When Should You Clean the Grease Trap in Your Restaurant?


Grease traps are specially designed to trap sludge, grease, and fatty used cooking oil to separate them from water. These substances penetrate through a trapping system enabling them to cool down and solidify while the water goes through the drain normally. The grease trap should be maintained regularly to operate effectively in order to keep the grease trap clean. In this article, we look at the signs that your grease trap needs to be cleaned.

Why Should You Clean Your Grease Trap?

Maintaining a clean grease trap plays a major role in helping you avoid:

  • Bad Odors
  • Clogging of the drainage system
  • Losses following the closure of your business
  • The risk of fires
  • High costs of repair
  • Health complications both in your customers and employees

How to Know that Your Grease Trap Requires Cleaning

In order to maintain your grease trap appropriately, you need to be on the lookout for the following signs.

Slow moving or Clogged Drainage

Grease trap experts are certain that poor grease trap maintenance is the number one cause of clogged drains. What causes this? If you’ve no cooking oil recycling facilities in your establishment, fats, oils, and grease will collect in your grease trap, they will begin solidifying.

Eventually, the trap gets filled up with dense grease. Usually, you should be able to see through a trap but when it’s full, the grease will collect and form a cap which eventually blocks the trap. This buildup blocks water from flowing through the drain and this slows down waste movement.

Clogged drains can result in various other problems and in worst cases, it can lead to a temporary closure of your business resulting in huge losses. If you realize slowed water movement you should call in an expert grease trap cleaner immediately.

If You’ve not Done so in a Long Time

When was the last time you cleaned your grease trap? If you can’t remember, then it’s time you organized for a thorough cleaning session. Experts opine that the grease trap should be cleaned once every three months. However, if your restaurant is busy you can have it cleaned more frequently to be on the safe side. Doing so will help you put grease trap related problems at bay as well as run your restaurant under the health department and EPA grease trap cleaning standards.

When there’s a Foul Smell in the Kitchen

Unusual odor can be an indication that your grease trap needs cleaning. If you notice an odor that lingers even when the kitchen is clean and free from garbage, you should either have the trap cleaned or have it inspected by an expert. Often, grease trap odors can result from the accumulation of food waste, oil, grease, and sludge over a prolonged period. Taking immediate steps to establish the problem before it escalates.

If you Spot Grease in Unlikely areas

If you notice grease in unusual places around your kitchen, it could be an indication that your grease trap requires thorough cleaning. If you are wondering how this happens, you may want to know that when the grease trap is clogged, the excess grease will find alternative escape routes. These could include, sewer pipes, sinks, and water lines. When this happens, you will have grease in strange places. If you see this sign; inspect your grease trap and have it cleaned thoroughly by an expert.


Maintaining a clean grease trap is good and beneficial for your health. It eliminates the need to worry about bad odors or risking your client’s and employee’s health. Further, maintenance is more cost effective compared to repair. Clogged grease traps can lead to closure of your restaurant leading to major losses and loss of customers. What’s more, fixing the drainage is expensive and you don’t want to incur such untold expenses. Clean your grease traps thoroughly and regularly. You can either have your in-house staffs execute the cleaning or hire professional grease trap cleaners who are well trained, qualified, and experienced in grease trap cleaning. 

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of Ways2GoGreen.com and Ways2GoGreenBlog.com. I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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