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How often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned?

How often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned?
BHL | 14 Aug

Commercial kitchen hoods are not like your household kitchen hoods. The amount of grease it can collect in a day is unimaginable. Besides, every commercial kitchen is different from the other. For example, in a restaurant there will be boiling, frying, baking, and various other methods of cooking. 

However in a fast food joint like a fried chicken joint it will continuously cook in oil. So, different hoods will take different time intervals for cleaning, for example, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. In this article we will try to answer “how often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned”.

The Reasons for cleaning

There are some real reasons why you need to ask yourself how often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned. If you clean your commercial kitchen hoods times, you can identify various problems, solve them, and save some money in the process. 


If you clean regularly your system will perform better and last for a long time. If you regularly clean your kitchen hood, you will create a better breathing space for your employees. The kitchen hood is like the respiratory system of your kitchen. If you do not treat the system, you will not be able to breathe properly.

The frequency of cleaning

Depending on the nature of cooking in your kitchen you will need decide how often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned. A salad bar does not need kitchen hood to be cleaned too often, however, if your burners keep working all day long for cooking and frying chicken and other foods, then the story will be entirely different. 

Depending on the food you prepare, you will need to decide how frequently you will clean your hood. There can be other factors playing role in this matter.

  1. Types of oil.

  2. Highest temperature the oils or cooking fats reach.

  3.  The amount of fat used during the food preparation.

  4. The amount of food prepared each day. The difference between a 24/7 outlet and a kitchen that only serves lunch and dinner to reserved customers will be huge. 

  5. The type of hood you use and also how long it has been in operation will have a lot of effect. The old models are not intelligent. You need to personally hand check to find out the condition of the inside of the kitchen hood. However, there are smart hoods out there nowadays that have alarm systems to notify you that a cleaning is due.

Importance of cleaning kitchen hood

Let us have a look at the importances of kitchen hood cleaning.


We must remember that in the kitchen fire is involved and with fire there will be heat, and overheating can cause serious fire in the kitchen, mainly in the ventilation system. For range hoods fire safety is the biggest concern of all. In the commercial kitchen business this issue is very well known. 

However, knowing and realizing are two different things. Even if the kitchen owner knows about it, may not realize what sort of danger it can cause to his kitchen. Shall we revisit the history of the 1997 Heathrow Airport fire? The massive fire that broke out took over a hundred firefighters to contain. 

The blazing flame went sky high. Three terminals had to close down for a while. But where was the origin of the fire? The fire broke out in the exhaust system of the kitchen of Burger King. The 200 meter exhaust duct system was completely taken over by the fire. 

So, we hope you understand why cleaning and close monitoring of your kitchen hoods is necessary.


The air quality inside your kitchen is another vital issue. According to international law, employers must ensure a superior working environment for their employees. It is the right of the employees that they have sufficient light, and breathable oxygen supply in the environment they work in. 

If the duct system is filthy and unclean, the air inside the kitchen will also be unhealthy and unbreathable. This causes health issues and if the employees get sick, this could lead to a potential lawsuit and can cost you millions.

Words of caution

How often should commercial kitchen hoods be cleaned? We believe we have answered the question with adequate facts. However, we will finish the article will two other horror stories so the fear of fire is permanently etched in the hearts of commercial kitchen owners. 

The first story is from 2019. On the fateful day of 14th of January, the Historic Hotel El Cordova on Coronado Island experienced a horrendous fire. The fire started at half past 11 in the evening and caused a damage of about five million US dollars. 

The origin of the fire was, again, the kitchen hood. Soon, the slithering fire reached the hotel rooms above including the attic via the exhaust system of the kitchen. The fire that started in the kitchen soon damaged the hotel rooms, and the roof. 

The second horror story is from Los Angeles downtown. On the 10th of August, 2018, the famous Italian restaurant Rossoblu was hosting an event called No Kid Hungry. It was a charity event. The fire broke out in the kitchen’s exhaust system. 

The event got canceled and the building evacuated. The restaurant could not come into operation during the fall season. Despite all the precautions, damages to kitchens in commercial space are not uncommon. This industry faces an annual loss of about 200 million in US dollars.

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