Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning:
Kitchen Exhaust and Hood Cleaning Blog

We are Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning - Your commercial restaurant kitchen exhaust and hood cleaning blog to help local restaurants with all their commercial exhaust and rooftop cleaning.

Kitchen Hood Cleaning Service Near Me

Having a clean, well-maintained kitchen hood system is essential for any commercial kitchen. As a result, regular cleaning of your kitchen exhaust hoods, ducts, and other components is crucial for safety, health code compliance, fire prevention, and proper kitchen operation.
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Why Professional Kitchen Hood Cleaning is Essential

Commercial kitchen hoods and exhaust systems continuously accumulate grease, oil, and particulate matter from cooking. Over time, this buildup becomes highly flammable, making it a fire hazard.

Kitchen exhaust cleaning services provide deep cleaning of the hoods, ducts, fans, and other areas to remove this dangerous residue and help prevent kitchen fires.

As a result, regular professional kitchen hood cleaning services greatly reduce your fire risk by removing grease before it can ignite.
A professional cleaning a kitchen restaurant hood with a rag and optimal chemicals for the best cleanliness.
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Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System Components that Require Cleaning

Commercial kitchen hoods and exhaust systems have multiple parts that require regular deep cleaning. Professional services carefully clean all of these components:
Image of commercial kitchen exhaust systems being put back together after a cleaning.


Stainless steel hoods accumulate oily residue from cooking vapors that rises and condenses on the metal. Regular cleaning prevents grease buildup inside the hood.


Baffle filters, mesh filters, and other grease filters trap cooking particles but get extremely dirty with grease drippings, requiring regular maintenance.


Kitchen exhaust ducts that stretch from the hoods to the rooftop fans quickly coat with sticky grease, making duct cleaning crucial.


Roof exhaust fans push cooking pollutants outside, but the fan blades and motors get covered in grease, requiring periodic cleaning.

Fire Suppression System

Wet chemical fire suppression nozzles clog over time and must be cleaned for proper operation in a fire.


To ensure optimal performance, kitchen exhaust cleanout doors require cleaning to remove built-up residue around the doors, and any leaking seals should be promptly replaced.

Hood Lights

Heat and grease drippings can quickly dirty exhaust hood light covers and lenses, but a professional cleaning service can effectively restore full illumination, ensuring a well-lit and safe kitchen environment.


Grease filters must be cleaned regularly and replaced periodically to maintain airflow.

By thoroughly cleaning all components, professional kitchen exhaust cleaning services keep the entire system operating safely and efficiently.

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Commercial Kitchen Hood Cleaning Frequency

To reap the many benefits of professional kitchen exhaust cleaning, regular service is required. But how often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned?

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Image of a professional performing commercial kitchen cleaning on a commercial cleaning ventilation system.

The frequency depends on the type of cooking and kitchen usage. Industry standards recommend:

  • Light-duty kitchens – Hood cleaning every 6 months. Examples are sandwich shops, cafes, and pizza kitchens.

  • Medium-duty kitchens – Hood cleaning every 3 months. Examples are diners, family restaurants, and bars.

  • Heavy-duty kitchens – Hood cleaning monthly. Examples are BBQ joints, steakhouse grills, and high-volume establishments.

However, local laws may require more frequent cleaning. Some areas mandate quarterly or even monthly professional kitchen hood cleaning. Operations with 24-hour cooking may also need more frequent services.

DIY vs Professional Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Is it possible to clean your commercial kitchen hoods yourself instead of hiring professional services? In some cases, minor do-it-yourself cleaning may be sufficient. But for most restaurants, professional deep cleaning services are strongly recommended for several reasons:
Superior Cleaning - Professional services use industrial strength degreasers and powerful pressure washing for superior grease removal you cannot match at home. Thorough cleaning improves safety and compliance.

Hard-to-Reach Areas - The full exhaust system has many hidden areas only accessible to professionals with lifts and proper equipment. Ducts, fans, and vents require cleaning you cannot reach.

Time Savings - Completely cleaning a commercial kitchen hood system takes professional teams multiple hours. DIY attempts often end up half-finished after giving up.

Proper Disposal - Professionals will safely dispose of all collected grease, filters, and residues after cleaning. DIY efforts can leave you dealing with hazardous waste.

Liability Protection - Professional services assume all liability for potential risks like falls. You avoid this liability when hiring insured experts.

Equipment Investment - Proper pressure washers, degreasers, lifts, and tools can cost thousands to DIY. Professionals provide their own gear.

Cost - Considering the equipment, disposal fees, risks, and time involved, professional services often end up more economical than DIY attempts.

What to Expect During Professional Kitchen Hood Cleaning

When you hire professional kitchen exhaust cleaning services, what exactly should you expect? Reputable companies follow strict protocols using top equipment to deliver superior results. You might also want to check out local citations and get your business listed today.

Here is a general overview of the commercial kitchen hood cleaning process:

The process begins with an inspection to identify the problem areas that need special attention, and photographs are taken before the cleaning process commences to provide a comprehensive record of the initial condition.

The kitchen is prepared by covering sensitive equipment and areas below the hoods.

Filters are methodically removed and degreased, while mesh filters undergo a thorough cleaning process in commercial washers, and disposable filters are promptly replaced.

Trays are strategically positioned beneath hoods to capture any water and debris, while plastic materials are affixed below hard-to-reach areas.

The hood interior is hand scrubbed prior to pressure washing for optimal grease removal.

Pressure washers are utilized on hoods and ducts, where temperatures soar to 140+ degrees, ensuring a more effective and thorough cleaning process.

Degreasers and commercial detergents break down stubborn residues during pressure washing.

The roof exhaust unit is disassembled so fan blades, motors, and components can be reached.

All-access panels are opened to wash duct interiors, cleanouts, and other hidden areas.

After replacing filters, reinstallation is carried out along with testing suppression nozzles, lubricating motors, and repairing lights to ensure the kitchen ventilation system operates at its best.

Once dry, the entire system is inspected again, and any remaining problem areas are addressed.

Upon finishing the task, photos are taken to document the completed job, and if requested, certificates of cleaning can be provided to demonstrate the thoroughness of the service

Questions to Ask Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners

Cleaning kitchen hoods and exhaust systems requires specialized expertise, equipment, and techniques. When choosing professional services, ask these key questions:

Are you fully licensed, bonded, and insured for liability and worker injuries?

Do you clean entire exhaust systems including ducts, fans, vents, and suppressed nozzles?

What methods, equipment, and chemicals do you use?

How hot does your pressure washer heat water for degreasing?

How do you access hard-to-reach areas of the exhaust system?

How will you dispose of collected grease and waste products?

Do you reinstall filters, lubricate fan motors, and make other repairs?

Do you take before-and-after photos to document your work?

Can you provide customer references and samples of your work?

What is your availability to accommodate night or weekend cleanings?

Do you offer discounts for new or regular customers?

Can you provide a no-obligation quote?

Avoid any companies that pressure you into immediate service or provide vague answers.

The right kitchen exhaust cleaning service welcomes any questions.
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A clean kitchen exhaust inside of a home kitchen.

Signs it's Time for Professional Kitchen Hood Cleaning

It's easy to overlook the gradual buildup of grease and residue in your kitchen's exhaust system. But paying attention to certain signs can indicate when it's time for professional cleaning services.

Reduced Airflow - If your exhaust fans seem to be running constantly but smoke, steam, and odors still aren't properly venting, restricted airflow from grease buildup could be the culprit.

Obvious Dirtiness - Take a close visual inspection of your hoods, vents, ducts, and fans. Dark oily residue or extensive dirt indicates a need for a thorough deep cleaning.

Kitchen Odors - Smelling cooking odors in the dining area or rest of the restaurant may mean the exhaust system isn't effectively removing smoke and gases.

Excessive Dust and Debris - Pots, pans, and utensils quickly becoming coated, and air seems hazy, when your exhaust isn't trapping particles properly.

Fire Inspection Warnings - If a fire inspector notices your kitchen exhaust system needs cleaning, don't ignore their professional recommendation and address the issue promptly.

Pest Infestations - Kitchen exhaust components choked with grease provide an attractive environment for cockroaches, rats, and other pests.

Slow Drainage - Grease and residue buildup can clog kitchen sinks and floor drains. A major factor is often a faulty exhaust not adequately keeping grease airborne.

Kitchen Lights Stay Dirty - If your hood lights seem to get dirty again almost immediately after cleaning, it indicates they need protection from ongoing exhaust issues.

Don't wait until the next scheduled cleaning or inspection. If you notice any signs of excess buildup, contact professional services right away to get your kitchen exhaust system thoroughly cleaned.

Benefits of a Well-Maintained Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System

Consistent professional kitchen hood cleaning services provide tremendous benefits that directly impact your restaurant's success, including:

Fire Prevention – Regular exhaust cleaning greatly reduces the chance of dangerous kitchen fires by removing flammable grease buildup.

Code Compliance – Proper maintenance ensures your kitchen meets local fire, health, and safety codes for continued licensing.

Insurance Savings – Documented professional cleaning shows insurers you minimize fire risks, potentially lowering premiums.

Improved Sanitation – Eliminating grease residue denies bacteria places to spread and grow, improving overall kitchen cleanliness.

Enhanced Safety – Clean exhaust and hood components like lights, fire suppression, and automatic shut-offs will function properly when needed.

Better Indoor Air Quality – Extracting and eliminating gases, smoke, and odors protects the health of kitchen staff and dining patrons.

Operational Efficiency – A properly cleaned system vents smoke, steam, and vapors outside instead of spreading them around the kitchen.

Confidence During Inspections – You ace health inspections when hoods, filters, and ducts are clean and passes for fire suppression systems are current.

Kitchen Visibility – Clean hood filters and lights maximize visibility under hoods so chefs can see the food clearly while cooking.

Pest Deterrence – Grease and dirt attract pests, while clean surfaces eliminate their habitat and food sources from your kitchen.

Don't compromise on any of these benefits due to lack of proper maintenance. Consistent professional service ensures a compliant, safe kitchen and quality dining experience. As well as keeping your kitchen clean and safe you should look into having a CRM Customer Relationship Management tool for your business.

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Stay up to date with our blog all about kitchen exhaust and hood cleaning for commercial restaurants in Ontario Canada.

What is commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning for restaurants?

Restaurants need a service that is both important and revolutionary known as commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning. This service is painstakingly created to maintain a clean, safe, and efficient working environment inside the kitchen.

Restaurant kitchens, which are considered to be the "culinary heart" of any company, put in a lot of hard work to ensure that customers get mouthwatering meals.

However, this unrelenting culinary expertise often results in a trail of oil, filth, and potentially harmful particles being left in the exhaust system.

This is when Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning comes in to save the day, acting as a culinary guardian angel to eradicate these potentially harmful residues in a careful and methodical manner.

This service not only reduces the possibility of fatal grease fires by applying cutting-edge technology and experienced personnel, but it also improves air quality, maximizes the effectiveness of ventilation, and encourages the creation of a better working environment for both employees and consumers.

Investing in Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning is not just a decision; it is an investment in the safety, reputation, and long-term success of every restaurant, as it offers a harmonic marriage of culinary greatness and rigorous hygienic standards.

This is because it ensures that every restaurant will meet the highest possible requirements for both cleanliness and culinary quality.

What is NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) stands as the vanguard of fire safety regulations, guiding establishments towards safeguarding lives and assets.

Within this framework, restaurants emerge as critical spaces that demand unwavering attention to safety measures. Among these, the kitchen exhaust system plays a pivotal role, acting as the unsung hero that silently protects against the lurking threat of devastating fires.

Regular cleaning of the kitchen exhaust system isn't merely a suggested routine; it is an absolute necessity to ensure the continuous harmony of a bustling restaurant. As the savory aroma of delectable cuisines dances through the air, so too do airborne grease, oil, and grime find their way into the ductwork.

Over time, this buildup transforms into a combustible hazard, ready to ignite at the slightest provocation. Yet, with diligent and routine cleaning, restaurants create an armor against potential disasters.

Embracing NFPA's standards, they not only guarantee a safe haven for patrons and staff but also preserve the very essence of their culinary dreams, allowing flavors to thrive unburdened by the ominous specter of fire.

FAQs About Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

  • What is kitchen exhaust cleaning?

    Kitchen exhaust cleaning involves cleaning the entire kitchen hood exhaust system to remove grease buildup and other contaminants. This includes cleaning the hood, grease filters, fan, and ductwork. Regular cleaning helps prevent grease fires, improves ventilation, and complies with fire codes. Professional cleaning services use degreasers and power washing equipment to thoroughly clean all components.


  • How to clean a kitchen exhaust hood?

    • Remove the grease filters and wash them in a degreaser or dishwasher.

    • Clean the hood interior using a degreaser and a scrub brush or pad. Pay close attention to the crevices and vents.

    • Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely before replacing filters.

    • Wipe down the exterior of the hood with a degreasing cleaner.

    • For stubborn grease, a steam cleaner may be required. Always check the hood manufacturer’s care instructions first.

  • How to clean kitchen exhaust fan filter?

    • Remove the filter by releasing the clips or screws holding it in place.

    • Soak the filter in hot water and degreaser solution. Allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes.

    • Rinse thoroughly under hot running water.

    • Allow filter to dry completely before reinstalling the fan.

    • Replace filters every 3-6 months, or more often if very greasy.


  • What are the kitchen exhaust cleaning requirements?

    • Residential codes require cleaning when grease is visibly accumulating, typically every 2-3 months with frequent cooking.

    • All accessible surfaces must be cleaned including the hood, filters, fans, walls, ducts, and rooftop exhaust units.

    • Ensure any companies hired are properly certified and follow applicable codes.

    • Maintaining records of cleanings may be required for review by inspectors.

    • Regular cleanings prevent grease fires, extend equipment life, improve air quality, and comply with fire codes.


  • Should I shut down the kitchen during cleaning?

    You can opt to close, but reputable companies are accustomed to working around active cooking. Areas underneath and downwind are covered to contain the mess. Kitchen disruptions are minimal.

  • What if some areas seem untouched after cleaning?

    Before-and-after photos, along with your visual inspection, ensure all areas were properly cleaned. However, stubborn grease stains or deposits often get revealed underneath removed layers.

  • How can I find qualified local exhaust cleaning services?

    Search “commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning near me.” Look for licensed companies experienced with restaurants. Check online reviews. Call 2-3 providers for quotes to compare.

  • How often must the exhaust system be cleaned?

    Local laws dictate minimum cleaning frequency, such as quarterly or every 6 months. However, schedule cleanings based on your kitchen’s usage and visible buildup. High-volume cooking may need monthly cleaning.

  • What methods do professional services use?

    Expect degreasing solutions, commercial detergents, heated pressure washing, hand scrubbing, and industrial vacuuming for a deep clean. Reputable companies use only industry-approved, environmentally-safe products.

  • Should ducts and fans be cleaned too?

    Yes, grease sticks to all exhaust components. Thorough cleaning includes ducts, fans, vents, cleanouts, and any other hidden areas accessible to professionals. DIY cleaners often miss these spots.

  • How long does professional kitchen exhaust cleaning take?

    For a typical restaurant, expect 3-6 hours for complete cleaning. Larger kitchens or neglected systems may take longer. The work is done in stages with proper preparation and dry time.

  • What questions should I ask potential cleaners?

    Ask about their specific experience, equipment, personnel training, cleaning methods, liability insurance, and guarantees. Get references from past restaurant clients.

  • What is the cost for commercial kitchen exhaust cleaning?

    Pricing depends on the hoods’ size, exhaust length, and degree of buildup. Expect to invest $500 to $2000+ for thorough cleaning of an average restaurant system.

  • Is it safe to operate cooking equipment during cleaning?

    Yes, reputable providers contain any water and debris from the process. Kitchens can remain open, though some temporary prep relocation directly underneath may be needed.

    Regular professional kitchen hood and exhaust cleaning provides tremendous benefits for your commercial cooking operation. Contacting and partnering with qualified service provider minimizes disruption while ensuring safe, compliant, and efficient kitchen ventilation.