Cleaning hood fans.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by ryangary, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. ryangary

    ryangary

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    I am an absolute clean freak and cleaning the exhaust hoods is something I do once a week at my restaurant. The way I have been cleaning them is by spraying with degreaser and running through the dishwasher but our dishwasher was starting to get grease build-up so now I bring them to the carwash and use the high psi srayer. Does anyone else have any tricks or tips on cleaning hood fans.
     
  2. even stephen

    even stephen

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    Worry about the screens, but, really worry about the duct up to the
    fan, especially if you have a woodburning grill. Once the duct gets a
    certain amount of buildup and catches fire, you done. I worked in a
    place with a woodburning rotisserie and a company swore they had
    cleaned the duct work for the hood system. It was 225 feet long.
    On the afternoon of hour opening night it caught fire. The entire
    225 ft. glowing red like lava. Smoke damage, water damage, etc.
    We called a damage control company and got the place back up in
    seven days. One week later we were ready to open. The morning of
    the second opening evening a freak early spring snow storm hit. Being
    a city in the southeast, and being that it dumped nearly 3 1/2 feet of
    snow, the power went out and we discovered we had no generator.
    One week later..................................
    Anyway Besal services is a good company to contact if you are in the
    southeast. But seriously it doesnt seem important until the the house
    is on fire.
     
  3. plongeur

    plongeur

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    We use a professional cleaning service to clean out the ducts twice a year.
    Like you, we spray the screens with a degreaser and then run them through the dishwasher a couple of times. I do this at the end of the service after everything else has been done, then clean out the dishwasher with the degreaser etc. to get rid of the grease. Do it weekly and they're really not too bad, but then we don't have a deep-fat fryer and only do a bit of saute work anyway so they're not that greasy anyway.
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Not sure where you are or how big your place is -- but you should consider hiring a company that specializes in cleaning hoods and ductwork. Even stephen is right: there's so much you can't see that is in danger, and could be a danger to your whole operation.

    Every place I've ever worked had the staff clean the screens on a regular basis, whether daily or weekly. But they also had specialists come in once a month to make sure that the ductwork was clean, too.

    If your dishwasher is getting grease buildup, you'd better have the company that services it and/or supplies the chemicals for it look at it. Finally, have a look at your grease trap and clean it out (really disgusting but necessary).

    Overall, it sounds like you're doing what you can personally, but need to hire professionals NOW for preventive maintenance, before you have to hire someone to fix a much bigger mess.
     
  5. chef_bob

    chef_bob

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    I am a big fan of the high PSI method. We have a presure washer and use it to clean them betwen professional services (which we do every 6 months). I find the pressure wash does a better job than the dishwasher and there are no chemicals involved so that is an added bonus. I think you can pick up a pressure washer at a pretty reasonable price and that might be beter than hauling them in your car to the car wash.
     
  6. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Our insurance company makes hood/duct cleaning mandatory twice a year by a professional company as part of fire insurance coverage. If you run screens through your dish system, the best way is to soak overnight ( use grease-cutting dishsoap) and do them first thing the next shift. Every day. Then they never get bad. I find if I clean daily that I can use more mild cleaners than the de-greasers. For about the last 15 years or so I have been trying to limit or eliminate my exposure to caustic chemicals in my workplace.
    Good luck.
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Cleaning the screens by yourself is fine. My favorite method is to have two sets of screens, one set soaking in a sink of oven cleaner and water, the other installed.

    Check with the local fire dept. regulations. Like everyone says, it's not the screens that are that important, but the shaft. Grease build-up in the shaft is very dangerous. Most regulations state that the shaft and motor housing are to be cleaned by a licensed cleaning co.