ULTIMATE KITCHEN CLEANING GUIDE
Cleanliness is a vital part of any catering business, and never more so than in the kitchen. Only by following commercial kitchen cleaning procedures can you maintain the highest level of hygiene.
In any commercial kitchen, canteen or catering environment, grease and dirt naturally build up over time, covering surfaces and cooking equipment. This not only presents health risks but can be a fire hazard too. Firstly, save yourself time and effort in cleaning practices by starting out with premium commercial kitchen cleaning supplies. Then, like most things in life, the best approach to a big job is to divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks.
COLOUR CODED CLEANING
Colour coded cleaning includes all kind of commercial cleaning equipment including chopping boards, mops and cloths. The ultimate aim is to avoid cross-contamination across each area of a kitchen and to stop the spread of germs which cause disease. It’s vital that raw and cooked food is separated, for example, as this is one of the main causes of food poisoning.
Article: For an in-depth look at the benefits of colour coded cleaning and how to implement the system, read our guide on What is Colour Coded Cleaning?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN CERTAIN KITCHEN ITEMS?
- Surface and utensils: after each use
- Ovens: Weekly
- Sinks: between uses, and at various points throughout the day with frequent use
- Fridges and Freezers: Monthly
- Bins: Weekly
- Ventilation systems: Every 3 months to 1 year (depending on use)
- As these are only guidelines, there may be times when appliances or areas need to be cleaned more often than the recommended frequency.
HOW ARE KITCHEN ITEMS DEFINED WITHIN THE CATERING INDUSTRY?
‘Moveable equipment’ is any item that comes into direct contact with food, Examples of this include:
Chopping boards, trays, containers, spatulas, serving spoons, any utensils used during cooking.
Non-food contact items include: work surfaces, door handles, walls, taps and wash basins.
HOW TO CLEAN A SINK
Though it may not seem obvious to the naked eye, a kitchen sink can soon become a hotbed of germs as it is constantly exposed to dirt and kitchen waste, so it benefits massively from regular cleaning.
- Sinks can be thoroughly sanitised by using commercial cleaning supplies such as a dual purpose cleaner and disinfectant
- Heavy grease and oil can easily clog sinks in kitchens, and so it is now a requirement for catering companies to keep these deposits under control. A Greasepak unit is perfectly designed for this purpose, complying with laws such as BS EN1825. This is essential for removing FOGS (fat, oil and grease) as part of new laws applicable to any commercial catering business. Keeping your drains and piping hygienically clean and smelling neutral aren’t the only benefits from using the GreasePak module. The beneficial bacteria contained within each dose continue to improve water quality downstream, helping to break down waste more effectively and keep the pipe works running efficiently
HOW TO CLEAN A DISHWASHER
To provide thorough sanitation, dishwashers must reach a temperature of 82.2 degrees Celsius. Always separate equipment in the dishwasher unless you’re able to provide adequate heat. It’s also a good idea to pre-wash dishes, cutlery and similar utensils before placing them in the dishwasher. This helps to remove the tougher, ‘baked-on’ stains before they get a regular clean in the dishwasher. The other problem with leftover food on dishes is that this can clog your filter and strongly affect your dishwasher’s performance, often resulting in ‘cloudy’ results on your tableware. If your tableware is still coming out of the dishwasher with visible marks and stains after the filter has been cleaned, then the dishwasher itself may need a clean.
- Hard water makes it difficult for your dishwasher to run effectively, but water softening salts can help you overcome this problem
- Use a multipurpose cleaner to thoroughly clean your dishwasher, including the door seals. Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub all areas and wipe down with a damp cloth
- When your dishwasher finishes each load, leave the door open for 10-15 minutes to help reduce humidity and keep it clean inside
HOW TO CLEAN HARD SURFACES
Hard surfaces are common places for bacteria and germs to live. Cracks on any surface can trap food crumbs and excess water, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive on. Cracks in utensils can also collect food debris and excess moisture in the same way and so it’s important to make sure they are dried out properly before use. Use a deep cleansing, sanitizing spray to clean your surfaces and for a streak-free finish, allow the surface to dry naturally in the air. You shouldn’t need to dry buff any hard surface, but if you still experience streaking, try using less of the product next time around.
- To ensure all areas of the surface have been cleaned, start by removing storage items and loose debris
- Always wear gloves and wash your hands after disinfecting surfaces
- Hold your spray bottle at least 8 inches away from the surface to avoid overuse
- For a deeper clean, allow the spray to sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes
- In case of streaking, wash smaller sections of the surface in turn. Wipe excess moisture with blue roll for a streak-free finish
- To avoid damaging surfaces, remember to use only non-abrasive scouring and scrubbing pads
- After cleaning kitchen surfaces, dishcloths should be laundered at a suitably high temperature of at least 60 degrees. Cloths should be rinsed in warm water and stored in a bowl of disinfectant between uses
- Its best not to leave food stains whilst cooking, clean them as soon as possible after the incident has occurred
HOW TO CLEAN AN OVEN
Oven cleaning shouldn’t have to involve excessive physical effort with help from powerful commercial cleaning supplies and some handy cleaning tips. Once your oven starts to smoke, it’s an indication that it requires a good clean. Always use an approved cleaning solution and be sure to follow company procedures. It’s also important to use gloves for this task to protect your skin from the cleaning chemicals, and to follow any safety precautions as set out by your company and the oven manufacturer.
Oven cleaning products will help speed up the process and break down the tougher, baked-on stains. After using a powerful oven cleaner, it requires far less effort to finish the cleaning task and get your oven back to its brilliant best.
- The first thing to do is to allow good ventilation via an open window or ensure your extractor fan is switched on. Use paper towels to cover the floor area just underneath the oven door. Once you begin to apply cleaning solutions, the liquid can easily drip down onto the floor and create more mess
- Remove your oven shelves as these can be cleaned separately. Soak the shelves in a basin filled with warm water and industrial strength washing up liquid. This will be enough to loosen any dirt so you can clean your shelves thoroughly
- Inside the oven, loosen any residue and tough stains with a blunt implement such as a spoon. This helps any chemical cleaning formulas to work more effectively and produce the best results. Now you can apply your chosen cleaning formula, taking care not to spray the heating elements or the fan. You may find it easier to apply the formula into the corners by using a paintbrush as an applicator, to ensure each area has substantial cover.
- Leave the formula to work for as long as possible, preferably overnight. (Always follow the instructions on the container, which may suggest leaving the solution for a shorter period). Use a hard wearing scrubbing sponge, or a dishwasher brush to bring out all the dirt and grease. Finally, use a microfibre cloth to wipe the appliance clean of any residue. These cloths don’t leave any fibres behind which can burn in the oven when it is next used. Reassemble the oven shelves once they are clean and dry to enjoy a fresh, smokeless oven.
HOW TO CLEAN A FRIDGE
Before you begin, check any company procedures in place which must take priority.
- Once your fridge has been emptied, check for any spillages or debris which can be removed with a non-abrasive sponge
- Remove any shelves or drawers which can be cleaned in a wash basin full of warm, soapy water. Rinse these off and allow them to air dry
- Spray every part of the fridge with a multi-purpose cleaner. Wipe down the walls, seams and door seals for best results. Wipe away the remaining solution with a non-abrasive sponge for a spotless fridge
- If you turned off the fridge to save power, now’s the time to turn it on again. Clean the exterior with a damp cloth.
- Clean and disinfect a fridge door handle using disinfectant or antibacterial wipes and allow to air dry.
HOW TO CLEAN A MICROWAVE
You can loosen the stains inside your microwave by placing a microwave-safe bowl inside filled with roughly two cups of water. After the microwave has been on full power for 2-3 minutes, use a multi-purpose cleaning spray inside and wipe the inside clean with a dry cloth.
HOW TO CLEAN FLOORS
A sparkling floor creates a long lasting positive impression on your guests. Taking good care of your floors not only makes them stand out and add to overall presentation but also improves air quality. With an effective cleaning operation in place, there should be no need to use air fresheners to mask unpleasant odours. Ultimately, a freshly cleaned area should smell neutral. Machines naturally cut the time in half but sometimes there’s no substitute for a bit of elbow grease, especially in those hard-to-reach places. Only by using a professional floor cleaner you’ll see instant results, and with each use lets you maintain that healthy, natural shine of a freshly polished floor.
- Use a mop to clean in the gaps between appliances. For those tricky corner spots, you can even use a cloth on the mop handle to guarantee you’ve covered all areas.
- Bathroom floors are especially important to maintain. It’s best to concentrate on cleaner areas first, finishing with most critical areas such as the toilet. By cleaning in this way, you’ll minimise the spread of germs and make sure that the toilet itself is the last item to be cleaned, and then discard the cloth or cleaning tool
Tip: A simple yet effective tip for floors is to clean them last of all. This will save you repeating work as debris falls from surfaces, ceilings and walls only to make the floor dirty again.
HOW TO CLEAN GREASE OFF A KITCHEN FLOOR
The best way to remove grease from the kitchen floor is to firstly remove any excess layers using paper towels. Then, apply an industrial kitchen degreaser to the affected area and allow it to work for around ten minutes, even more if you have time. Be careful not to mix the solution with bleach or other cleaning chemicals. The formula targets and breaks down individual grease molecules, so it can be lifted easily from the surface. Use a disposable cloth to remove the remaining residue, and finally mop the floor with soapy water to ensure it is hygienically clean.
Carpeted floors need vacuum power to lift hidden dirt and dust which falls deep and clings to the carpet fibres. With a vacuum cleaner, you can also clean upholstery, curtains, and other soft furnishings with the softer plastic hose end.
Carpet cleaning machines, also known as ‘spot washers’ can cost less than many vacuum cleaners and work excellently when removing individual stains. Carpet cleaners also give you a deeper, more thorough clean and reduces the amount of allergens which collect in the carpet fibres.
COMMON AREAS OFTEN FORGOTTEN
These areas are often forgotten during cleaning:
- High shelves
- Drains and gullies
- The space in between walls and equipment
- Underneath appliances: cookers/fridges/freezers and other surfaces
- Seals and fridge doors/shelves
- Filters and plenum chambers
- Ventilation systems
‘Touch points’ are areas which are touched frequently, and are considered to be under emphasized cleaning areas in restrooms and toilets. Wherever a customer uses a latch, turns a light on or opens a door, there is always a risk of spreading germs and disease. These areas could harbour more bacteria than a toilet bowl in some cases and yet can still be ignored. In the catering business, some of the most common touch points include toilet flushes, light switches, faucets, hand dryer buttons and soap or towel dispensers.
To clean these areas effectively:
- Spray surfaces with disinfectant
- Leave the chemicals to get to work for a few minutes. (Always read the instructions for further information).
- After a few minutes, wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth.
An autodose unit is one of the best ways to save on the cost of your cleaning chemicals, whilst increasing safety. It doses pre-measured amounts of chemicals which eliminates the problem of waste through overdosing. It also houses the container in a locked cabinet, to keep it save from accidental misuse. The dispensing units are available in three models, designed for accurate chemical dosing into the following containers:
- Spray Bottles
ESSENTIAL CLEANING TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
The most essential items that you’ll need are:
- A mop bucket
- Dustpan and Brush set
- Pulse mop
- Microfibre cloths
- Sponge scourers
- Industrial cleaning gloves
- A Multipurpose cleaner
- A floor cleaner
- Depending on the size of the area which you are cleaning, you may need to consider purchasing a high level dusting kit to cover those hard-to-reach places
- grout brush to remove harder stains and loose debris on the floor before cleaning it thoroughly.
- A pelican pump will help you to maintain a consistent dosage of cleaning solutions and formulas to help save money by reducing wastage.
- Grill cleaning is easy if you have the right tools. A simple pumice grill stone is perfect for this purpose, removing grease and baked-on stains with ease.
- Mechanical brush sweepers rapidly speed up the process, using non-marking rubber blades to sweep up, and wheels to glide across the floor.