Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices: Costs, How To and How Often

Karen Lawes

Written by: Karen Lawes Maguire

Karen is the founder and CEO of, a leading cleaning industry website. With 10+ years experience, she's an expert on new cleaning technologies, regulations, and best practices.

Summary: Cost to Clean a Kitchen Hood System

Restaurant kitchen hood cleaning typically costs between $200 and $500 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

  1. Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices
  2. Recommended Restaurant Hood Cleaning Frequency
  3. Restaurant Hood Cleaning Cost Examples
  4. Methods of Restaurant Hood Cleaning
  5. Firsthand Experience: Hood Fire Horror Story
  6. 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
  • Critical depth
Hood Cleaning Service Prices

Restaurant Hood Cleaning Prices

For most small restaurants, hood cleaning costs range from $200 - $500 per cleaning. This is for a basic cleaning of the hoods, vents, and ducts in a small kitchen with 1-2 hood systems.

The average mid-sized restaurant with a more extensive hood setup pays $800 - $1,500 per cleaning. This provides a thorough cleaning of multiple hoods, exhaust fans, grease traps, and all ductwork.

Larger restaurants and commercial kitchens often pay $1,500 - $3,000 per professional hood cleaning. This deep cleans very large hood systems in expansive cooking areas.

High-end restaurants with gigantic hoods and meticulous cleaning needs may invest $3,000 - $6,000 per exhaust system cleaning. This covers complete disassembly, cleaning, and reinstallation to meet strict standards.

The frequency of required hood cleanings depends on local health codes, but most restaurants need professional cleanings quarterly or every 3-6 months.

Kitchen hood cleaning is typically done by specialized services rather than general restaurant cleaning companies.

Recommended Restaurant Hood Cleaning Frequency

Kitchen Type Recommended Cleaning Frequency
Light-duty kitchen (limited cooking) Every 6 months
Moderate-duty kitchen (daily cooking) Every 3-4 months
Heavy-duty kitchen (high volume cooking) Every 2-3 months
Extra heavy-duty kitchen (grills, fryers, etc.) Every 1-2 months

Professional deep cleaning by hood cleaning services is recommended to thoroughly remove grease buildup and residues. Light duty kitchens may only need biannual cleaning while heavy use commercial kitchens need more frequent professional cleaning every few months.

Real Perspectives: Restaurant Hood Cleaning Cost Examples

Here are some real-world examples of what restaurants have paid for professional kitchen hood cleaning services:

"We own a small diner with a kitchen hood vent system that needs cleaning every 3 months. We hired a local hood cleaning company that comes in after closing to clean the hoods, vents and ducts. For our small system, we pay $350 per cleaning."

"Our large restaurant has an extensive hood system over multiple cooking areas that requires more extensive quarterly cleaning. A national duct cleaning company performs a deep cleaning of the entire system over 2 days. We pay $1,800 per hood cleaning for their full service."

"As a busy pizza restaurant, we need our kitchen hood system cleaned every month to keep grease from building up. A licensed contractor thoroughly cleans the hoods, exhaust fans, ducts, and replaces the filters. We pay $600 per monthly cleaning to keep our system up to code and restaurant smelling fresh."

"For our upscale restaurant, appearance and cleanliness is critical. We have a professional kitchen hood cleaner disassemble, deep clean and reassemble our large hood system every 6 weeks. This comprehensive cleaning costs $1,200 each time, but keeps our kitchen sparkling and safe."

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:

Method Pros Cons
Scrubbing - Thorough cleaning
- Accessible
- Low cost
- Time consuming
- Labor intensive
Power Washing - Quick
- Removes stubborn grease
- Messy overspray
- Equipment rental cost
Steam Cleaning - Penetrates hard to reach areas
- Highly effective
- More expensive equipment
- Longer time
Degreasing Chemicals - Boosts other methods
- Loosens baked-on grease
- Harmful fumes
- Chemical handling
Filter Cleaning/Replacement - Restores ventilation
- Fire prevention
- Replacement filter cost
Fan/Motor Service - Ensures proper operation
- Avoids breakdowns
- Specialized service cost
Reassembling - Verifies proper function
- Checks fire system
- Time to reinstall

Firsthand Experience: Hood Fire Horror Story

As the owner of a small diner, I learned the hard way how important regular hood cleaning is. I tried to save some money by having my kitchen staff attempt to clean the hoods themselves each week. After several months, grease had really built up in the ductwork.

One busy Saturday morning, flames shot out from the hood over the grill. The grease had caught fire and the flames spread quickly through the filthy ducts and up to the roof. The fire department had to be called in and the damage from the fire and smoke was extensive. We had to completely replace the hood system and close for weeks for repairs. It was a costly and scary lesson - I now have professional cleaners come in every 6 weeks without fail to clean the entire hood exhaust system. I never want to risk a grease fire again or have customers smell odors from a dirty system. Proper cleaning is well worth the investment!

- Amy Tallard, FL


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