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What not to do when cleaning a grease trap

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Grease trap cleaning is something most restaurant and food handling workers need to take care of on a weekly basis. Leaving a grease trap dirty creates bad smells that can give your establishment a bad reputation. It can also host unsanitary bacteria that can cause actual health problems with your staff and your customers. You can hire professionals to take care of your grease trap cleaning, but as it has to be performed fairly often, you might want to do it on your own. To prevent doing a bad job that will force you to call in a professional to do it properly, there are a few things you need to avoid.

Boiling water

It might be tempting to use extremely hot water when cleaning your grease trap, as the warm water you're using won't be able to remove all the grease gathered in the trap. However, you should avoid doing this in any scenario. Pouring boiling water down the grease trap will liquefy the grease and carry it down the pipe, where it then will go cold and cause the grease to set. This could cause you a lot of problems with your sewage systems and lead to large plumbing bills. If you're left with oily water in the grease trap when you're done cleaning, try to flush it out a couple of times with warm water instead.


You should also avoid using detergents containing strong chemicals to clean out your grease trap. This could damage it, and have unpleasant or even dangerous reactions with the waste that is in the grease trap. You should avoid detergents or cleaning products in general when cleaning out your grease trap, as it's a sensitive environment with a lot of bacteria. Just use something to scoop out the solids and the grease and clean it out with clean, warm water. Scrub the edges, if necessary, with a steel brush.


Some people might think that a grease trap works as a septic tank that needs an environment where good bacteria can grow to make the system effective. This is not the case with a grease trap. The solids gathered in the bottom will only cause more odours and also create a risk for it to follow the water and end up sticking in the pipe, which will create a backflow through the grease trap and possibly clog all of your pipes, leading to a plumbing disaster. Make sure to scoop out all solids as you're removing the grease.