5 Stages Of Deep Cleaning Communal Kitchen Equipment
Kitchens are a critical part of any accommodation facility. They are the spaces in which culinary delights are created and memories born.
However, they can also be a source of illness. This is due to the risk of contamination that inevitably characterises them. Something as simple as a kitchen towel could be a harbour for harmful bacteria.
As you'll see below, kitchen towels are quite handy. This is especially true for commercial kitchens given how busy they tend to be. They are an essential part of cleaning processes.
Ensure you have a steady supply of kitchen towels and other accommodation linen. This will prevent the reuse of dirty kitchen towels and linens.
This article will explain why you need to deep clean your communal kitchen equipment. Unlike regular cleaning, the aim isn't to merely remove stains. Rather, deep cleaning centres around eliminating microorganisms. These are germs, bacteria and other pathogens that can cause disease.
Read on for steps on how to deep clean your kitchen equipment, to safeguard your guests' well-being.
Stage 1: How to Deep Clean a Fridge
You know how refrigeration works. By lowering the temperature of food, it slows the growth of bacteria. Here’s what you may not know. Microorganisms have an uncanny ability to survive the extreme conditions in a fridge.
While your fridge can slow the rate at which they grow, it can't put a permanent stop to it. Why is this?
Some types of bacteria thrive in low-temperature settings. We refer to them as psychrophilic bacteria.
Notable examples include:
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Yersinia enterocolitica
- Aeromonas spp.
- Plesiomonas shigelloides
- Pseudomonas app.
The table below shows conditions for growth and survival of select microorganisms.
What You'll Need
- Hot water
- Dishwashing liquid
- Sponge (preferably new)
- Clean towels
Start by removing the contents of your fridge. Place them on a clean surface such as the kitchen counter.
Take out any detachable parts such as shelves, racks and compartments.
Add the dishwashing liquid to the hot water to make a soapy water solution. You can use your hands to wash the removable parts using the hot soapy water. However, an unused sponge would work just as well.
CAUTION: Don't expose fridge components made of glass to hot water, as this could cause them to crack.
Wipe the cleaned components down using the clean towels.
Ensure the drawers, racks, shelves and other detachable compartments are dry before returning them to the refrigerator.
Stage 2: How to Deep Clean a Dishwasher
Where would we be without the convenience of the ever-handy dishwasher? After all, dishwashers have proven more effective and efficient than washing by hand.
Yet despite their functionality, dishwashers are not completely free of microorganisms. This study established that dishwashers harbour different types of bacteria. More alarmingly, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was evident. Furthermore, fungi may also be present in dishwashers.
People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of infection by such microorganisms. You never know who's staying at your accommodation site, hence the need to deep clean.
What You'll Need
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Soapy water
Start by taking out the bottom rack. Proceed to examine the drain. If there are any food remains, clean them out using gloved hands. This will help the dishwasher achieve more efficient cleaning cycles.
Next, remove the filter and allow it to soak in the soapy water for about ten minutes. The water should absorb any dirt during this time. Afterwards, rinse the filter and set it to dry.
Pour the white vinegar into a dishwasher safe container and place it on the rack. Run a hot water cycle. The purpose of this is to eliminate grease and scum build-up.
Rinse the dishwasher safe container and add a cup of baking soda. Run a short cycle. This will get rid of the odour and serve as a way to "scrub" the dishwasher’s interior clean.
The last step is a bleach wash cycle.
Some argue that bleach shouldn't feature in the cleaning of dishwashers. However, experts hold a different view.
Granted, vinegar can kill germs due to its acidic nature. Its main component - acetic acid - alters cell structures in germs. There is also evidence that vinegar possesses disinfectant properties.
However, vinegar isn't powerful enough to kill bacteria or viruses. Since you're deep cleaning, you'll need to use bleach to eliminate these microorganisms. Moreover, you can use an alcohol solution instead, just as long as it has the right concentration.
CAUTION: Don't use bleach in dishwashers with stainless steel interiors. Instead, run a second cycle with vinegar.
Formulate a solution of water and bleach. Follow the instructions on the bleach label to do this properly, as bleach can be corrosive. Rinse the dishwasher safe container thoroughly before adding the solution. Finally, run a full cycle.
Stage 3: How to Deep Clean an Oven
With frequent use, ovens are prone to the formation of debris from food remains. Prepare any meals in a dirty oven will undoubtedly impact the taste. And definitely not in a good way.
Besides unsightly stains, tastes and odours, this build-up of food and grease is a hazard for everyone at your facility.
Kitchen fires are among the leading causes of preventable fire incidents. A dirty oven can put your staff and guests at risk. This is due to the burning of built-up food and grease whenever the oven is in use.
"Continuous cooking with a dirty oven can create carbon-based fumes. Excess smoke during cooking is often an indicator of a potential fire hazard." - Rik Hellewell. Managing Director, Ovenu
You may choose to use your oven's self-cleaning function. However, your oven will lock itself and remain unusable for hours.
It will raise its temperature over 500°F to melt away any debris. Take note that excess build-up will only result in smoke. This will render the entire process ineffective.
Cleaning the oven yourself is your best bet.
What You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
- Oven cleaning agent
- Oven safe scouring pad or sponge
- Kitchen cloth
Start by emptying the oven and placing its components away. With gloved hands and safety glasses on, spray the cleaning agent evenly. Ensure you cover every inch of the oven's interior.
CAUTION: Don't spray the cleaner on heating components in electric ovens. The same applies to the gas entry point in gas ovens.
Once you're done spraying, close the oven. Give the cleaner time to lift the grease and dirt. This should take 10 to 20 minutes or as indicated on the label.
Meanwhile, spray the racks with the cleaner and leave them for a while. Alternatively, soak them in hot water containing dishwashing liquid. Allow for at least 10 minutes to elapse before rinsing them.
Dampen the scouring pad or sponge slightly then rub the surface clean. Next, use the cloth to wipe down the oven's interior.
Use the scouring pad or sponge to clean the racks then rinse them under the tap. Leave them to allow the water to drip, or wipe them dry.
Finally, use the clean kitchen cloth to wipe inside the oven. Place the racks and other components back in.
For a spotless exterior, use a bit of dishwashing liquid. Scrub with the sponge or pad then rinse it. Once your pad or sponge is completely free of the cleaning agent wipe the exterior. You can leave it to dry or use a kitchen towel.
If you'd rather not use chemical cleaning products, there's an alternative approach. Swap the store-bought cleaning product with vinegar and baking soda.
Mix a ¼ cup of water and a ¾ cup of baking soda into a paste. Spread the mixture inside the oven, covering the entire surface. Allow at least 20 minutes (or more) for it to work on the dirt.
Add a small amount of vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar onto the baking soda layer and leave it for 20 minutes.
Using a non-abrasive pad or a sponge, scrub gently. Use a moderately damp cloth to wipe the oven clean.
Stage 4: How to Deep Clean a Barbecue Grill
Getting a grill to gleam doesn't have to be a labour-intensive task. It's one of the easier kitchen equipment to deep clean.
What You'll Need
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Stainless steel grill brush
- Aluminium foil
Start by preheating the grill as this makes it easier to scrape off food bits. Use the stainless steel brush to clean the grills.
Once the grills have cooled and are safe to touch, mix a bit of bicarbonate of soda in water and use it to scrub the grills. Lay the grills on aluminium foil for this step.
You can also use soapy water to scrub the grills to get rid of persistent bits of food.
Stage 5: How to Deep Clean Kitchen Sinks
What's dirtier, a toilet bowl or a kitchen sink? You may be in for quite a shock to discover that kitchen sinks may be more filthy. You're probably wondering how this is possible.
It all comes down to food particles that find their way down the drain. These can play host to illness-causing bacteria. Examples include salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
When your hands make contact with the sink surface, they spread to your hands. Soon, they can easily make their way all around the kitchen. They can, therefore, contaminate utensils as well as food.
Follow the steps below to clean and disinfect your communal kitchen sink.
What You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Microfiber cloth
First, rinse the sink to clear away crumbs and any food bits.
With gloved hands, coat the sink in baking soda. Add a bit of dishwashing liquid to a non-abrasive sponge or scouring pad.
Scrub the sink, working from the top to ensure all the grime goes down the drain. Run tap water and scrub until all the soap rinses away.
Sinks smudge or show water spots with ease. To prevent this, wipe the sink down using the cloth. Clean the sink often, to ensure it remains in a pristine state and bacteria are kept at bay.
Hygiene Is a Make-Or-Break for Your Accommodation Facility
The standards of hygiene at your accommodation facility impact your business significantly. This is due to the fact that these standards affect guests' well-being. And we know this is sacrosanct if nothing else.
An unhygienic environment could:
- Lead to lower productivity. The state of cleanliness affects how well your employees can perform. They are likely to be demotivated by poor conditions in the workplace.
- Disrupt your business. An infection can affect the day to day running of your facility. Employees requiring sick leave would leave your site understaffed.
- Harm customer satisfaction. Should customers become infected at your facility they are not likely to return. Their impression of your facility would be highly negative.
- Drive away potential clients. The accommodation business relies heavily on referrals. A couple of poor reviews could ruin your reputation. As such, prospective clients are likely to choose your competition.
All of the above in turn affect your business's bottom line. This underscores the need to deep clean your facility. Doing so will help you make a great, lasting impression for your guests.
In the wake of COVID-19, there’s a need to step up the cleaning of business premises. Have a look at these ALS resources for more on enhancing the sanitation of your facility:
- Sanitizing Public Places In The Wake of Covid-19
- Cleaning Your Facility After A Covid-19 Positive Guest Has Left