5 Steps to Clean Kitchen Grease Filters

The use of commercial cooking equipment generates grease laden vapors. Commercial grade metal baffle filters should be installed in the kitchen hood above the cooking line to capture this grease before it enters the exhaust system. Grease is highly combustible and poses a fire hazard if allowed to accumulate, so it is important that these filters be cleaned on a regular basis.

When do I clean my Grease Filter?

Filters should be cleaned at least weekly, but this frequency might need to increase if you observe grease accumulations on the filters between cleanings.

Cleaning can be performed by a hired professional contractor or in-house staff members.

How do I Clean My Grease Filter Right the First Time?

If grease filters are cleaned by your staff, consider these steps to help reduce the fire hazard for your business:

  1. Use a hood filter lifting tool to remove the filters from the hood. This device can be purchased for $60 – $75 and is a much safer way to perform this function.
  2. Start by removing the filters in the center and work toward the end sections. Of course, this will need to occur during non-business hours – once the filters are removed from the hood there should be no cooking.
  3. Several acceptable cleaning options exist. Choose the one that works best for you; no matter which option you choose, the filters should be cleaned down to bare metal without any remaining grease residue.
    • Put the grease filters into your dishwasher for cleaning. It might take several cycles to fully clean the filters.
    • Clean the filters using a degreasing agent and pressure washer in an area where the run-off can be collected appropriately.
    • Fill a kitchen sink with a degreasing agent and let the filters soak.
  4. During the filter cleaning process, empty any corner drain pans or grease channels.
  5. When replacing the filters with the lifting tool, make sure to note any directional markings or arrows that may be on the filter to indicate the proper direction. If there are grease holes, those should be placed at the bottom. The filters should be tight fitting, with no gaps, and installed at a 45-degree angle to allow for proper grease drainage.

To learn more about grease controls for your restaurant or bar, read this blog or download this handout to share with employees.

-Sherry Eastburn

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7 thoughts on “5 Steps to Clean Kitchen Grease Filters

  1. Jorge McMillan

    I’m glad you pointed out that grease filters should be cleaned weekly, because in all honesty, I had no idea. I’ll have to really look into this and make sure that I don’t need to do it more frequently than that. This helped a ton and I hope that I can figure this out and do it right.

  2. John

    Wow, I had no idea grease filters may need to be cleaned more than just once a week! For how much of a hassle it seems to be, hiring a professional might not be a bad idea if you have to clean your filters frequently. I’d imagine a professional grease removal company would not only be able to do the job quicker, but also a little more thoroughly since they have more training than an in-house staff member using DIY methods. If I made those sort of decisions at a restaurant, I think it would probably be a good investment on my part to contract out grease removal to professionals.

  3. Janice Smith

    Yes, both for air quality and fire safety, it is burning to keep clean the grease filters of the kitchen. There is no fixed time for its cleaning, because it depends on the cooking style and the intensity of cooking. That means if we cook in a genuine way and for a small period of time of a day, then we may clean it twice a year, else it is better to clean it at least thrice a year. Here the blog has illustrated with some finest cleaning tips. If you think you can do it on your own, then it is absolutely fine, else you should take the help of an expert for its effectual cleaning.

  4. Adam Golightly

    It was interesting to learn about how filters need to be cleaned weekly so that they can work better and it should be cleaned in the dishwasher several times before it can be reattached. I can see how useful it could be for a business to ensure that all of its equipment it sanitary and safe to make food with. Getting some help from a professional could be really useful and make sure that it is cleaned properly.

  5. Chris Pederson

    I’d rather hire someone to clean my grease filter than to put through the dishwasher multiple times. That would cost a lot of water after each load. It’d be faster to just have someone clean it too.


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