Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning & Maintenance Checklist

Andrea Lorenzo August 29, 2023

Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning & Maintenance Checklist

There’s no time for downtime in a bustling restaurant kitchen. The easiest way to extend the life of your equipment — and reduce the inconvenience of downtime and needing emergency repair — is by planning consistent, thorough cleaning and maintenance.

Each piece of equipment in a foodservice establishment has unique care needs each day, week and month. To make it easier for your team to stay on top of those needs, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow restaurant cleaning and maintenance checklist for you to use below.

The list below represents general recommendations based on our many years of experience and service across a number of equipment manufacturers. For the most accurate cleaning and maintenance guidelines, consult your OEM equipment manuals.

Wish you had a printable copy of this restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist to hang in your establishment? Download one for free here.

What should be cleaned and maintained daily in a restaurant?

  • Grills and Flat-tops: Scrape off debris, then wipe with a damp cloth to remove grease and residue.
  • Fryers: Filter and store oil properly, clean fryer baskets and wipe the exterior to prevent oil buildup and maintain hygiene.
  • Stovetops: Clean burners, knobs and surfaces using a mild degreaser to remove spills and stains.
  • Ovens: Remove food debris, wipe the interior and clean glass doors using an oven-safe cleaner.
  • Steamers: Empty water and wipe interior with a damp cloth to prevent mineral buildup.
  • Microwaves: Wipe the interior and exterior with a damp cloth to remove food splatters and maintain cleanliness.
  • Slicers: Disassemble and wash slicer parts with warm, soapy water. Then sanitize and reassemble. Be sure to wear the anti-cut gloves when handling a slicer.
  • Food Processors: Disassemble components, wash with warm water and mild detergent, sanitize and let dry before reassembling.
  • Prep Tables: Wipe down surfaces using a food-safe sanitizer to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Utensils and Cutting Boards: Wash with hot, soapy water before sanitizing to ensure food safety.

What should be cleaned and maintained weekly in a restaurant?

  • Reach-in Refrigerators: Empty contents, wipe down shelves with a cleaning solution or mild detergent of your choice. Examine and clean door seals to stop any mold growth.
  • Walk-in Refrigerators: Organize items, discard expired products and wipe down shelves using a mild detergent.
  • Freezers: Defrost if needed, then clean the interior with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove frost and odors.
  • Dishwasher: Remove and clean the filter screen, sanitize the interior and run an empty cycle using a commercial dishwasher cleaner.
  • Hoods and Vents: Degrease hoods and clean vent filters with a degreaser to ensure proper airflow and fire safety.
  • Mixers: Disassemble attachments and clean with warm, soapy water. Sanitize, dry and lubricate moving parts as needed.
  • Countertops: Remove equipment, clean thoroughly using a food-safe degreaser and sanitize surfaces. Countertops should be cleaned every day, but a deeper clean once-per-week is recommended.
  • Sinks: Clean sink basins and disinfect drains with your preferred commercial drain cleaner.
  • Ice Machines: Empty and sanitize the ice bin, then follow manufacturer’s instructions to clean and sanitize internal components.

What should be cleaned and maintained monthly in a restaurant?

  • Deep Fryer: Drain and properly discard oil, clean fryer interior and replace with fresh oil. This is essential for both maintaining food quality and extending equipment life.
  • Grills: Remove grates, soak in warm soapy water, scrub, rinse and degrease the surfaces thoroughly.
  • Ovens: Perform a thorough deep cleaning of the interior, replace or clean filters as needed and inspect for any potential issues.
  • Steamers: Descale the steaming compartment following manufacturer instructions, and perform a detailed cleaning of the interior.
  • Refrigerator Coils: Vacuum dust and debris from coils to maintain energy efficiency and proper cooling.
  • Walk-in Refrigerators: Deep clean walls and floors, addressing any spills or stains to ensure a sanitary environment.
  • Walk-in Freezers: Deep clean walls and floors using our 9-step guide.
  • Dishwashers: Clean interior, sanitize and check for scale buildup on heating elements or spray arms. If there is build-up, use a manufacturer-recommended cleaner to remove.
  • Slicers: Inspect for any signs of wear and lubricate moving parts according to manufacturer guidelines.
  • Floor Drains: Deep clean the surrounding area before pouring enzyme cleaner within to prevent clogs and odors.

This restaurant kitchen equipment cleaning and maintenance checklist should be all you need to keep operations running smoothly. To further protect your assets and avoid costly downtime, explore a preventative maintenance program for your equipment.

Whenever things break down despite your best efforts, give the Smart Care team a service call. We have over 1,400 technicians ready and able to help nationwide — 24/7/365.

More Articles