Your kitchen hoods may need cleaning depending on the size of your hoods and frequency of your cooking. According to NFPA-96 Standard, you can clean your kitchen hoods monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Your kitchen hood cleaning company will help you determine your schedule and you should strictly follow it.

Generally, you may hear your cleaning company say this, “Every month we will perform hand scraping”, or “Every three months we need to do pressure washing.” Have you ever wondered what they are talking about?

For a quick bit of information, hand scraping and pressure washing are the two methods of kitchen hood cleaning in general. What are the differences between the two? Which is the better cleaning method?

Hand Scraping

Scraping the ductwork and exhaust hood is primarily done on a regular basis when cleaning a system that employs a solid fuel cooking. This method is more economical and is extremely effective when done properly. It’s accomplished by a person simply scraping the accumulation of grease from the walls of the exhaust system. Although scraping is an effective method of removing grease for the exhaust system, it’s not the most thorough method because there are certain areas which are unreachable due to human’s limit. In regards to this, inaccessible areas should be documented. This includes access panels that may be installed, but are perhaps not functional.

Pressure washing or steam cleaning

This method is the alternative to hand scraping. Though the down point of this method is that it is more costly and time-consuming since it requires considerable preparatory work to control wastewater and more expensive equipment is needed. However, this method will clean ductwork down to “bare metal” which is the recommendation of the NFPA-96 Standard. This method delivers impressive results and provides an absolute thorough cleaning of every corner of the exhaust system. Steam cleaners tend to move the grease further into the grease ductwork, which can cause massive greases accumulations in areas of the ductwork between the hood and fan on the roof. Companies using hot water methods should be using a caustic chemical degreaser to break down grease so that the buildup in inaccessible areas becomes removed by flushing the system with both hot water and caustic degreaser agents.

Perhaps, the best advantage of pressure washing is that hot steam vapor is a natural sanitizing and deodorizing agent without any chemical odor. When the vapor steam penetrates surfaces, it destroys mold spores, germs, viruses, dust mites, and bacteria.

Depending on your usage, your kitchen cleaning contractor may recommend doing both to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance of your kitchen systems. For example, they may recommend scraping once a month and pressure washing at least once in three months. What is important is that the end result should be in compliance with the NFPA-96 Standard. In this way, you can be sure that your restaurant will stay in the food business. Upon completion of the cleaning, your kitchen hood cleaning company will issue a sticker which you can show to the authorities during the inspection.