Commercial kitchens are everywhere: in restaurants, food courts, hotels, schools and hospitals. One thing all commercial kitchens have in common is the challenge of keeping them clean.
They can become home to grease, food particles, dirt, bacteria and germs. But no one wants contamination in their food!
Both health inspectors and customers demand a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene.
Are you considering starting a business offering Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Services?
Here is some information to help you understand what that business involves.
How do you clean commercial kitchen equipment?
‘Commercial kitchen equipment’ refers to everything in the kitchen. All of it must be cleaned. Some cleaning tasks occur daily and, in fact, throughout the day. The kitchen staff must keep their work areas clean. Other cleaning tasks occur weekly, monthly or several times a year.
The jobs done less frequently are considered deep cleaning. Discuss with your clients what cleaning tasks their kitchen staff will do and what cleaning services you will provide.
Areas needing daily cleaning
Food Preparation Surfaces and Tools
Kitchen staff must clean food preparation surfaces, countertops, cooking pots and tools throughout the day.
Commercial cleaners may need to pay special attention to blenders, slicers, grinders, and mixers with multiple moving parts that touch food. If these equipment parts are not well cleaned each day, bacteria can grow in them.
You need to take this equipment apart to remove dried or stuck-on food. Use hot water with antibacterial dish soap or a high-pressure hose. A small brush with hard bristles helps remove particles from small holes.
Once the parts are clean, sterilize them by running them through a dishwasher with super-heated water. Make sure all parts are completely dry before putting the equipment back together.
Cooking Surfaces and Grills
You can find good instructions for cleaning cooking surfaces, grills and ovens here.
Commercial kitchens have pot washing areas, dishwashing areas and hand sinks for staff near their work areas.
Kitchen staff should keep these areas clean while they are working, but at the end of the day, your cleaning service can do a thorough cleaning.
Wipe down and disinfect the sinks and backsplashes. Throw out dishcloths and scrubbers or soak them in a chlorine mixture. Clean out the trap in the dishwasher and clean the staff washroom.
Garbage Disposal Areas
Remove garbage and disinfect the cans. Sweep and sanitize the floor.
The best way to clean the floor is to:
- Wipe all debris off the counters and surfaces and then sweep the floor.
- Use a commercial-grade floor cleaner that will cut through grease and kill bacteria. For a tile floor, use a floor cleaner that penetrates tile grout.
- Change the water in your bucket often.
- Sanitize your bucket, mop and broom by soaking them in chlorine and rinse them well. Stand the mop and broom upright to dry.
How do you deep clean a commercial kitchen?
Deep cleaning refers to the tasks that take place weekly, monthly or a few times a year, depending on the cleanliness of the kitchen.
Once a week, put more elbow grease into cleaning the food preparation surfaces, ovens, storage rooms, washing and garbage disposal areas.
This will involve cleaning and sanitizing walls, ceilings, floors, surfaces, sinks, hoods, fittings (such as lights and racks) and equipment.
Be sure to use non-toxic products to clean surfaces that will contact food.
Food Preparation Surfaces, Counters, Shelves and Backsplashes
Stainless steel surfaces in commercial kitchens are easy to clean and sanitize. Yet, cracks and porous materials can hide bacteria and grime.
Steam cleaning is a hygienic and chemical-free way to remove built-up dirt. Here’s a great video showing how to do this:
Wash movable boards and racks in hot, soapy water before sterilizing them in the dishwasher.
Remove objects from shelves and countertops and wipe dry waste off the surface. Wash the surface using hot, soapy water. Then use a commercial food-grade disinfectant spray. Wear gloves and spray the surface evenly.
Once the surface is dry, you can put items back on the shelf or countertop.
To clean tiled areas like backsplashes, use a tile cleaner that can kill bacteria by penetrating the grout between the tiles.
Empty and clean dry storage and cold storage areas once a week to avoid bacteria and pests.
Wash the racks and shelves with hot soapy water. Then, spray the walls with food-grade disinfectant and wipe down the walls with a clean, damp cloth. Finally, sweep and sanitize the floors.
Once a week, use a descaling product to remove limescale and build-up.
Pull out movable kitchen equipment once a week. Wash the walls behind and around the equipment. Then sweep and sanitize the whole kitchen floor.
Clean kitchen hoods every 1-3 months. If left too long, they could become a fire hazard or restrict ventilation.
Start by removing the exhaust filters. Soak them in hot water and degreasing solution for 1-2 hours or overnight. Scrub them with a brush or put them through the dishwasher to remove residue.
Dispose of the grease in traps and drip trays as allowed by local authorities. Soak the trays in a degreasing solution and then scrub them well. Rinse in hot, clean water.
Spray the hood inside and out with heavy-duty degreaser and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Avoid abrasive products so you don’t damage the surface. Use another clean, moist cloth to take off any residue left on the surface.
Let everything dry completely before putting the hood back together.
If your disinfectant leaves streaks on stainless steel, you can give the kitchen a final shine with stainless steel polish.
How much does it cost to clean or deep clean a commercial kitchen?
Commercial kitchens vary in size, ceiling height, number of large refrigerators, fans, hoods, and cleanliness. These variations affect the cleaning costs.
Commercial kitchen cleaning services usually charge between $50 and $150 per hour. The rate is the same for cleaning and deep cleaning, but deep cleaning takes many more hours.
Some cleaning companies charge by the square foot and take into consideration how often the company cleans the kitchen (daily, a couple of times a week, weekly or monthly).
Cleaning commercial kitchens can be satisfying work. The shining, sanitized surfaces will delight your clients. Your service will help keep their premises safe and their customers healthy.