If you own a restaurant, a catering service or simply have a large kitchen, you should know your grease trap requires ongoing cleaning. However, it is not enough to simply perform a superficial cleaning of the trap once every couple years. You need to perform an in-depth cleaning of your grease trap at specific intervals to ensure it is clean, safe and functions as designed. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the basics of cleaning cooking oil containers.
Can you Clean Your own Grease Trap?
In short, yes, you can. If you have the proper tools and are willing to put forth the effort necessary for a thorough cleaning, you can clean your own grease trap. Just be careful when performing deep fryer oil disposal as it has the potential to sabotage your kitchen’s valuable components as well as the environment.
Why does a Grease Trap Need to be Cleaned Regularly?
Grease traps have the potential to clog after extensive use. A reduction in water temperature in the sink will cause the semi-solid waste to form blockages and also prove quite odorous. Add a grease trap and water will move downward through the drain while the grease, oil and fat are kept separate from the septic system. However, the trap needs to be cleaned at regular intervals to ensure it actually functions as designed. Otherwise, it will be as though there is not a grease trap in place, creating a messy situation in which grease is not trapped and instead, moves down the drain, wreaking havoc below.
How Often do Grease Traps Need Cleaning?
In general, grease traps should be cleaned once or twice per month. However, the frequency at which you clean your grease trap differs based on the amount of usage. If you use your grease traps on a daily basis, be sure to clean them at least twice per month. However, if you rarely use your grease traps, you can clean them once every month or two.
How are Grease Traps Cleaned?
The first step is to ensure the water within the grease interceptor is properly cooled. Once the water cools down, the cleaning process can commence. Use a crowbar or a wrench to detach the lid from the grease trap. Be sure to separate the lid with care to prevent damage to the gasket positioned below.
You should find the grease floating along the top, facilitating easy scooping. A shop vacuum can be used to suck out all of the grease floating at the top of the trap. Sucking out the grease in this manner ensures it does not stick to the sides of the trap or the baffles while the liquid levels decrease.
At this point, it is time to remove the leftover wastewater, ensuring only solid bits of food are present. As you do this, check to make sure the sinks and dishwasher are not in use. Furthermore, it is in your interest to take a close look at the shop vacuum to ensure it does not end up overfilling and causing the grease to spill.
The next step is to scrape away the grease with a scraper. Eliminate all of the grease that is stuck to the lid as well as the baffles and the sides of the tank. If oil or fat has solidified, remove it so it does not prevent the grease interceptor from functioning as intended. At this point, all of the solid food waste and grease should be removed. This is your opportunity to clean the entirety of the grease interceptor to eliminate the nasty odor. Perform this cleaning with warm water, soap and a steel pot scrubber. Water will also help wash away all of the waste and soap from the tank.
Finally, don’t forget to check to see if all of the FOG has been removed from the interceptor. Pour a gallon of water into the kitchen sink. If you find the water does not flow through the drain in an unobstructed manner, there still might be a blockage within the drain line. If such a blockage is present, do not hesitate to lean out to a plumber for assistance. However, you might find there are no such blockages. Put the grease interceptor components in their proper positions and the unit will once again be ready for use.
Mind the Disposal of the Waste
The waste collected by the shop vacuum has the potential to prove hazardous. Mix this waste with kitty litter or another appropriate material until it fully solidifies. Pour the waste in a garbage bag, properly seal it and take the necessary steps to dispose of it in the appropriate manner. When in doubt in regard to fryer oil recycling, lean on a restaurant oil pick up or cooking oil pick up service for assistance in removing the waste collected from your grease trap in a truly efficient and environmentally-friendly manner.
Grease Trap Service – Where to Find?
Green Star Biodiesel is here to clean your grease trap. We provide affordable, safe, efficient and worry-free grease trap cleaning service. This is exactly what you need to collect and recycle cooking oil to safeguard sewers and waterways while helping to create truly sustainable products with used cooking oil. We perform restaurant grease trap cleaning and residential grease trap cleaning.
Reach out to us today to find out more about our grease trap cleaning service and professional cooking grease disposal. You can find out more about our grease pick up service and grease trap cleaning techniques by dialing (888) 799-4099.