Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices: Costs, How To and How Often
Summary: Cost to Clean a Kitchen Hood System
Restaurant kitchen hood cleaning typically costs between $100 and $200 per session for routine maintenance cleaning of smaller systems, while deep cleanings of large or complex systems can range from $500 to $1,500 or more.
Table of Contents
- Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices
- Restaurant Hood Cleaning Cost Examples
- Methods of Restaurant Hood Cleaning
- Video: How to Clean a Kitchen Exhaust Hood
- Free Hood Cleaning Estimates
Most restaurant fires originate on cooking appliances and spread into the kitchen's exhaust system, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If the exhaust system is full of grease, that's fuel for the fire.
Having your kitchen exhaust system inspected and cleaned is not only a good idea; it's required by law. The NFPA mandates regular inspections and cleanings, as do state and local fire codes. Inspection frequency, as described by NFPA guidelines, must be:
- Monthly for systems serving solid fuel cooking operations
- Quarterly for systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or wok cooking
- Semiannually for systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations
- Annually for systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses or senior centers
The inspection must include an examination of the entire exhaust system for grease buildup, and it must be performed by a someone who is properly trained and qualified. Most cities and towns require an official certification. A valid certification of inspection must always be kept on the premises to present to fire inspectors as requested.
The NFPA does not directly mandate the frequency of cleaning; that depends on the results of the inspection and local requirements. If the inspector deems that the system is contaminated with grease, a professional cleaning is required by a certified professional. After the cleaning, a certificate showing the date of the cleaning and the areas cleaned must be kept on hand. In some cases, only a portion of the system requires cleaning.
Inspectors use guidelines created by the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA) to determine whether a cleaning is required. They measure the grease for depths ranging from zero to 0.125 inches, according to IKECA. Inspectors give one of four inspection grades: no grease buildup; acceptable grease buildup; cleaning required; and critical depth.
Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices
- Regular Maintenance Cleaning: For routine cleaning services performed on a regular basis (e.g., monthly, quarterly), costs typically range from $100 to $200 per cleaning session for smaller kitchen hoods. Larger or more complex systems may cost more.
- Deep Cleaning: Deep cleaning services, which involve more extensive cleaning and are usually performed less frequently (e.g., semi-annually or annually), can range from $500 to $1,500 or more, depending on the size and condition of the system.
- Additional Services: If your kitchen exhaust system requires additional services, such as the cleaning of exhaust ductwork, rooftop fans, or fire suppression system inspections, these services can incur extra costs, which vary based on the extent of the work.
- Frequency: The cost of kitchen hood cleaning can be influenced by how often it is performed. More frequent cleanings may cost less per session compared to infrequent deep cleanings.
- Location and Local Rates: Prices can vary based on your geographical location and the local rates charged by cleaning companies. Larger metropolitan areas or regions with a higher cost of living may have higher cleaning rates.
- Extent of Grease Buildup: If your kitchen hood has significant grease buildup, it may require more time and effort to clean, which can result in higher costs.
- Compliance and Certification: Depending on local regulations and requirements, some cleaning companies may need to adhere to specific standards and certifications, which can impact pricing.
Restaurant Hood Cleaning Cost Examples
Here are some real-world examples of what restaurants have paid for professional kitchen hood cleaning services:
- A small cafe paid $200 to have their one hood system cleaned twice a year. This covered the exhaust hood and ductwork cleaning.
- A fast food restaurant paid $375 for quarterly cleaning of their two hood systems. This maintained grease compliance for their high volume kitchen.
- A large restaurant chain contracted for $1500 per month to have the 10 hood systems in one location cleaned monthly. Their insurance required regular professional cleaning.
- An upscale restaurant paid $900 for a deep cleaning of their custom stainless steel hood system and ansul fire suppression system yearly. This met code requirements.
- A university dining hall paid $2200 to have their huge kitchen hood system cleaned over winter break. At over 15 feet long, it required scaffolding and special equipment.
- A pizza parlor paid a service $175 for a one-time cleaning after their hood failed an inspection. They were able to pass re-inspection after the thorough professional cleaning.
Prices ranged from $175 for small cafes up to thousands for large restaurants depending on the number of hoods, kitchen size, and frequency of required cleaning.
Different Methods of Restaurant Hood Cleaning:
- Hand Scrubbing and Scraping:
- Involves manually scrubbing and scraping off grease and residue from the interior surfaces of the hood, including the hood canopy, filters, and ductwork.
- This method is labor-intensive and is often used for routine maintenance cleaning.
- Pressure Washing:
- Uses high-pressure hot water or steam to clean and remove grease and residue from the hood and ductwork.
- Effective for removing heavy grease buildup.
- Often used in combination with other cleaning methods.
- Chemical Cleaning:
- Involves the use of specialized degreasers and cleaning agents to break down and remove grease and grime.
- Chemicals are applied to surfaces, allowed to penetrate, and then washed off.
- Effective for cleaning surfaces that may be difficult to access manually.
- Steam Cleaning:
- Utilizes high-temperature steam to dissolve and remove grease and contaminants.
- Environmentally friendly as it often requires minimal or no chemicals.
- Effective for cleaning kitchen hoods, filters, and ducts.
- Scraping and Soaking:
- Involves scraping off heavy grease deposits and then soaking removable components like filters in a cleaning solution to break down remaining grease.
- Commonly used for filter cleaning.
- Foaming Agents:
- Some cleaning companies use foaming agents that expand to cling to surfaces, helping to break down and lift away grease.
- Can be effective for thorough cleaning.
- Rotary Brush Cleaning:
- Uses rotating brushes or augers to mechanically scrub and remove grease from ductwork and components.
- Effective for cleaning built-up grease in ducts.
- Ultrasonic Cleaning:
- Involves immersing filters and other components in a tank of water and using ultrasonic waves to agitate and dislodge grease and contaminants.
- Provides a deep and thorough clean for filter elements.
- Combination Cleaning:
- Often, a combination of methods is used to achieve the best results. For example, pressure washing may be followed by hand scrubbing and chemical cleaning for stubborn residues.
Video: How to Clean a Kitchen Exhaust Hood | Start to Finish
Watch this video to find out how to clean your commercial exhaust hood.
- The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association
- National Fire Protection Association - Restaurant Fire Protection Basics
Author: Ashley Smith
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