Why does kitchen ductwork require cleaning ?


  1. Why does kitchen Ductwork systems need cleaning 
  2. How often should I clean my Commercial Kitchen Ductwork System?
  3. How do you go about cleaning a Kitchen Ductwork System?
  4. How do you perform a Kitchen Deep Clean?
  5. Will the certificate I get comply with all my insurance demands

1. Why do kitchen Ductwork systems need cleaning and certification?

Kitchen extract/ductwork systems quickly become coated in the combustible material, fat, grease, grime, etc, that is given off during the cooking process.

If these are not regularly removed through cleaning, then the risk of a fire increases as the amount of flammable debris increases

Your insurance company will require you to demonstrate that you are managing this risk  and that the extract system has been cleaned by an approved company who can certificate the extract ducting as “safe”

In the event of fire or incident if you are unable to prove that your extract ducting has been cleaned and tested in line with the recommended frequency, your insurance company may not pay out.  If damage or injury extends to third parties you may also face uninsured public liability claims, and the worst case scenarios adverse publicity and prosecution.


2. How often should I clean my Commercial Kitchen Ductwork System?

The frequency with which you should have your kitchen extract system cleaned depends on how heavily it is used.

The association of British Insurers and the  Building & Engineering Services ( Formerly the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association) recommend cleaning intervals as follows:

Kitchen Use Hours Per Day Clean Frequency
Heavy Use 12-16 hours Every 3 months
Medium Use 6-12 hours Every 6 months
Light Use 2-6 Hours Every 12 months

Remember cleaning alone is not enough, the extract ducting also needs to be tested and certificated as safe.



3. How do you go about cleaning a Kitchen Ductwork System?

  • An initial visual inspection identifies:
    • That all the ducting can be accessed
    • The extent of grease build up
    • The materials that the canopy and ducting are made of
    • The cleaning equipment and chemicals that are to be used

Ducting that has been cleaned to the recommended standards will have suitable panels fitted and the initial inspection is usually quick and easy. If any of the ducting is inaccessible, then it will be necessary to fit access panels to some sections before these can be cleaned.

  • All fans are removed, dismantled and thoroughly cleaned.
  • Excess grease and debris is removed, usually by scraping, from the inside of the canopy and ducting.
  • Once the heavy grease and grime is removed specialist chemical cleaners are applied, left to work and then a final cleanse removes any remnants of grease, fat and dirt. 
  • The entire canopy structure inside and out is degreased and surrounding back panels, walls and ceiling areas are then steam cleaned.  
  • All the drip trays, lips and grease filters are included in the cleaning process
  • The fan unit/s are assembled, installed and tested
  • The extract ducting is then safety tested using approved equipment
  • A last check, clean and polish by hand ensures no part has been missed and that all the floors and surrounding areas are spotless
  • Finally a nationally recognized and  approved safety check certificate is issued

4. How do you perform a Kitchen Deep Clean?

To achieve a successful kitchen deep clean, it is important to go about the process in a logical and systematic way.

·        Prior to cleaning the kitchen itself, all electrical items are isolated and exposed switches covered.

·        Equipment is dismantled and component parts are soak cleaned in specialist chemicals prior to steam cleaning, includes

o       grease filters

o       oven trays

o       range tops and rings

o       fryer pans and grill trays

o       dismantled fan units

o       other heavily soiled non electrical items.

·        Where possible, equipment is pulled out to ensure that thorough cleaning can be achieved both beneath and behind the equipment.

·        Some kitchen items will be best cleaned in an outside area.

·        The inside areas to be cleaned are now scraped of all excess grease and them thoroughly steam cleaned. Chemicals are only used if necessary.

·        Once cleaned, all excess dirt and cleaning chemicals are cleaned off all surfaces.

·        Walls and ceilings are normally steam cleaned before the removed  equipment is returned into position.

·        Floor areas thoroughly cleaned with use of a steam cleaner and wet vacuum.

·        All rubbish and debris is removed and the premises left clean and tidy ready for client inspection

·        The client is asked to inspect the work, sign a customer satisfaction sheet and cleaning certificate is issued

5. Will the Certificate I get comply with all my insurance demands

The certificates Spettro Ducting Cleaning issue confirm that the extract ducting is clean to the B&ES TR19 standard.   

This standard is accepted by most insurance companies and we are not aware of any insurance company that does not accept our certificate as evidence of cleaning and safety but to ensure maximum reliability we recommend all clients check their insurance policy wording or obtain written confirmation from their insurance company of suitability prior to contracting any work with us.


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