A well-lit kitchen, both in a home and restaurant, is important for a number of reasons. Proper lighting not only provides a well-lit and bright workspace for kitchen staff, but can actually increase productivity and safety too.
Proper kitchen lighting can:
- Improve moods: This includes your kitchen staff as well as diners. A well-lit kitchen can actually improve your staff’s performance as preparing food in a poorly lit space can be a challenge. You also want customers to be able to see the food they are eating, but you don’t want overly bright and harsh lighting, which can actually cause people to rush through their meals and enjoy it less.
- Increase sales: With a well-set mood, lights can also influence your customer’s desire to stay and spend more in your restaurant. (The longer customers spend in an establishment, the more likely they are to spend more money.) Well-lit kitchens and dining areas can also help your staff make food look highly presentable and more appealing to customers.
- Impact safety: Lighting is crucial to the safety your employees, especially those working with sharp objects. You want your kitchen to be well-lit so your staff can help you provide customers with the best dining experience possible.
Kitchen lights generally require two types of lighting: task light and ambient light. Ambient light brightens the entire room while tasks lighting adds visibility to specific areas where your kitchen staff will be working. For example, if staff is frequently chopping meat, vegetables, and other ingredients on countertops located under shelving or cabinets then under-cabinet task lighting is often required for those spaces. On the other hand, track lights are a great way to illuminate the sink area when washing dishes. If you want to include fancier lighting in your kitchen, you can also opt for accent lighting and decorative lighting, but these options are generally left for personal and home kitchens rather than commercial kitchens.
You may also want to consider letting in some natural lighting if possible, as natural light tends to help people be most productive when they work. Though restaurant, nursing home, and hospital kitchens don’t frequently have many windows, skylights are a good alternative option if you don’t want passerbyers looking in.
A properly lit kitchen can help your staff perform their tasks better, feel comfortable in their workspace, and—although patrons won’t see the kitchen often—contribute to the room’s overall appearance.
Kitchen hood cleaning is messy work that often involves the use of chemicals, heavy equipment, and other hazards for the skilled professionals performing the work, which is why wearing the appropriate safety gear is so important.
Regular exhaust cleaning carried out by certified hood cleaning professionals is, in and of itself, a critical step for commercial kitchens to take to ensure the health and safety of both staff and visitors. How can hood cleaning professionals ensure their own safety? By following the tips below!
Aside from protecting your workspace, the most important thing for a cleaning professional to do is to protect themselves! Cleaning a hood ventilation system, in particular, is a hands-on job that requires protective gear. You and your cleaning crew should wear slip-resistant shoes or rubber boots, use puncture-resistant gloves to avoid unwanted contact with chemicals and grease, and consider protective suits depending on the cleaning solutions you are using.
- Prep your workspace. Preparing your workspace not only ensures an easier cleanup but can also help keep you, your staff, or your coworkers safe. In addition to removing all potential hazards and debris from the kitchen, be sure all appliances are cooled, shut off, and disconnected. Hood wrapping is an additional step you can take to keep mess at a minimum and prevent slipping and fire hazards.
- Use appropriate equipment. From ladders to power washers, be sure you are using the equipment designed for the specific job you are performing. If you will be climbing high roofs or using lifts for accessing high areas, ensure you are fully equipped with harnesses, brackets, and other anchoring tools.
- Work smarter, not harder. If you can, plan ahead for the next time you’ll be called for a cleaning job at the same location by encouraging customers to install appropriate access doors for easier cleaning and maintenance. Urge customers to frequently check, clean, and replace grease filters. And always promote regularly scheduled exhaust cleaning.
Cold weather doesn’t necessarily have to mean packing away your pressure washer until spring. While many of us may not want to pressure wash anything in sub-zero temperatures, busy power washing professionals have to work through all seasons. With a little preparation, however, using pressure washers this winter doesn’t have to turn you or the machine into Mr. Freeze. Follow these tips to help prolong the life of your power washer in colder weather.
Protecting Yourself from the Cold
Before you worry about your power washer, remember to protect yourself from winter’s harsh climate!
- Dress for the weather. Even though you may not feel cold while you are actively moving around outdoors, hypothermia and frostbite are very real possibilities when working outside during winter. Wear a hat, gloves, and warming layers under water resistant pants and a jacket. Cover exposed skin. You may even want to consider wearing rubber boots and goggles as well.
- Protect yourself from slips and falls. Before you begin working, remember to de-ice your workspace. For your safety as well as the safety of others around you, consider that the water from your pressure washer will need to run somewhere, and if it’s winter, it’ll likely freeze rather quickly and turn the area into an ice skating rink. Be sure you apply salt or sand before you start working, which will help prevent the ground from freezing and becoming slippery. You may also want to consider spiked shoes or boot chains for footwear, as the spray force of a power wash can also be enough to knock you off your feet when standing on ice.
Protecting Your Pressure Washer from the Cold
These tips can help your power washer work at its best and keep it working longer during the winter months.
- Remember, your cleaning chemicals will be less effective in the cold. You’ll want to consider either using powdered chemicals with a hot water pressure washer (powder mixes better in hot water and it will not freeze, resulting in a faster cleaning job) or plan on using extra liquid chemicals and taking more time to finish the job. When not in use, do not let your chemicals freeze. Store them in a dry, warm place.
- Prevent anything from freezing inside your pressure washer when not in use. Water expands when it freezes and turns to ice, so it can cause serious damage to the inside of your machine. Liquid cleaning chemicals can freeze inside the machine as well. Protect your equipment when not in use by using automotive antifreeze or windshield washer fluid. Fill the empty float tank, start up your power washer, and flush out the water with the antifreeze. Always keep your pressure washer stored indoors when not in use.
- Work smarter, not harder. Try working in the middle of the afternoon and avoid working in the shade as direct sunlight can help your machines stay warm. If you wan, mount your pressure washing equipment in an enclosed trailer. You’ll also probably want to use a hot water pressure washer instead of a cold water pressure washer. When the machine is being used, cover exposed piping and faucets with heat tape and consider freeze-proofing valves. If you do need to thaw parts of your equipment, using a hair drying or heat gun is a safer option than a torch. Keep the water supply hoses flowing with water so they don’t freeze. When finished with a job, drain your water hose by disconnecting it, laying it out in a straight line, and walking down the hose with it over your shoulder, allowing the water to empty.
Preparing Your Pressure Washer for Winter Storage
If you are planning on leaving your pressure washer stored until the weather warms up, following these precautionary measures will ensure your machine stays in top working order when you are ready to use it.
- Flush out the water. Any water left in the system has the potential to freeze and damage your pressure washer. Avoid this by flushing out all the leftover water and cleaning detergent from the system. You can do this by placing the injection tube of your power washer in a bucket of clean water and running the machine on a low pressure setting for a few minutes. Once done, turn the engine and water supply off. Squeeze the trigger of your spray nozzle to relieve any pressure, then disconnect and dry all attachments before putting them in storage.
- Stabilize the gasoline. You’ll want to consider adding a stabilizer to the fuel tank of your machine to ensure the gas doesn’t clog the fuel lines. Follow the directions on the stabilizer of your choice, run your pressure washer’s engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer throughout the system, then shut it off.
- Use pump saver. Using a pump saver as an extra measure can also help, as it prevents moisture from forming (and freezing) in the pump of your power washer. It can also prevent mineral deposits from building up. You can apply the pump saver of your choice through the hose inlet of your pump and fill the chamber. Allow the chemical to stay in the pump all winter and drain it before you use your machine in the spring.
2018 will be here before we know it! With 2017 coming to an end, we wanted to do a product roundup of our most popular products this year.
2017 Product Spotlight
Wholesale Grease Exhaust Filter
Our grease exhaust filters come in a variety of sizes, however, this 20 x 20 x 2 grease filter is our most popular. Made from a unique roll formed baffle and designed to prevent flame from penetrating through the filter into the duct work, this filter has two layers of equally spaced baffles to create an air flow, which gives unsurpassed performance in efficient grease removal. Smooth baffle surfaces cause a continuous run-off, allowing grease to be safely deposited in collection troughs. Customers can also select whether they want the filter to be galvanized, aluminum, or stainless steel.
A Duro hinge is generally used with exhaust fans to allow them to be lifted back to a full 90 degree angle to allow for easier inspection and cleaning. Our Duro hinges are made of corrosion-resistant 10 gauge steel and can support fans up to 500 pounds. Not only do they fit most commercial fan bases, but they can be installed in less than 30 minutes!
Sold as a pair, these filter clips can be installed in seconds with no drilling or tools required to help keep your filters securely in place. All you have to do is position the hooks between the baffles on the bottom of your filter (one on the left and one on the right) and snap them into place.
Sold as ten 50-pound bags (500 pounds total), these heavy duty exhaust cleaning beads come as dry powder. To use, customers mix one to two cups of powder beads with two gallons of cold water. Because this is a strong, heavy duty cleaner, caution must be taken when using this product. We encourage the use of gloves, goggles, and gowns when mixing and/or handling this chemical.
Grey Neptune Hose
This 50-foot hose, used with pressure washers, comes in 3/8 diameter and can handle up to 4500 PSI and 240 degree water (if you are using it with a hot water pressure washer). For more hose options we offer, visit our Pressure Washer Hose Buying Guide or our Hoses page.
Finally, thank you to our customers for making 2017 another great year! We hope you continue to shop with us for all your hood cleaning supplies in 2018 and beyond.
Keeping your restaurant clean, particularly the kitchen, is non-negotiable. Not only is it important to keep your kitchen clean and sanitary for the sake of your guests, but it is a must for keeping your doors open! Having a spotless kitchen and dining area promotes an enjoyable experience for restaurant-goers as much as staff members and restaurant owners.
It can be a challenge to stay on top of keeping pristine restaurant and kitchen during busier holiday seasons, but these tips and checklists can help.
Front of House Cleaning Checklist
- Clean tables, chairs or benches, and wash any reusable napkins and tablecloths.
- Vacuum your carpeting.
- Inspect condiments you leave on tables to ensure they are clean.
- Disinfect door handles.
- Wash windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces.
- Inspect your air ducts and make sure they are free of dust buildup.
- Wipe light fixtures and change any burned bulbs. You’ll want to dust other decorate fixtures and paintings as well.
Back of House Cleaning Checklist
- If your kitchen is seeing higher than normal use, remember to get your kitchen exhaust system checked and cleaned more frequently as grease will build up at a faster pace. This will not only ensure your kitchen stays clean and your food gets cooked in the most sanitary way possible, but will help you avoid any fire hazards!
- Change the foil linings of your grill, range, and fryer. And don’t forget to clean behind and underneath the equipment too.
- Disinfect ovens, racks, prep surfaces, meat slicers, other countertops. Wipe any walls that may have had food or liquids splashed on them.
- Disinfect your waste disposal area to prevent pests as well as the spread of bacteria.
- Clean your dishwasher, can opener, popcorn machines, soda fountains, coffee machines, ice machines, and other equipment before using it.
- Finally, don’t forget about the floors in your kitchen as well as your staff restrooms and guest bathrooms. You’ll also want to disinfect toilets, sinks, and soap or paper towel dispensers.
Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid
There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about cleaning. Make sure your staff or the kitchen hood cleaning company you hire isn’t cutting corners or making these rookie mistakes.
Avoid the mop like the plague! Many restaurant owners and staff rely on mopping to get their non-carpet floors cleaned, but mops mostly just spread dirt, grease, and other contaminants around rather than picking them up or sanitizing them. If you have tile floors, mops won’t clean grime out of your grout lines. Plus, it is a rather time-consuming cleaning method. Instead, consider ditching the mop and bucket for microfiber cleaning cloths (or a pressure washer, if you have the space) and strong, kitchen-friendly cleaning chemicals.
Make sure food is properly stored. The way you store food is critical to the health and safety of your guests. You can also help prevent unnecessary food waste, spills, and other messes by properly storing food. Store dry goods in airtight containers. Keep serving and measuring tools out of the food in separate, clean containers. Make sure your freezers and refrigerators are at the appropriate temperature to keep from spoiling or getting freezer burn by regularly checking thermometers. Always be sure to carefully store leftovers and toss any expired foods.
Keep food prep sanitary. Your kitchen staff needs to wash their hands properly before handling food. Avoid using the same cutting boards, knives, and other utensils with raw meat, poultry, and other foods. And always wash food that is served cold or uncooked to avoid bacteria and pesticides from getting into your dishes.
Cleaning your restaurant frequently probably isn’t why you got into the food service business, but it is an inescapable part of the job. The fact of the matter is the cleaner a restaurant is, the more likely it is to be successful!
Filter spray adhesive is an inexpensive way to help improve the function and extend the life of all types of air filters. It is a non-oily, slightly tacky, water-soluble liquid that can be applied to a variety of air filters to help improve performance, extend the mechanical impingement, and make filter cleaning easier.
How Does Filter Spray Adhesive Work?
This product is great for capturing dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other allergens. The spray works by creating a positively charged surface that electrostatically attracts negatively charged matter like pollen and dust, which might not otherwise have been captured by the filter. It is designed not to restrict filter air flow when used. Filter spray adhesive also makes cleaning air filters easier by lifting dirt and other contaminants away from the filter and allowing them to be easily washed away.
Filter Spray Adhesive Tips
- Use with all disposable and/or washable filters
- Do not apply to electronic air cleaner filters
- Apply to the side of the filter that air leaves through
- This product comes with a material safety data sheet (MSDS)
Our filter spray adhesive is available in an 18 fluid oz. can and uses less than ½ oz. spray per square foot. It is also available also in 1 gallon, 5 gallon, and 55 gallon drums.
Whether you are buying a replacement part for a pressure washer you already own or are looking to put together a custom power washer for yourself, knowing which hoses to buy for your needs is very important as they are an integral part of your machine working well. This buying guide can help you pick the right hose and keep your pressure washer working at its best.
Before you make any moves to buying a new pressure washer hose, you’ll need to know the following things about which hose you want to buy:
- Length: Selecting the length of your power washer hose is fairly straightforward. If you need to work in a larger area, you’ll probably want a longer hose. If you’re working within a smaller confined space, you’ll likely want a shorter hose so you’re not tripping over it. Consider whether you have an electric pressure washer or a gas-powered pressure washer. Moving electric pressure washers are slightly more complicated because they need to be plugged in, so you’ll probably want to consider a longer hose. With gas power washers, you can easily move your machine, so a shorter hose can serve you just fine. Generally, people tend to buy hoses between 20’ to 50’.
- Diameter: Hoses typically come in three widths—1/4”, 5/16”, and 3/8”. Check your pressure washer to see what diameter hose it requires before buying a new one as not all hoses will fit all machines. Generally, for machines up to 2700 PSI, use a 1/4” diameter hose. For machines with PSI from 2700 to 3400, use a 5/16” diameter hose. The largest and most commonly used hose diameter is 3/8”, which can handle up to 5000 PSI of water pressure.
- Connection: Your hose has two connections—one side that goes into the machine and one side that connects to the spray gun. For the connection to your pressure washer, hoses will either twist or snap together. For the connection to the spray gun, hoses can can connect one of four ways so you’ll want to carefully inspect this. Check whether your spray gun has a male or female connector. (It is typically easier to work with male-type connectors.) If your spray gun has a male thread, you will only need to buy an ordinary replacement hose with two M22 threaded (female) connectors. One end will screw into the pump and the other into the gun. If your gun has a quick-connect male plug, you can easily buy a hose with a 3/8” female snap coupler. If you have a Karcher electric gun, these specifically require you to buy the Karcher K3 replacement hose, which is designed to snap into Karcher electric trigger guns. If your gun has a female thread, buy an ordinary female/female replacement hose with a hose/gun adapter.
- Material: High-pressure hoses are typically made of three materials—PVC plastic, rubber, or polyurethane. PVC hoses are the most common, but these hard plastic hoses are not very flexible so if you find yourself getting frustrated wrestling with your hose you might want to consider a rubber or polyurethane hose instead. Rubber hoses tend to be more flexible, but heavier. They do not curl or kink as easily, however, they do have a tendency to mark surfaces if you slide them around (in the same way a black-soled sneaker might mark up a gym floor). Polyurethane hoses are rather new to the market. These steel-braided hoses are usually covered in a clear, flexible plastic. Many professionals like these hoses because they offer the flexibility and ease of a rubber hose without leaving any marks.
A good pressure washer hose is just as important as the machine itself. Selecting the right hose isn’t as easy as walking into your local hardware store and buying any old garden hose though, so hopefully this guide has offered you some good buying tips so you can make the right choice.
Rust can be a problem for many homeowners and business owners, especially if their water contains high levels of iron (commonly found in well water). And as you know, rust can be an eyesore. Though it may be difficult to remove if it is allowed to sit for several years, addressing it can at least diminish the appearance of stains. Power washers—especially when used with certain cleaning chemicals—as well as certain brushes (but be careful with using wire brushes) can be highly effective when it comes to removing rust.
If a metal surface is not painted, you can easily use a power washer in tandem with cleaning chemicals to remove stains. Pressure washers are highly recommended for rust and even paint removal from metal surfaces. They can blast away stains with their power and cleaning features.
- Select a pressure washer based on your specific needs. For example, you’ll want to decide whether to use a hot water or cold water pressure washer.
- Use the right wands and accessories. Most power washers come with a wide selection of nozzles to choose from; from narrow to wide-angled. When using pressure washers to remove paint or rust from metal surfaces, narrow angle nozzles are the best option as the concentrated pressurized water can exert its force on a small area for better results.
- Test a small area of the metal you are cleaning and adjust the pressure on your power washer accordingly. Be sure to follow safety measures when using a pressure washer.
Concrete is a rather durable surface, so you can easily remove most rust stains with the use of lemon juice and/or vinegar along with a hard-bristled brush.
- Wash the area in which you want to remove rust from with soap and water. Allow it to dry completely before continuing.
- Pour or spray pure lemon juice on the stain and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a stiff bristled brush to scrub the rust stain off the surface.
- If the acid in lemon juice isn’t as effective on the stain as you had hoped, follow up by pouring or spraying white vinegar on the stain.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes and scrub with a stiff brush.
- Repeat with vinegar as necessary, until the stain is completely removed.
- Rinse the cleaned area with water
You likely won’t be able to use a high powered pressure washer or any hard bristled brushes on painted surfaces without damaging or removing the paint. Your best bet is to try and remove stains with a sponge instead.
- Use diluted white vinegar when working on painted surfaces (1 cup of vinegar to ½ cup of water). Spray the vinegar on the stain, but test a small corner of the surface first to ensure you won’t stain or damage the paint.
- Use a sponge to dab at the stain and scrub in small circles.
- It may take a several washes to fully remove the rust, but patience and persistence will pay off!
Sometimes, lemon juice and vinegar just won’t cut it. In these case, it’s best to rely on heavy-duty cleaning chemicals like F9 BARC and a power washer. When using harsh chemicals be sure to work in a well-ventilated area, use gloves and eye protection, and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin. You’ll also want to make sure you fully rinse chemicals off surfaces completely and quickly after cleaning to avoid discoloring the surface.
- Mix and apply your cleaning chemical of choice as indicated on the directions.
- Use a stiff brush and scrub in circles to lift the rust stain.
- If a brush isn’t removing the stain or you just can’t scrub any harder, use a pressure washer. The high-powered hose will not only rinse away your cleaning chemicals, but the concentrated force should also lift the rust stain off the surface.
You can be great at what you do, but if you don’t know how to sell your services to buyers, no one will ever know. And while word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers is a powerful marketing tactic, you can’t rely on that alone. Use these tips to help your hood cleaning company’s sales and marketing, and gain more customers!
Marketing Your Business
- Determine who your ideal customer or target audience is. It might seem like casting a wide net will catch a lot of fish, but how much are the fish worth if they are inedible? Before trying to sell your services, decide who your target customer is. Ask yourself: Who is most likely to need or use my services? This will prevent you from wasting time marketing your business to every single restaurant in town. Instead, maybe you’ll want to only work in certain neighborhoods that other kitchen hood cleaning companies don’t serve. Or maybe you’ll want to target hospitals, nursing home, schools, hotels, and facilities other than restaurants. Once you know exactly who your customer is, you can design your marketing efforts to target them.
- Brand your business. The word “brand” gets thrown around a lot these days, but that’s because branding your business is so important! Branding doesn’t just mean creating a logo, business cards, flyers, and company uniforms; it is what your company’s values, goals, and missions are. This may seem like an unnecessary stretch for a kitchen hood cleaning company, but when people buy from a business, they are looking for an experience rather than a single monetary exchange. If you want loyal customers who keep returning to you for business, you will want to focus on branding. It will also help you gain a competitive advantage over other similar businesses. Ask yourself: What does my company do differently? What sets us apart from the others? What can customers get from us that they can’t find anywhere else? This might mean focusing on being an environmentally-friendly hood cleaning company, a family-owned business that places high value on work-life balance for employees, or providing exceptional customer service.
Selling Your Services
Once you have determined who you want to sell your services to and how you will accomplish that, it is time to get into the nitty gritty of actually marketing and selling the services you offer.
- Build an online presence. You’ll need a website that people can visit, complete with your business’ address, phone number, and other important contact information. You may even want to include photos of the business owners, managers, employees, etc. to add a personal touch. Make sure your business is on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and review websites like Yep and Google too. It not only adds credibility to your company but allows people to quickly find you online, which makes you and your services easily accessible to potential customers.
- Start a newsletter or email marketing campaign. Email is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to reach current and potential customers. Include a newsletter signup form on your website and collect email addresses of existing customers to send them a monthly newsletter with useful information and company updates. Hired a new employee? Purchased the latest state-of-the-art equipment? Have any discounts or promotions coming up? Let your customers know!
- Get certified. Starting and maintaining a hood cleaning business requires a lot more than just knowledge of how to clean things. The easiest way you can make sure your business is legitimate and gain a competitive advantage is by getting professionally certified in accordance to the NFPA 96 standards. Kitchen hood cleaning businesses are government mandated and enforced by local fire inspectors and insurance companies, so attending a kitchen hood cleaning school is a good way to ensure your business is up to required specifications and can act as a powerful selling tool by letting your customers know they are working with a company in compliance with important safety laws.
- Network. Networking is one of the oldest tools in the trade. If you are a new company and don’t have a professional network you can work with, join professional and trade organizations. These will not only provide events where you can meet like-minded people, but opportunities to learn as well. Being an active member in business organizations can also help add to the validity of your company and provides opportunities to be a part of trade shows. You will also want to network with individuals outside of your industry. This provides additional opportunities that you might not otherwise encounter with industry-only folks as well as helps to build personal relationships. Volunteer, offer to act as a speaker at events to share your expertise, or attend local community events; being more than just a faceless company will help add prestige and integrity to your company.
Selling your services doesn’t have to be an expensive and time-consuming project. If you invest a little bit of effort in the beginning, you can build your business into a powerhouse and sell your services to customers to keep them coming back again and again.
A pressure washer works by utilizing the power of water—often in combination with soaps and other cleaning chemicals—to remove hard-to-clean dirt, grease, stains, and other messes.
Even when using just water, pressure washers do a great job of cleaning dirt off any number of surfaces because water molecules have a slight electrical polarity (which means one end is positively charged and the other end is negatively charged), so they stick to whatever you are trying to clean. And the narrow, high-pressure water jet of hot or cold water that pressure washers deliver blasts away dirt and grime. But how can you know when to use hot water or cold water? What’s the difference, and does it matter?
Cold Water VS Hot Water
Cold Water Pressure Washers
If you are seeking a less expensive power washer, you’ll want to look for cold water ones. These are perfect for light to medium cleaning projects as well as jobs where hot water might cause damage to a surface. (Hot water, for example, can cause bare wood to swell, splinter, and split.) Think of cold water pressure washers as penetrative scrapers; they are perfect for cleaning siding and decks as well as boats, cars, and trucks.
Hot Water Pressure Washers
Any job that requires heavy duty cleaning or removal of oil or grease, on the other hand, will probably require a hot water pressure washer. These will do a better job of breaking up and removing oily and grimy dirt. Think about when you do dishes; hot water does a much better job of cleaning them. These are perfect for cleaning engines, construction equipment, oily driveways, and other situations where sanitation is a concern like in restaurant kitchens. Hot water power washers are also better for colder climates and weather as they will not freeze.
As a general rule, hot water will have better cleaning power than cold water. Cold water pressure washers, however, tend to be less expensive to buy and maintain. So, whether or not you chose to purchase a hot water or cold water pressure washer depends on your specific needs.