Professional Commercial Hood Cleaners Keep your Restaurant Running

When talking about commercial hoods, the first question asked is what is a commercial hood? Commercial hoods are more durable compared to standard residential range hoods. These hard-working systems are designed to exhaust combustion products, airborne grease, and unpleasant odors from a kitchen that experiences heavy or frequent cooking. Since commercial hoods remove high volumes of grease and smoke/soot, they can pose a fire risk when not maintained properly. Due to the risk factors commercial hoods must only be cleaned by licensed technicians.

How often do you clean a commercial hood?

Many restaurant owners ask this question, which in itself is worrisome because those who operate commercial kitchens should be well-aware of the maintenance schedules for all of their equipment. According to NFPA-96 Standard section 11.4 the “entire exhaust system shall be inspected for grease buildup by a properly trained, qualified, and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and in accordance with Table 11.4.” most restaurants will need to clean their commercial hoods monthly. Some restaurants that do char boiling or wok cooking need to clean the hoods quarterly, moderate volume cooking requires semiannually cleaning and low volume such as churches and camps only require annual cleaning.

Along with asking how often to clean a commercial hood there often is a follow up question of what is “clean.” Restaurants could hire uncertified cleaners, slap a sticker on the hood and think that is adequate. Improper cleanings can lead to fires or other issues related to not properly cleaning or clearing. The quick answer is that it needs to be cleaned down to bare metal. According to NFPA-96 section 11.6.2: “Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.” Most times a visual check will tell when it is time to complete a hood cleaning but there are grease gauges that can also be used.

Questions when hiring a company to clean your commercial hood.

Commercial hood cleaning should be done by professionals, there is a risk of fire and other emergencies when the cleaning is not done properly. When hiring a company to come and clean your hood there are some basic questions that should be asked.

• Does the company understand the national standards and do their procedures meet these standards?

• Are they licensed and certified? A company should be willing to talk about the training of their technicians to ensure confidence with the customer.

• What is the company guarantee policy? Like any other work being completed, the customer should be satisfied with the work and have options if they are not.


Commercial hood cleaning is not something that can be put aside for another day. There are potential hazards and safety risks and this job needs to be completed by a licensed technician who understands the national standards and has procedures that ensure that all these standards are met. Ensure that you are hiring the right company to care for your commercial hood.