If you own a small restaurant and have made sure that the drainage system has been supplied with a large grease trap, then you may not have to clean the trap often. For this reason, you may want to clean out the containment area yourself instead of investing in a cleaning service. If you have not cleaned the trap yet, then look for signs that you need to soon. A drain that smells foul, one that drains slowly, and also one that bubbles as water moves through are things to watch out for. If you want to clean the trap yourself, then keep reading to learn about some tips that can help you.
Wear Protective Gear
If you are cleaning out your restaurant's grease trap, then you obviously understand that you need to clear out grease. This is enough to make more people reach for the rubber gloves. The gross factor of touching grease is not the only thing that you need to be concerned about. Grease traps are filled with bacteria and this is one reason why the trap is releasing strong odors in the first place. Not only is the trap moist and able to provide an ideal environment for certain types of pathogenic bacteria, but the microorganisms have an abundant food source due to the organic materials in the grease.
Specifically, grease traps will contain the same types of bacteria as a wet sink, but in greater numbers. The bacteria include salmonella, E. coli, staph bacteria, and other microorganisms.
You should wear thick gloves the entire time that you clean the grease trap. However, you should not just choose any type of gloves. Pick either a pair made from nitrile or PVC. Both of these types of gloves can withstand constant contact with oily and greasy materials. You also want to buy some goggles with side guards and a dust mask. Long pants and a long-sleeved sure are ideal as well.
In some cases, the grease trap may release extremely strong odors if you have left the organic materials sit for some time. A gas mask may be needed in this situation. While it may seen overkill, it may be in your best interest to buy or rent one of these masks instead of risking a vomiting episode as you try to complete the cleaning.
Grab The Right Tools
While cleaning the actual trap is pretty self-explanatory, you should make sure that you have a large bucket to hold the cleaned grease as well as spoons and scooping tools to release it from the trap. These are not the only tools that you need though. You will also likely need certain tools to actively remove the lid from the trap itself. Some traps do snap off, and these are typically ones made of plastic.
If you notice a metal cap or top though, then you will need to use a crowbar to lift the heavy lid or a socket wrench to release the bolts from the top of it. Some lids and tops may be secured with screws, so a screwdriver can be used to remove them.
Once you remove the top lid from the grease trap, you will need to release the baffles as well. Baffles are secured inside the trap and help to control the flow of water through the device. They can usually be pulled right out of the trap.
Once the lid and baffles are released, you can start the cleaning process. Release the vast majority of the solid grease with your scooping tools and place it in your bucket. You will likely be left with more fluid grease at this point and it can be removed with a shop vacuum. After the grease is released, use cotton cloths to wipe the interior of the trap down. It is also wise to use enzymatic cleaners that contain bacteria to complete the cleaning. These cleaners eat away at the leftover residue so the trap is as clean as possible. For more information or assistance, contact companies like AAA Pumping Service.