Commercial Restaurant/Facility Equipment Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
Every piece of your restaurant equipment should be on a regular cleaning and maintenance program that must be followed routinely. Many of the tasks are fairly simple and will only take a few minutes on a weekly and monthly basis, but that small effort to take care of your cooking equipment can make a huge difference. Your equipment will be safer and more efficient
- Clean your cooking equipment daily.
While it always best practice for optimum maintenance on your cooktop; try to wipe up spills immediately after they happen to prevent burning-on, we recognize that’s not always possible. In the middle of meal service, various crumbs and residue may spend hours on commercial ranges before they’re finally scrubbed or brushed off. Most of the time, routine light cleaning with a non-abrasive pad and solution at the end of the shift or after closing can remove any splatter. Leaving food mess on the cooktop can promote corrosion of the metal, as well as bacterial growth.
- Avoid using caustic, alkaline, or abrasive cleaners.
These types if chemicals can cause you many headaches and damage your equipment. These types of solutions can not only leave a bluish or hazy cast on your shiny metal commercial range, they may also create surface pits or scratches. Even small surface imperfections can become breeding grounds for bacteria and promote corrosion. Caustic solutions include sodium hydroxide (a.k.a. lye), while alkaline ones include borate and ammonia. If your cleaner is gritty, it’s likely too abrasive.
- Don’t clean with steel wool or a scouring pad.
Also in the “too abrasive” category, these harsh scrubbers are even more prone to cause problems for stainless steel commercial ranges. If you find you have a spill or residue that has carbonized on the metal, try using a cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner there are many out there that will suit your needs.
- Everything cleans better warm.
This is true of all cooking equipment, since you’re mostly dealing with grease and other residue that loosens with heating. You should definitely not try to clean your commercial range while it is on or before it has cooled enough to safely touch it, though.
- Empty the grease or crumb tray daily.
Whether your owner’s manual calls it a grease tray or a crumb tray, you should empty this little pan just below the cooktop on a regular basis to keep what it catches from building up. If too much residue collects there, it can cause your unit to smoke and may even create a fire hazard. When your commercial range has cooled completely, remove the tray and empty any crumbs into a heat-proof trash can. Rinse the tray in the dish sink and hand wash it, following the rule above about avoiding caustic, alkaline, or abrasive cleaners.
- Reseason cast iron grates at least once a year.
Just like your grandmother’s cast iron skillet, the cast iron grates most commercial range manufacturers use need to be reseasoned at least once a year. If you start to notice the carbonized seasoning on a grate is flaking off and particularly if you see rust, it’s definitely time to reseason. You can either boil or scrub the outer layer off. Coat the grate lightly with cooking oil and either set all your burners on a low temperature or put the grates in a low-temperature oven for a couple hours. That should produce a hard, non-stick surface that will last for quite a while under normal usage.
Allow follow Your Commercial Equipment’s Manual for Cleaning and Maintenance. You can Always Google the Manufacturer and Model for information. Cleaning Resource Center has qualified Technicians to effectively clean Commercial Restaurant/ facility kitchen equipment.
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