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How to Clean a Grease Trap

Posted on: January 16, 2018

For those of you who currently work in the foodservice industry, there’s a lot you need to know about the commercial kitchen you have in the back. Of the many different things you need to know about, the grease trap is one of utmost importance. This baby needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly in order to keep your kitchen running smoothly.

cleaning your grease trap should be done on a routine basis

What Does a Grease Trap Do?

For those of you new to the foodservice industry (or those looking to get into it soon), it’s important to know what your grease trap does, so you can have the proper respect for it. The grease trap is connected to your kitchen’s plumbing system and will separate oils, grease, and any sludge from the water so it doesn’t clog the waste pipes. As the grease trap begins to fill up, it will need to be emptied and cleaned.

How to Clean Your Grease Trap

  • Step 1: Slowly remove the lid of the grease trap with a pry bar, but do so very slowly. Being too rough or moving too fast could damage the gasket lying underneath the lid. Once the lid has been removed, inspect the grease trap to familiarize yourself with the parts.
  • Step 2: Grab a measuring stick and slowly place it into the trap until it reaches the bottom. Give it a quick twirl to allow for some of the grease to accumulate on the stick. Remove the measuring stick, read the measurement of how much grease is inside of the trap, and record the number in your ‘FOG pump out report’ (which you should be doing as it is required by the EPA). Mail this report to the address listed on the report itself once the cleaning has been finished.
  • Step 3: Remove any standing water within the grease trap using a small bucket. Consider holding this water in this bucket until the end so you can avoid dumping it down the drain with any oils that are possibly attached.
  • Step 4: Remove all of the collected grease, oils, and sludge from the grease trap using a small bucket or scoop of your choice. All of this waste should be placed in heavy-duty plastic trash bags that can handle liquids. Scrape the sides and lid of the trap clean — a wet vacuum can be perfect for this cleaning (you may have to make this a designated grease trap vacuum if you do so).
  • Step 5: Scrub down your grease trap using some good old fashioned soap, warm water, and a metal scrubber. Once cleaned, rinse the screens and removable parts with water. Replace all of the parts you just cleaned along with the lid. As soon as you’re done, make a copy of the FOG report for your own personal records — and you’re all set!

Attention all restaurants, delis, and other foodservice businesses — your grease trap needs to be cleaned! If your business’s plumbing system is experiencing frequent clogs and slow draining sinks, you could have a buildup of grease. Give us a call so we can help your business get back to working the way it should be.

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