An unmaintained grease trap cannot effectively filter grease waste from entering a septic system, leading to grease blockages that can definitely ruin a restaurant in a matter of minutes. Not to mention, sanitizing and clean up from grease backup will mean having to shut down the restaurant for at least two days. With this in mind, it is important that your grease trap is maintained and cleaned from time to time. Set aside cleaning time for your grease trap at least every 4 to 6 weeks to ensure that it will keep functioning effectively.
And to help you out with this task, we have prepared a quick and easy guide to grease trap cleaning, including gears you need and how to do it. Read on to find out.
Grease Trap Cleaning Tools
- Rubber Gloves
It goes without saying that handling your grease trap can be very mexxy. Not to mention, grease is hard to wash away, so make sure to wear rubber gloves while working on it.
- Shop Vacuum
This vacuum will have to be used to pump grease waste and liquid from the trap. However, make sure that you will properly dispose of its contents after the collection.
As mentioned above, cleaning your grease trap is a messy task. Wear coveralls to protect your garments from stains and grease.
- Crowbar, Scraper, and Wrench
It’s wise to have these gears ready for any mechanical aid it may serve for. Depending on the design of your grease trap, you will need these to remove the lid. You can also use the scraper to clean the tank and baffles of the trap.
Grease Trap Cleaning Procedure
Step 1: Wait for the water inside the tank to cool down.
The first thing you have to do is to wait for the water to cool down, especially if the wastewater has just been emptied from the dishwasher or sink. By doing this, grease will rise up and float on top, making it so much easier to scoop out.
Step 2: Gently remove the lid with a crowbar or wrench.
Be careful in detaching the lid from your grease trap. Some gaskets are located just under the cover which will cost you money to replace.
Step 3: Collect grease sludge and liquid.
Oftentimes, grease sludge will float at the top of the tank. Take your shop vacuum to suck out the floating grease first. Afterwards, collect the remaining water and solid food from the tank. Make sure that the dishwashers and sinks are turned off during the collection, so your trap won’t keep filling up. Make sure to watch over your vacuum as you collect. You don’t have to suck everything up in one go. It’s more important to be cautious in collecting the waste instead of it getting sprayed all over your kitchen due to overload.
Step 4: Scrape off grease waste from the trap.
Use your scraper to scrape off grease from the lid, sides, and the baffles of your trap. Remove solidified chunks of fat and oil stuck in the trap. You can use your shop vacuum again to suck the remainder of grease bits left after the scraping.
Step 5: Clean your grease trap.
After removing the grease, it’s high time that you give your trap a cleaning. Use soap, warm water, and a steel pot scrubber to clean the lid, baffles, and sides of your trap. Flush the trap with clean water afterwards to remove soap and debris. You can then reinstall the parts in the trap. Reattach the lid as well.
Step 6: Dispose of the contents of the shop vacuum properly.
To dispose it, mix the contents with cat litter until it solidifies. Put it in a garbage bag and throw it in your garbage bin.