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Why your kitchen extraction system needs to be cleaned by a professional

Why your kitchen extraction system needs to be cleaned by a professional

IWESCO is a contract cleaning company that has dealt with all manner of dirt, filth and grease. One of the objects that accumulate the most dust and grime is the kitchen extraction system - especially in restaurants and commercial kitchens. To make matter worse, this oily grunge is flammable and poses a serious threat to buildings where flames and heat are often applied directly beneath the extractor.

The extraction system needs to be cleaned regularly and by a professional team that knows what cleaning agents to use and the correct method for removing oily build-up. A clogged extraction system is dangerous and can be costly to fix, so regular cleaning and maintenance are a necessity. Contact us today if you require a team of trained cleaners to remove grime and grease from your extractor and vents, or if you’d like to request a quote.

Importance of kitchen extraction cleaning

The kitchen extraction system works like a giant vacuum cleaner. Large fans suck the hot air from the kitchen, through vents and filters located above the stove, and direct the air through ducts and out of the exterior of the building. This moving air pulls oil particles, dust, water vapour and hairs away from the cooking area. The filters trap the larger debris while microscopic particles flow through the ducts and are expelled into the atmosphere.

The extractor makes for a cleaner and cooler kitchen environment, but it also means that it gets incredibly greasy and dirty in a short space of time. The most common contributors to this grime include oil, fats, dust, smoke, soot, mould and hair. If an extraction system becomes clogged, there is an increased risk of fire, bacteria growth, foul smells, invalidation of business insurance, as well as a reduced airflow and lifespan of the system itself.

How to tell when cleaning is needed

There are many telltale signals that a kitchen extraction system is in need of a deep clean. The most obvious signs are a visible build-up of grime on the external surface and air inlet, stains on the duct and hood, smoke and vapour not clearing when the system is on, and the fans making an unusually loud noise. You can generally tell when the system is straining itself.

A commercial kitchen should clean its extraction system on a regular basis to be on the safe side of health and safety. Many extraction manufacturers suggest that it must be cleaned every three months for heavy use or once a year for light use. However, to minimise fire hazards, food contamination and to extend the lifespan of the extraction system, it should be wiped down and cleaned once a month.

Tips for cleaning a kitchen extraction system

  1. Dust the system on a more regular basis to prevent large clumps from sticking to the grease.

  2. Wipe down the air inlet and filter cover with warm, soapy water to remove any oily deposits before they become stuck.

  3. Replace the filters as needed - remember that a clean filter allows air to pass through more easily and so the whole system will be more efficient and effective.

  4. Use a disinfectant that will break down grease and kill all bacteria when performing the monthly clean.

  5. Scrub the inlet and grill thoroughly as this is likely to be the first component to catch fire if a flame leaps up from the stove.

  6. Ensure that nothing ever blocks the air inlet or outlet.

Our highly-trained team of professional cleaners will be able to assist with this cleaning and maintenance. IWESCO uses the correct cleaning agents and equipment to ensure a thorough job that is guaranteed to meet your expectations. We are a member of the National Contract Cleaners Association (NCCA) and we follow strict protocols and guidelines for professional cleaning.


IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.

For more information on our offerings and insights into the latest industry news, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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