Restaurant Equipment Maintenance

How to Clean Your Restaurant's Grease Trap and Avoid Costly Repairs

Keeping your restaurant's grease trap clean and functioning properly is essential for maintaining a healthy and efficient kitchen. Neglecting regular maintenance can result in costly repairs, emergency shut-downs, and health code violations.

Understanding Your Restaurant Grease Trap

A grease trap is a plumbing device designed to intercept and separate fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from wastewater before it enters the sewer system. FOG is a major contributor to blockages in the sewer system, which can lead to backups and overflows.

There are two main types of grease traps: gravity grease traps and automatic grease traps. Gravity grease traps are simpler and more affordable, while automatic grease traps are more complex and efficient.

Signs that indicate your grease trap needs cleaning or maintenance include foul odors, slow drainage, and overflowing water. It's important to address these issues promptly to prevent clogs and other problems.

How to Clean Your Restaurant Grease Trap in 7 Easy Steps

Cleaning your grease trap is not a difficult task, but it requires some patience and attention. Follow these steps carefully and you will have a clean and functional grease trap in no time.

Step 1: Turn off all equipment that drains into the grease trap and place a bucket under the trap to collect any remaining water.

Step 2: Remove the lid from the trap, being careful not to drop it into the grease.

Step 3: Use a scraper or spoon to remove any visible grease and food waste from the trap and place it in a trash bag.

Step 4: Use a wet/dry vacuum or a ladle to remove any remaining water from the trap.

Step 5: Use a hose or pressure washer to spray down the walls and bottom of the trap and remove any built-up grease or debris.

Step 6: Use a degreaser or hot water to clean the trap and remove any remaining grease.

Step 7: Replace the lid and turn on the equipment that drains into the trap.

In addition to these steps, there are some additional tips and tricks you can use to make the cleaning process more efficient and effective:

  • Wear protective gloves and clothing to avoid direct contact with the grease.
  • Use a designated grease trap cleaning brush or a long-handled scrub brush to clean hard-to-reach areas.
  • Use a strainer or screen over sink drains to prevent large food particles from entering the trap.
  • Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance to avoid emergency repairs and costly downtime.
  • Dispose of grease and food waste properly, following local regulations.

Maintaining Your Restaurant Grease Trap

After cleaning your grease trap, it's important to establish a maintenance schedule to keep it functioning properly.

Here are some best practices for maintaining your restaurant's grease trap:

  1. Scrape plates and pans before washing to reduce the amount of grease and food waste that enters the trap.
  2. Train kitchen staff to dispose of grease and oil properly, such as in designated containers or recycling bins.
  3. Install a pre-rinse sprayer in your sink to remove excess grease before it enters the trap.
  4. Regularly inspect the trap for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks or leaks.
  5. Schedule routine maintenance and cleaning with a professional service to avoid costly repairs or emergency situations.

By implementing these practices, you can reduce the risk of clogs and backups in your grease trap, saving your restaurant time and money in the long run. Remember, proper maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your grease trap.


In conclusion, regular cleaning and maintenance of your restaurant grease trap are essential for ensuring the smooth operation of your commercial kitchen. Remember, neglecting your grease trap can lead to costly emergency repairs, downtime during service, and potential health code violations.

Here are the key takeaways from this article:

  • Regular grease trap maintenance can save you money on costly repairs and avoid downtime during service.
  • Understanding your grease trap and its signs of needing cleaning or maintenance is important to keep your kitchen functioning smoothly.
  • Proper cleaning of your grease trap requires the right tools, materials, and safety precautions.
  • Maintaining your grease trap on a regular basis is the best way to prevent clogs and other issues from occurring.
  • Scheduling routine maintenance and cleaning can help avoid costly repairs and keep your grease trap functioning properly.

Implementing these cleaning and maintenance practices can help ensure the success of your restaurant while keeping your kitchen in compliance with health codes. Don't wait until it's too late to take care of your grease trap. Start implementing these practices today to keep your restaurant running smoothly.

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