Hood filters are an important part of a commercial kitchen ventilation system. When the filters are clogged, the air quality in the kitchen goes down, the air conditioning costs go up, not to mention the fact that clogged filters are extreme fire hazards. Clogged filters are also unsightly. Regular hood filter cleaning is recommended in order to keep the kitchen clean and safe. Regular filter cleaning will also ensure that the entire kitchen ventilation system is working properly and stands the test of time. Below are the steps involved in commercial hood filter cleaning.
1. Remove the Filter
Most hood filters can easily pop or slide out of the hood. Pushing the filters close to the controls and removing the center filter first makes the process much easier. There are also tools specifically designed to remove filters. Investing in a filter lifting tool may be a good idea especially where filter cleaning is a daily or weekly affair. Power to the kitchen should be switched off before removing the filters to safeguard the person removing them from electrical accidents.
2. Soak the Filters
This process is important as it loosens the grease and makes the cleaning process much easier. Filters should be soaked in hot soapy water. Degreasing soap should be added to hot water and the filters added immediately. Hot water works best as opposed to warm or cold water. Some baking soda can also be added to the water for better results. It is important to note that harsh soaps may eventually cause pitting and such soaps should be avoided at all times. The filter should be soaked for at least 10 minutes.
3. Degrease the filters
After soaking, the filters should be cleaned using a non-abrasive scrub. If the filters were too greasy removing them in the soaking water and putting them in a bucket with warm soapy water when cleaning will help a great deal. Bleach should never be used to clean filters. Once the filters are grease-free they should be rinsed in hot water and left to dry.
Hood filters can also be put in the dishwasher. A complete cycle in the dishwasher will get rid of all the grease on the filters. Care has to be taken, however, and the filter should be the only thing in the dishwasher.
4. Reinstall the filters
Reinstalling the filters after cleaning is perhaps the hardest part of commercial hood filter cleaning. Though the work is uncomplicated, the process is tedious and involves a lot of lifting. The process generally involves putting back the filters just the same way the filters were removed from the hood.
Inspecting the filters before putting them back is recommended. Only filters in good working condition should be reinstalled. All damaged filters should be replaced immediately.