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Complete Guide for Cleaning Grease Traps in Commercial Kitchens

Need professional restaurant grease trap cleaning? Call Mahoney Environmental – we’re available 24/7.

Any restaurateur, coffeehouse manager, grocery store owner or supervisor of other commercial food establishment knows the grease trap must be cleaned.

While lifting out the jumble of fats, oils and grease (FOG) is an unpleasant task, the job must be done—and regularly. Cleaning the grease trap is relatively simple, requiring average physical stamina for the few minutes it takes to complete this necessary mission.

To get started, arm yourself with the right gear:

  • Rubber gloves – to protect your hands
  • Nose plug or gas mask – to defend against noxious odors
  • Protective coveralls – to prevent FOGs from soiling your clothing
  • Crowbar and wrench – to lift off the grease trap lid
  • Scraper– to clean the tank
  • Shop vacuum – to suction out the FOGs

Find the grease trap location. Grease traps are located on the food establishment’s premises,either outdoors or indoors. Outdoor traps may be identified by its manhole covering or septic tank design. When a grease traps is situated indoors, it is located in the restaurant’s basement (directly beneath the kitchen), under the kitchen sink or under a metal flashing in the kitchen flooring.

When you’ve spotted the grease trap, determine its physical size.Observing the tank’s capacity gives you a better idea of whether to hire a professional or clean the grease trap yourself. A grease trap between 500 and2500 gallons will require professional equipment and training. Smaller grease traps may be cleaned by permitted restaurant staff.

Work with cool water to allow the fats, oils and grease to float to the top. Wait ten minutes once the hot wastewater has been released from the dishwasher or sink and cools.

Access the notorious fats, oils and greases by carefully prying off the grease tank cover. A delicate and critical component, known as the gasket, can be damaged if you attempt to lift off the cover without precaution.

The crowbar comes in handy at this point, unless the grease trap cover is bolted down. You’ll have an easier time if the grease trap features a molded plastic lid, which readily snaps off.

You’ll be met with a two-inch thick layer of grease sludge. Remove the floating FOGs with a scoop. Once the fats, oils and greases are lifted out of the tank, water and leftover food solids will remain.

A powerful shop vac is useful in removing the residual solids and water. Be sure the automatic dishwasher is turned off and the sinks are not in use to prevent the grease trap from continually filling up while you are working.

The most critical task is complete, up to this point. The next duty is to scrape off the trap’s baffles, sides and lid. Using the shop vac, suction out any solidified grease particles that may be lodged in the recesses of the trap. For a thorough cleaning, utilize the shop vacuum to suck out any lingering FOGs from the grease trap.

Next, refresh the grease trap and free the tank from obnoxious odors with a little elbow grease, a steel pot scrubber, dish soap and tepid water. Thoroughly scrub down the grease trap’s baffles, sides and lid.

Flush out the soap and debris a few times using clean water. You’re left with a sparkling clean grease trap—one you should have every four to six weeks.

Now that the most laborious part of the chore is done, test your handy work. Essentially, you want to ensure the grease trap is free from all traces of FOGs and that blockages do not prevent water from easily draining.From the kitchen sink, drain a gallon of clean water.

The grease trap should allow the water to flow through without impediment. If a blockage exists,contact a licensed plumber to remedy the obstruction. Reinstall the parts of the grease trap, including the baffle and lid.

Properly dispose the collected fats, oils and greases in double-lined garbage bags and at the local dumpster if the quantity of FOGs is small. A well-known tip is to mix the FOGs from the shop vacuum with kitty litter to help solidify the grease particles. Large amounts of grease trap sludge should be disposed of by professional grease trap companies.

As mentioned, grease traps should be cleaned every four to six weeks, at the least. Bacteria additives,which organically break down the waste, may be used to lessen the frequency of cleanings. Beware of using hot water flushes or products featuring solely enzymes—as these products liquefy the FOGs, sending them down the drain and into the municipal sewer lines.

The cost of a professional grease trap cleaning varies and is based on the physical size of the grease trap. Typically, grease traps can be professionally cleaned for $115 to $1040.

When your grease trap is expansive or if you prefer that a professional grease trap cleaning service perform this essential restaurant function, look to the experts at Mahoney Environmental.

As a professional grease trap cleaning company, Mahoney Environmental has served the grease trap maintenance needs of hundreds of various types of businesses, including restaurants of all sizes, school cafeterias, hotels and hospitals.

Schedule regular grease trap cleanings with Mahoney Environmental to ensure your food establishment abides by local ordinances surrounding grease trap maintenance.

Skilled technicians arrive onsite to perform a thorough trap cleaning and, if necessary, a repair. Specialists utilize appropriate tools to unclog difficult-to-reach areas of the grease trap. Full reports and history reports are offered to help you stay on top of your grease trap cleaning schedule.

Mahoney Environmental technicians also ensure the waste from your grease trap is disposed of properly and in accordance with municipal and state regulations.

With over 60 years of dedicated service to the food service industry, Mahoney Environmental is prepared to address any grease trap issues promptly.

Trust the experts at Mahoney Environmental with all your grease trap maintenance needs. Team members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond to your emergency grease trap situation.

Related Articles:
Understanding Your Greases Trap
Difference Between Grease Traps and Grease Interceptors
Restaurant Grease Trap Cleaning FAQs

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