Grease hood cleaning is part of running a commercial kitchen, so this is a MUST READ!


A lot of our time is spent educating customers like you on kitchen grease hood cleaning regimes. We found that many restaurants simply do not know what is required of them. Nor do they know what a thorough kitchen hood cleaning job involves.

Commercial kitchen exhaust systems are designed to extract smoke and smells.

But what happens when the kitchen hood does not get cleaned properly?

❌  The fumes extracted are high in grease which builds up in the filters, hoods, conduits and the extractor fans

❌ Grease is highly flammable and is responsible for most fires in restaurants

❌ Dirty systems force the fan to work harder, consuming more energy than necessary

❌ It can create unpleasant smells due to inadequate ventilation

Apart from being a fire hazard, grease can pose other potentially dangerous situations. It can generate contamination and the proliferation of disease, mould, fungus and bacteria. This build-up can make us all very ill. By regularly carrying out kitchen hood cleaning, restaurant/building owners and facility managers can avoid these risks.

Ultimately, it’s the restaurant owner’s responsibility to ensure kitchen canopy cleaning is performed properly. It’s a dirty task but must be done with no shortcuts!


Routine kitchen hood cleaning may be the most important service performed in commercial kitchens. Proper hood cleaning has to be done professionally and in a timely manner. Facility personnel, restaurant managers and owners are not always readily available during the cleaning. This means that they rely on their contracted service provider to ensure the cleans are done correctly.

Grease hood cleaning contractors should always provide you reports showing pre and post cleaning photos. Other observations and recommendations are also important to your system (i.e. inaccessible areas). In-depth reports and certificates of completion will provide owners with the necessary documentation required. These are passed on to insurance representatives, fire marshals, and other authorities having jurisdiction.

But despite receiving the reports and certifications, it is still vital for you to physically review the exhaust after. Why?

Before you switch to the Shepherd Filters solution, we insist that grease hood cleaning must first be performed. This removes the fire hazard and ensures that the Shepherd Filters will keep your system as clean as possible for much longer. However, on installation day we are usually greeted with a nasty surprise….

grease hood cleaning incomplete
fake grease hood cleaning

The common response we hear:

“But we only just had the system cleaned!”

We go the extra mile and take out our trusty selfie stick to go deeper inside the kitchen hood. This is what we find….

Historical Grease hood not cleaned properly fake duct cleaning
grease hood cleaning incomplete

Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence! These kitchen hood cleaning contractors only scraped areas visible to you. So at first glance, you believe they have done their job correctly.

grease good cleaning half done
fake grease good cleaning

We reviewed some of the customer’s past reports and found some shocking surprises. We discovered the contractors had used old photos repeatedly. In the most extreme of cases, photos that were unrelated to the business the report was for.

The sad truth is that owners are often led by unqualified kitchen hood cleaning contractors. They make you believe that cleaning some of the hood and attaching a certificate is sufficient. This does not keep you in compliance with authorities and insurance companies.

Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge comes back to haunt the owner when a fire occurs.

A proper grease hood cleaning of the entire kitchen exhaust system includes:

– Grease exhaust fans
– Grease ducts
– Hood plenums (area behind the filters)
– Interior of the hoods
– Grease trays and grease cups
– Grease filters; and
– Access Panels (if present) 


From our experience, finding kitchen hood cleaning companies that truly understand the risks involved with cleaning correctly are rare. The more that you know and understand what is required; the better you are able to select the right company. The right kitchen hood cleaning contractor will provide the proper service and better manage your fire protection.

We get it, kitchen exhaust cleaning is a gruelling late-night profession. You don’t want to go home dirty, smelling like burnt food, scraping sticky grease from within confined spaces, dealing with night managers that are more interested in getting you out of their kitchen so they can finish their shift. Sometimes, the day managers will call you wanting to know why you only spent three hours on the job when you are being paid to do six.

In addition, everyone knows someone in the grease hood cleaning business that is cheaper. The fact remains that you, as a restaurant owner, expect the grease hood cleaning to be done to code.


Fear not because all hope isn’t lost! Like many of the world’s industries, the kitchen exhaust cleaning trade is slowly changing and evolving. Grease hood exhaust system technology is changing as well. The grease hood cleaning industry is at a turning point with the likes of us, Shepherd Filters, entering the market. We are revolutionising the way kitchen exhaust cleaning contractors run their businesses for the better. This also ultimately helps you to mitigate grease build-up, all in accordance with regulations in a cost-saving and environmentally-friendly way.

award winning disposable kitchen grease filters product solution minimises fire risk in restaurants, motel and other commercial foodservice venues and protects the kitchen exhaust ventilation duct video