A lot happens in a commercial kitchen. Dozens of different foods are sliced and diced, baked, and fried. Drinks spilled. Busy wait staff consistently going in and out of the kitchen. Operators utilize several pieces of equipment to make it possible to serve their delicious dishes and it is easy to overlook their cleaning at the end of busy day. Let’s review some of the most overlooked parts of a commercial kitchen that need a good cleaning.
Cleaning Commercial Toasters
For continued great performance and the safety of staff, toasters should be cleaned daily if used. Thankfully the process is very easy! Be sure to switch off the unit, unplug and let cool before cleaning. Then, wipe down the outside with a damp cloth (along the finish if applicable). Empty the crumb tray at the bottom of the toaster and empty. Wipe the tray clean and ensure that it is dry before returning to the toaster. Do not turn your toaster upside down or shake. Doing so can damage internal components, cause knobs and levers to stop working, and cause crumbs to be pushed further into the toaster.
Cleaning Commercial Microwaves
Regular cleaning of your microwave ensures proper ventilation that leads to higher efficiencies and a safer working environment! Follow these simple steps on a regular basis for best results.
- Put water in a microwave-safe bowl by itself inside the microwave and run
- Use a soft cloth with hot, soapy water to wipe away loosened particles
- Apply a food-safe sanitizer and wipe after the allotted time
- Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away grime and debris
- Use a small amount of white vinegar and a separate cloth to easily wipe areas with heavy amounts of grease
- Take another cloth soaked in warm water and wipe away any vinegar to avoid corrosion (which will only happen if the vinegar solution is left sitting for too long!)
- Lastly and most importantly, inspect ventilation holes or grills for any grease or dust build-up. This can cause your microwave to overheat.
Cleaning Work Tables
Most commercial Work Tables are made with stainless steel somewhere in the construction. The metal is durable to withstand the demands of your busy kitchen and easy to maintain with these simple steps:
- Use soft cloths or sponges – abrasive cleaning tools such as wire brushes, steel wool or scrapers may scratch the surface and damage the work table
- Apply stainless steel safe cleaner (best options will contain alkaline, alkaline chlorinated, or non-chloride chemicals)
- Wipe along the grain of the polish (the direction of the lines of the finish – cleaning against the grain can cause corrosion)
- Wipe again with clean wet cloth and let air dry (or dry with clean, soft cloth)
Tip: hard water can negatively impact your stainless steel work table. Look into installing a water softening system for best results or do not let water stand to avoid damage. Learn more about water filtration in our recent article!
Grease laden floors poise a serious threat to the safety of kitchen staff. While operating so many different pieces of equipment, it is inevitable that grease will accumulate on the floor. However, proper cleaning daily (if not multiple times a day!) will protect everyone in the kitchen. Cleaning greasy kitchen floors is as easy as one, two, three:
- Sweep the floor to pick up crumbs and dust
- Mix an anti-slip cleaner and degreaser
- Mop the floor, then rinse the solution by utilizing a clean mop and allow to air dry
It’s that easy! Once a week, one step should be added for best results. After step two, utilize the solution to scrub the floor with a stiff bristle brush. Then take the mop over the floors to clean any residue and pick up any final crumbs.
Cleaning Floor Mats
While you clean your floors, it only makes sense to also clean your floor mats! Also known as anti-fatigue mats, floor mats help to prevent kitchen staff from slipping in between floor cleanings. Grease and food particles can also build up on these mats without proper care.
- Vacuum (on a regular basis!) to remove large pieces of dust and dirt
- Hose down with high-pressure water
- Use soap and water or degreaser to thoroughly clean
- Do not use chemicals, bleach, alkalis, or solvents as they can damage the matting
- Lay flat and allow to dry thoroughly
- Clean the floor under and around the mat before returning to its place
Don’t overlook these common areas of your commercial kitchen! Of course, there are other areas of the kitchen that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Visit our Restaurant Cleaning Checklist to keep your kitchen safe and working in top condition!
Hope has been a Content Specialist since November 2015, where she brings to the table years of experience in the food service industry in a variety of roles. Throughout her time with Central, Hope has focused on learning all things possible about everything from cooking equipment to concession and specialty products in order to empower operators with education on commercial equipment and supplies. Hope is a wife, new mom, avid crafter, and food lover (french fries please!).