Category Archive: kitchen surface cleaning

How Often Is Commercial Hood Cleaning Necessary for a Kitchen Exhaust System?

Over time, the hood in a kitchen exhaust system accumulates grease particulate from food preparation, clogging the system. In addition to reducing the performance of the fan, it makes for a smoky, uncomfortable, and unsanitary working environment with poor air quality. These conditions can open your business up to fines or closures if you are found to be in violation of local or national ordinances. If left unchecked, that greasy building has the potential to catch fire and destroy your equipment, facility, and even your business.

The best way to avoid a safety hazard is to work with a professional hood cleaning company and schedule regular service visits. Learn more about suggested cleaning intervals for commercial hoods and the hood-cleaning process.

Commercial Hood Cleaning

Recommended Commercial Hood Cleaning Frequency

According to NFPA 96-11.4, cooking establishments should regularly have certified professionals in for kitchen hood cleaning, with the required scheduling based on the equipment, the volume and types of food the kitchen prepares, and other factors. The recommended cleaning frequencies are:

  • Kitchens using solid fuel preparation: Every month
  • High-grease or fast-food restaurants: Every month
  • High-volume or 24/7 kitchens: Every three months
  • General restaurants or cafeterias: Every two or three months
  • Charbroiler, woodstove, or wok food preparation: Every three months
  • Medium-volume kitchens and those using less grease: Every six months
  • Low-volume or seasonal kitchens: Once a year

However, these are just recommended frequencies. In some cases, you may need to clean sooner, particularly if you notice the following:

  • Damaged or dented components, or those making unusual sounds
  • Difficulty accessing and opening the device
  • High temperatures from system exhaustion
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Visible grease buildup or stains on either system components or the rooftop

Commercial Hood Cleaning Process

Trained professionals accomplish commercial cleaning through these important steps:

Initial Inspection

The inspection stage involves a technician or cleaning team checking the exhaust system for any specific component or functionality concerns requiring particular attention.

System Shutdown

As a safety precaution, the technician will turn off the entire system as well as any gas valves and pilot lights before beginning the cleaning process. This prevents potential damage to both the system and any cleaning tools, and safeguards the technician and the facility from potential fires.

Kitchen Preparation

With it being an untidy process, the technician will lay down coverings to protect nearby surfaces, floors, or appliances. They will also remove the system baffle filters and prep the funnels to collect the dirt and grease.


The cleaning process will take place both in the kitchen and on the roof. A technician will climb to the roof, apply a degreaser to system components, and clean them with hot water. In the kitchen itself, the technician will ensure that the washed-down wastewater flows through the funnel and into a collection container for less mess. They also use the degreaser on the baffle filters with a hot-water rinse. For any problem areas with caked debris, the technician will manually scrape the surface to loosen residue and remaining grease. Once done, they will again spray a degreaser and rinse with hot water until they have removed all debris.

At this point, the technician will address the kitchen hood itself, utilizing the same applications of degreaser spray and hot water or pressure-washing until the system is finally clean. To end the process, your technician will remove the hood to dry and polish it.

Cleanup and Final Inspection

After reinstalling the baffle filters, the technician or team will clean up any excess water, remove tarps, and otherwise leave the kitchen as they found it. They will test the exhaust system to ensure the fan is working as it should and any issues from the initial inspection are resolved. Lastly, they will apply a certification sticker with the date and the system’s compliance to Baltimore or local fire codes, and complete a report to document the cleaning, along with any suggested preventative or future maintenance steps.

Schedule a Cleaning with IMC

Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for your commercial hood system with a certified hood cleaning service is essential for safe operations and air quality, as well as long-lasting kitchen equipment. If you are looking for kitchen exhaust cleaning or restaurant hood cleaning in Baltimore, Maryland, the team at Interior Maintenance Company, Inc. is here to help.

In business as a family-owned company since 1973 and cleaning kitchen hoods in the mid-Atlantic region since 1998, IMC is a leading kitchen hood cleaning service and facility maintenance company offering kitchen exhaust cleaning in Baltimore, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. Our highly trained team has the experience and extensive knowledge of local and national regulations to support your business’ safe operations with reliable service and affordable prices.

Contact us today for more information on our kitchen hood services, or request a quote to set up a cleaning.

6 Neglected Surfaces Philadelphia Restaurants Need To Keep Clean

6 Neglected Surfaces Philadelphia Restaurants Need To Keep Clean

6 Neglected Surfaces Philadelphia Restaurants Need To Keep Clean
When choosing a place to dine out, restaurant patrons look for a clean venue with good food and fine service. A 2012 Technomic poll of 38,000 consumers revealed that cleanliness was the 2ndmost important factor when choosing a restaurant. Neglected restaurant surfaces will surely turn customers away, so the best way to attract and retain customers in your local restaurant is to keep them clean and sanitized for a safe, healthy working and dining experience for everyone.

The Entrance Area
First impressions m`atter. When prospective and returning customers enter your Philadelphia restaurant, they expect the floors, walls and counter surfaces to be clean, attractive and inviting so they have a good reason to choose to dine with you as opposed to someone else.

Dining Area Surfaces
When you go to a dining area that has a table set with place settings and condiments, you expect the seating area to be ready to use. Unclean tables and seats are a turn off to your customers that may potentially diminish their dining experience. Regular and prompt attention to dining area cleaning will keep surfaces safe, sanitized and customer-ready at all times.

Toppling Trash Containers
In fast food restaurants or casual dining establishments, there can sometimes be a “trash flow” problem. In the hustle and bustle of peak hours, eateries can sometimes forget to keep the trash container area monitored, emptied and sanitized, throughout the day to keep odors and garbage piles at a minimum. The area in and around the trash container needs to be dealt with quickly to keep your establishment looking presentable.

Cooking Areas
If you ever took a peek into the kitchen of your local Philadelphia eatery and quickly lost your appetite, let this be a good reason to keep your cooking equipment, kitchen appliances, and countertops up to code with safe food preparation standards and procedures. Dirty kitchen surfaces that are not properly dealt with is both unsightly and a potential food safety issue.

Dirty Floors
When customers see dirty floors in restaurants, they may wonder if the food is safe to eat. Patrons may think twice about choosing your establishment when they walk around on sticky floor surfaces throughout the restaurant. When the Cintas Corporation surveyed close to 2100 adults in 2015, most said they wouldn’t go back to a restaurant if there was a problem with the facilities. Restaurant managers should ensure their floor surfaces are clean so their customers can have a healthy, pleasant time dining out.

Unsanitary restroom areas, such as countertops, sinks and toilets will never do in keeping restaurant patrons in the door. If it isn’t clean, people will be apprehensive about using it. Surfaces must be fully treated with proper sanitization products to guard against food contamination and disease outbreaks.

Since cleanliness is high on the list of things patrons look for most in restaurants, managers should keep these six neglected surfaces top-of-mind to help their guests have an optimal dining experience at Philadelphia restaurants.

5 Tips to Keep Restaurant Surfaces Clean

Food Safety Handwritten With Red Marker

5 Tips to Keep Restaurant Surfaces Clean
As with all client-facing business, the ultimate customer service goal is to provide safe, thorough and pleasant service for your customers so they will want to come back again and again. This is certainly true of restaurants as they seek to maximize their dining patrons’ experience with safe, clean, tasty, pleasantly-served food that creates a memorable and potentially repeatable customer experience.

A major component of restaurant customer care is maintaining clean surfaces where food is prepared and customers eat and convene. Dirty surfaces are not only a dining patron turnoff, but can lead to harmful contaminants that can sicken your customers and restaurant workers. Here are five tips to keep restaurant surfaces safe and sanitized for customers and workers at all times:

Tip 1: Frequent and thorough hand washing-In order to keep surfaces clean, food handlers must first keep their hands sanitized through careful handwashing. The Food and Safety industry recommends washing your hands under running water for about 20 seconds to avoid the spread of contaminants and germs from one worker to another as well as patrons. This very simple, yet sometimes overlooked practice can head germs and contaminants off at the pass.

Tip 2: Clean cooking and food prep utensils and equipment during each shift-To avoid the possibility of cross-contamination when preparing raw meat and fresh vegetables, avoid mixing raw and cooked food cutting boards and cutlery by washing them right away with hot, soapy water to avoid a restaurant germ outbreak that could make customers sick.

Tip 3: Sanitize as you go-Every day, food servers have the arduous task of balancing food preparation while keeping restaurant work areas safe and sanitized at all times. Clean all surfaces after each kitchen task with an antibacterial cleaning solution to minimize the spread of contaminants and germs. Some restaurants use checklists in their kitchen area to remind all workers to clean their surfaces and give step-by step instructions for each kitchen cleaning station.

Tip 4: Wear your hat and gloves-Just like you need hats and gloves to keep your hands safe and warm during frigid weather, you can maximize kitchen safety and handling with hair coverings and plastic gloves. These food service items will protect you from accidentally getting your hair in the food, or spreading cold or virus germs when using bare hands.

Tip 5: Clear and clean dining areas constantly throughout the day-When restaurant customers are done with their dining experience, clear and clean their eating surface right away with a handy sanitizing spray, clean rag and ready hands to clear away dirty dishes.

When restaurant surfaces are clean and presentable, everyone wins. Customers feel safe and comfortable throughout their dining experience, and workers feel confident they are cooking and preparing food in a healthy environment that is customer and employee- friendly.

These restaurant surface cleaning tips are not an exhaustive list, but can give your dining establishment improved cleaning best practices so your patrons can enjoy a well-sanitized, safe and comfortable eatery with their family and friends—every time.

We offer a Kitchen and Restaurant Cleaning Service that provides:

  • Deep surface restaurant cleaning and kitchen stewarding services.
  • Detail kitchen equipment cleaning.
  • Floor to ceiling detail cleaning.

Please feel free to give us a call to see if we’re a good fit for your commercial kitchen cleaning needs.

Healthy Restaurant Eating is More than Calorie Counting: Going Beyond the Surface

Cook cleaning commercial kitchen surface

Dining out is supposed to be an enjoyable, healthy and pleasant experience with family, friends or colleagues, and it often is. Many Philadelphia area restaurants even have the added benefit of lower calorie, healthy menu options available to choose from to help you keep your fitness goals on track. One less-common health dining focus is the health and safety of the food surfaces where commercial food is prepared. Is it clean? How often is it sanitized? Here a few restaurant health tips to keep in your back pocket to maximize your restaurant’s customer experience:

Avoid Cross-Contamination
Alarmingly, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) sites insufficiently sanitized food contact surfaces as one of the top restaurant code violations. Healthy eating is more than what you eat: where you eat counts, too. When using utensils to prepare raw meat on commercial surfaces, restaurants in and around the Philly area need to implement best sanitation practices to make sure contaminants from uncooked foods don’t settle on cooked foods. This can happen easily if a utensil used to prepare raw meat, for instance, is then used to prepare a salad. Cross-contamination can cause serious illness, so every precaution should be taken to guard against these unsafe restaurant practices. What is not widely publicized is the fact that more than half of food-borne illnesses are acquired while eating out. With thorough restaurant cleaning practices, this doesn’t need to happen to you.

Clean AND Sanitize Food Surfaces
Restaurant cleaning goes beyond soap and water. Food surfaces, utensils and equipment must all be thoroughly sanitized with a chlorine-based solution comprised of 5 to 25 tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water or other commercial kitchen sanitation to help ensure safe and healthy restaurant dining. These food surfaces and all kitchen supplies must be disinfected often and well in keeping with restaurant code compliance to give restaurant goers the healthy dining experience they deserve.

We can help to ensure that hygienic cleaning methods are being fully optimized by working with you to introduce deep cleaning and sanitization techniques. By utilizing deep cleaning methods, IMC will help to improve the cleanliness of your kitchen, extend the lifetime of your equipment, and inspire confidence from diners and staff in maintaining a clean atmosphere.

Treat Overall Food Preparation Areas
Healthy dining not only includes guarding against cross contamination and sanitizing food preparation surfaces, but also involves keeping the entire food service area clean. This includes the floors, walls, storage areas, counters, etc. All of these surrounding food areas could contain possible bacteria, viruses, dirt, hair, and other unhealthy residue that violates restaurant inspection codes. Overall food service areas require equal amounts of cleanliness, order, care and sanitation to keep guests from getting sick and spreading harmful germs to others. Keep guests in and germs out by cleaning and treating every crevice of food preparation surface areas using top-to-bottom deep hygienic sanitation techniques to keep your eatery up to code.

Healthy eating goes beyond the menu. It encompasses the overall restaurant experience, from food preparation to the finished dish. Contaminated food prepared on unsanitary kitchen surfaces in unclean environments makes for an unsafe and unhealthy restaurant that will receive health violations. Keep restaurant health and wellness in the forefront of your health, safety and inspection safeguards using detail-oriented, deep cleaning methods that will keep your kitchen workers on the job, and dining guests coming back again and again.