface of the grease for a period of time, before being washed off of the surface with hot water. In extreme situations, where grease buildup is too heavy for a chemical application and a rinse, scrapers may be used to remove excess buildup from the contaminated surfaces, before chemicals are applied.

Hot water pressure-washing

Machines can be used that both boil water and then apply this water under pressures up to 2000PSI. In a common method of preparation, heavy-duty tarps are first clipped to the hoods and then angled into plastic garbage cans to catch the run-off. As the cans are filled the contents are disposed of successively. The grease should be removed rather than just emptied into the local drains to avoid clogging issues.


Cleaners often polish hoods for easier cleaning and improved appearance. Cleaners apply a sticker to the hood of each cleaned exhaust system to enable the authority having jurisdiction as well as insurance adjusters to check for compliance with the local fire code.

A Properly Cleaned Kitchen Exhaust Duct


Many jurisdictions have adopted this nations minimum available standard, National Fire Protection Association Standard 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations and require compliance to it by cleaners and operators of commercial kitchens.

Grease Away Steam Cleaning Service

Kitchen exhaust cleaning is required by law virtually every commercial cooking establishment in the united states. Restaurants, hospitals,hotels, employee cafeterias and other food-service locations have a hood and ductwork over the stove to exhaust smoke, steam and fumes out of the building.

Before and After Pictures of a Commercial Kitchen Hood

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