How to Clean a Greasy Restaurant Kitchen Floor Step by Step

You spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on new restaurant floors, and now six months later, they’re coated in grimy grease. Messes are inevitable, but you don’t want another day of your dirty floors to persist. How can you tidy up your greasy restaurant floors today?

To clean greasy restaurant kitchen floors, follow these steps:

  • Sweep the floor 
  • Use a chemical degreaser
  • Scrub the floor using a stiff-bristled brush
  • Remove all degreaser residue
  • Let the floor air dry

In today’s article, we’ll elaborate further on the above steps as well as discuss whether it’s a good idea to hire a commercial cleaning service and how much you might pay to do so. We even have some tips for maintaining the cleanliness of your restaurant floors, so keep reading! You’re not going to want to miss it. 

Is a Greasy Restaurant Floor Such a Big Deal?

Did you know that, according to the National Floor Safety Institute or NFSI, falls lead to eight million trips to the emergency room and slips and falls more than one million trips? A greasy restaurant floor is more than just an eyesore then, but a safety hazard as well.

Failing to properly clean your floors puts your staff at risk, including yourself, as well as your customers. The lawsuits your restaurant could face if one of these slip and fall victims decided to sue could be financially damaging, not to mention it would negatively impact your reputation. 

For those reasons, we’d say yes, a greasy restaurant floor is very much a big deal. You care about the longevity of your restaurant, we’re sure. We’re also confident you care a great deal about the health and safety of your customers and staff. Do what’s best for them and remove grease from your kitchen floors.

Cleaning up grease is what’s best for you too. Grease isn’t like other residues, as it can accumulate over time. The longer you go without cleanup, the more likely you are to have grease on grease. While the focus of our article is grease on your restaurant kitchen floors, don’t be fooled. Grease can and will get into other parts of your restaurant’s kitchen, such as the pipes. Before you know it, your sink will be backed up. 

Depending on how much grease has developed in the pipes, you could be looking at an expensive repair job.  

5 Steps to Clean a Greasy Restaurant Kitchen Floor

Okay, okay, so you’re going to tackle cleaning your greasy kitchen floor today, right now. What do you need for the job? You should have a broom, a dustpan, a wet-dry vacuum, a stiff-bristled deck brush, a squeegee, a bucket, a mop, degreaser, and gloves.

With your supplies gathered, here are the 5 steps to follow to properly degrease the floors of your restaurant. 

Step 1: Basic Sweeping

The cleaner the floors are from debris, the more efficient your degreasing will go. With a standard broom, sweep away all debris that’s settled onto the kitchen floor, including dust, dirt, food scraps, packaging, dried leaves, and the like. 

Use a dustpan to collect the debris and toss it into your garbage can.

Step 2: Using Your Chemical Degreaser

Lots of household products claim they have degreasing properties, such as common dish detergent or dish soap. Indeed, these products can remove grease from a stubborn bowl or plate, but your entire restaurant floor? Not so much. You need a specialized chemical cleaner so you can really scrub your kitchen floors of grease. Until then, the floors are indeed a slipping hazard.

We recommend a bio-enzymatic degreaser. The bacteria within this cleaning product are non-pathogenic, aka they aren’t a disease risk. Since grease is considered a type of organic soil, a bio-enzymatic degreaser is indeed the best solution. 

You don’t necessarily have to go to the ends of the earth to find a chemical degreaser like a bio-enzymatic cleaner. The BIO-Master on Amazon is one such product. It can remove organic waste, vomit, spoiled food waste, and grease. 

You should dilute the BIO-Master and other bio-enzymatic cleaners before applying, often using water. Then you spray your degreaser on the floor and let it sit according to the directions on your product. The average time is 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, the bacteria in the cleaner are breaking up and then consuming the grease. 

Your mop will come in handy for spreading the degreaser across the floor. 

Step 3: Scrubbing Your Floor

Before you wash away the bio-enzymatic degreaser, you want to agitate it through scrubbing. The abovementioned deck brush with rigid bristles will work especially well for this. 

If you get into a regular cleaning habit with your bio-enzymatic cleaner (which you really should), you could even notice that your floor grout looks whiter. Due to the porousness of grout, it’s very easy for the bacteria in your bio-enzymatic cleaner to get into the grout and clean it. 

Depending on when or if you last cleaned your restaurant floors, you might have to scrub a second or third time. 

Step 4: Rinsing the Floors

Now that you’re done scrubbing, you can move on to cleaning your kitchen floors. Grab your squeegee and go to town. If your restaurant kitchen has a drain, send the bio-enzymatic cleaner residue towards the drain. Otherwise, skip the squeegee and reach for a wet/dry vacuum or a standard bucket and mop. Both should be completely clean. 

Step 5: Letting the Floor Dry

The floor will need time to dry, and the best way to do it is to let the ambient air in your restaurant take care of it. If you have a floor blower, that will speed things up. Your kitchen should be closed until the floor is completely dry to prevent anyone from tracking bio-enzymatic cleaner or grease elsewhere in your restaurant. You also can prevent slips and falls. 

Should You Call in a Commercial Floor-Cleaning Service to Remove Kitchen Floor Grease?

What if you followed the above steps to the letter but your floors are still greasy? It’s worth repeating the steps again, as your restaurant kitchen might have accumulated so much grease that the bio-enzymatic cleaner will have to work a little longer to remove it all.

You may also consider hiring a professional floor-cleaning service if your kitchen is truly out of control. This is a good avenue, but you don’t just want to do a quick Google search and select the first commercial service that comes up. Here are some best practices to follow when choosing a pro floor-cleaning service for your restaurant.

Select a Company That Does Restaurant Cleaning, Not General Cleaning

We’re sure you can find dozens and dozens of commercial floor cleaners in a 5-mile radius alone, right? Yet how many of those operations specialize in cleaning restaurants? Not as many, more than likely.

You will have to search a bit harder, but you must choose a cleaning company that knows how to combat restaurant messes like grease. They’ll have the tools, cleaners, and the expertise to get your restaurant floors clean again.

Don’t Do All Your Vetting Through Email or the Phone

Since you may work with this cleaning service on an ongoing basis in the future, you want to ensure they understand the needs of your restaurant and that you two gel. We don’t recommend keeping your interactions limited to only email or phone calls. Meet in person at least once before hiring them.

Ask about Their Certifications

A professional-level cleaning company should have a certification through an organization like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC. This nonprofit establishes the professional standards of cleaning companies, including in areas like inspection and restoration.

If the cleaning company is reticent to show you their certificate or they don’t have a certificate, you’re much better off passing on their services. 

How Much Might You Spend on Restaurant Cleaning Services?

If you are indeed leaning towards the professional services of a commercial cleaner, the question becomes how much will you spend on the job? That depends! Desert Oasis, a commercial cleaning company in the same vein as what you’re looking for, says that in 2020, the average hourly price of a cleaning service is $85. The cost could be as low as $20 in some parts of the country and as high as $150, both per hour.

So let’s say you hired a commercial cleaning crew to come to your restaurant and they spend four hours degreasing your kitchen floors. At $85, you’re looking at a bill for at least $340. 

CostHack, a price estimate website for various services, says cleaning the floors alone might cost $25 an hour, or about 12 cents to 20 cents for each square foot of your kitchen. 

What if you wanted the rest of your establishment cleaned now that you’ve degreased? According to CostHack, cleaning the hood of your kitchen will cost between $120 and $200 an hour.

To clean the restaurant entrance and waiting area, that’s about $20 or $25 an hour. Per each square foot of space, the price is 12 cents to 20 cents. For outdoor waiting spaces and to tidy up your restaurant’s bathrooms, the price would be the same.

If you have a walk-in refrigerator or several, the price for cleaning this space inside and out is higher. It’s 30 cents to 40 cents a square foot, which is between $50 and $75 an hour. That’s also the quote for scouring the rest of your kitchen, including the food prep surfaces and the equipment in this area.

Tips for Maintaining the Cleanliness of Your Restaurant Floors

Know the Right Way to Clean Your Restaurant Kitchen

Sure, most grease accumulates from prepping food and even the occasional spill, but do you know what else causes grease? Incorrect mopping etiquette. When you mop the floors of your restaurant, always do so with a clean mop. A dirty mop will have grease trapped within the mop’s fibers, which then gets transferred to your kitchen floors, ruining them.

Even if you have a perfectly clean mop, if you then plunk that mop into a dirty, greasy bucket of water, all you’re doing is coating the mop fibers with grease and spreading it all over the floors.

Don’t Let Food Spills Linger

Greasy food spills will happen in any restaurant. The best thing to do is cordon off the area and get to cleaning it right away. The more time the grease has to sink in, the harder it will become to remove. 

In a busy restaurant kitchen, stopping the action for a few minutes might not seem wise, especially if you have customers waiting for their food. Using a bio-enzymatic cleaner that takes about 10 minutes to work means the customers won’t be waiting long. 

Clean the Floors for Grease Daily

You want to get into a solid habit of treating grease, doing it every single day. Going back to our recommended bio-enzymatic cleaner BIO-Master, the manufacturer suggests using it twice a week up to four times.

Regularly degreasing your restaurant floors helps this cleaning job become a habit so you’re more likely to stick with it. 

Make Your Restaurant Floors Slip-Resistant

We also recommend you seriously think about a method for increasing the slip-resistance of your kitchen floors. You can get rubber mats installed, add nonslip tape, use a sealer with grit additives, or spray an anti-slip product like Rust-Oleum. You can use this spray on walkways, ramps, and stairs made of wood, ceramic, concrete, and metal. 

Spray on areas of 15 square feet at a time and within a half-hour, the slip-resistant spray is completely dry. This is certainly a more cost-effective alternative to ripping up your restaurant’s kitchen floors!

Conclusion

Restaurant grease is unsanitary and a slipping hazard, so it has to go. The steps we outlined in this article show that it’s easier than you think to clean your restaurant kitchen floors. If your floors are coated with so much grease that even your bio-enzymatic cleaner doesn’t put a dent in it, then you might turn to the professionals.

No matter how you end up with grease-free floors, remember to keep your mops and buckets clean, degrease daily, and mop up food spills when they happen. Best of luck!

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