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How to maintain your Grease traps

Grease traps are an essential part of commercial kitchens, and they work to keep all fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) out of our wastewater system. In addition, they are a legal requirement by the council because FOGs can create blockages in the wastewater infrastructure if they are not put in place. However, installing a grease trap is only the first step in ensuring that they operate efficiently. They also need to be regularly maintained and cleaned, if this is not done, grease traps can cause a nasty smell and block the wastewater pipelines the same way as if they weren’t in place.

 How often do I need to clean my grease trap?

How often you need to clean your grease trap depends on the amount of fat, oil, and grease that regularly goes down on your commercial kitchen sink, and how you have sized your grease trap at the time of installation.  The rule of thumb is that when your grease trap is 25% filled with FOGs, it requires a clean. Expect to clean every 1-3 months to ensure it continues to work efficiently.

To prevent your grease traps from filling up too quickly, ensure that you scrape the food remains off your plate and pans and place them in the bin, rather than letting them flow down the kitchen sink. If possible, try to reduce the amount of fat, oil, and grease you use for cooking to reduce the amount getting into your wastewater. A good idea is to wipe down any greasy equipment before washing.

If you find that your grease trap still must be cleaned every few weeks you may need to review your processes and consider installing a larger passive grease trap that requires to be emptied and cleaned every three months.

How can I clean my grease trap?

There are professional grease trap cleaners who can do the job for you if you do not have the time and capacity to do the maintenance yourself. However, if you are up for the challenge, it is possible to clean the equipment yourself. Here are a few tips for DIY cleaning:

  • Before you start the cleaning process, ensure that the water in the grease trap tank has cooled down. This will enable the FOGs to float to the top and remove them easily.
  • After lifting the lid off, remove the FOGs with a vacuum. This prevents them from sticking to the sides of the tank while the water levels drop.
  • Remove the remaining wastewater and other food scraps. Ensure that no sinks or dishwashers are being used during the process.
  • After everything has been removed, use warm soapy water and a scrubber to clean the grease trap thoroughly on the inside. This will prevent any foul smell.
  • After the cleaning is done, pour some water down the kitchen sink to check for any potential blockages. If it flows down without trouble, your cleaning is done.

Ensure you keep a log of every time you clean your grease trap, as it is a legal requirement to perform maintenance on your equipment regularly!

Need help?

If you need an effective grease trap for your commercial kitchen, get in touch with Hugo Plastics. We custom make products for our clients to ensure they fit perfectly into their desired space. So make sure you contact us if you have any questions! get in touch