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Purchasing a Restaurant for the First Time? Learn How to Clean the Grease Trap

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If you are purchasing a new restaurant, it likely has a grease trap. If so, you need to learn how to check the trap in case there are problems with it, and you need to know how to clean it. Below is some information about grease traps and how to clean them.

The Grease Trap

Restaurants produce a lot of grease, which can be found in the drain lines from sinks, cooking equipment, and dishwashers. If the grease is not removed periodically, it can clump up and cause sewer blockages, or the sewer may back up. You do not want something like this to happen at your restaurant.

The grease trap is generally found outside a few feet from the restaurant. You may be required to fit an interceptor device that will collect the grease from your restaurant before it enters the sewer system. Your city may have an inspection program in which a professional will come to your restaurant and ensure the grease trap is being maintained properly.

Grease-Trap Cleaning

How often you need to clean your grease trap depends on how large your restaurant is. If your restaurant is large, you should have your grease trap cleaned approximately every four to six weeks.

If you choose to clean the grease trap yourself, you will need some tools, including the following.

  • Gas mask
  • Coveralls
  • Rubber gloves
  • Crowbar to remove lid
  • Scraper to clean trap
  • Bucket and scoop to remove liquids and sludge
  • Shop vac to remove liquid and grease waste

You likely have to remove the grease trap lid using a crow bar, or the lid may have bolts that have to be removed. If the grease trap has a plastic lid, it likely snaps off.

Remove the lid, and you will likely see a lot of grease sludge at the top. This sludge may be a few inches thick. Use the scoop and bucket to remove this sludge. The remaining grease in the trap must be removed, and a shop vac does a very good job at doing this.

Once the grease is removed from the trap, use the scraper to clean the baffles, sides, and lid. You should also remove all grease from the pipes in the tank.

When you are finished, make sure water flows smoothly to the grease trap. Pour a bucket of clean, cold water down the sink. Have someone check the trap as you pour the water to make sure the water flows through the trap.

Cleaning a grease trap can be a very messy job. If you have never done this before, you should hire a company that does grease-trap cleaning. You can find companies like this by visiting sites such as This will ensure the job is done properly.