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The Essential Food Service Cleaning Chemicals

Sep 28th 2022 - Monica Cunanan

The Essential Food Service Cleaning Chemicals

If a restaurant offers the best food in town but doesn't keep a clean and well-organized kitchen, it won't be able to stay open for long. Commercial kitchens need special cleaners for their surfaces, equipment, and utensils.

Here's a quick guide to the most important cleaning chemicals used in commercial kitchens.

The Essential Food Service Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning chemicals are often categorized into 5 different types: degreasers, abrasives, acids, descalers, and detergents. The types of chemicals for cleaning commercial kitchens include:

  • Coffee & Espresso Machine Cleaners
  • Coffee & Espresso Machine Cleaners
  • Deep Fat Fryer Cleaner
  • Beer & Wine Line Cleaning Chemicals
  • Oven Cleaner & Grill Cleaner
  • Cutting Board & Block Whitener
  • Ice Machine Cleaners & Refrigeration Cleaners
  • Glass Washing & Sanitizing Chemicals
  • Degreasers
  • Delimers & Descalers
  • Drain Openers & Maintainers
  • Food Grade Lubricants & Food Safe Lubricants
  • Dishwashing & Sanitizing Chemicals
  • Popcorn Kettle Cleaners
  • Soft Serve Machine Cleaner and Sanitizer
  • Vegetable Wash


Degreasers or Solvent cleaning removes greasy substances from surfaces by breaking them down into smaller pieces. They are used for the removal of grease from grills, ovens, and kitchen countertops. In the past, most of these products contained white or methylated spirits. Today, there are several non-fuming, nontoxic degreasers available for purchase. They're perfect for commercial kitchens because they don't contain any harmful alcohols that could potentially contaminate food.


These are chemicals that should be rubbed or scrubbed on a surface to remove dirt. They are often used on hard surfaces that can withstand the cleaning action. In most commercial kitchens, abrasives suffice for cleaning pans, pots, and floors. They nonetheless should be used cautiously on kitchen equipment made of stainless steel or plastic with ingrained dirt to avoid damaging them. A few abrasives have chemicals that allow them to disinfect the surface being cleaned.


Acid cleaners are potent cleaning chemicals in commercial kitchens. If you'll be using them, make sure to use a diluted solution them carefully because they can be corrosive or toxic. Commercial kitchen acid cleaners are sufficient for removing mineral deposits from surfaces and appliances. They can also be used to descale dishwashers and remove rust in restrooms. Vinegar, a weak acid, can be used to clean off grease and grime from your stove.


They're used to break up soil and dirt in the kitchen. It helps ease the removal of contaminants. Most commercial kitchen detergents are synthetic, which means they're made from petro­leum products and come in the form of crystals, gels, or liquids.


Accumulating scale in your kitchenware could cause issues with your restaurant's plumbing system. Descalers are the ideal solution for this. They clean away hard water and minerals from your dishwasher and heater. Regularly cleaning your kitchen equipment helps keep it running smoothly for longer. A good kitchen descaler must be non-toxic and bio-degradable.

Cleaning a commercial kitchen thoroughly is undoubtedly difficult but necessary. Not using the right kind of dishwashing detergent could result in compromising the taste and presentation of food and even contravening food regulations. Therefore, you should ensure you buy the best possible chemical suppliers for the above products.

The Different Types of Food Service Chemicals

There are many different kinds of cleaning products available for commercial kitchens. There are some cleaners that focus on removing visible dirt from surfaces, while there are others that are specifically designed to remove microscopic germs.

Determine your intended usage for the chemical before purchasing it. You need to ensure that you find the right cleaning agents for your commercial kitchens by searching for food service chemicals that were specifically developed to clean specific areas of them.

Ice Machine & Refrigeration Cleaners

It is important to keep your ice machines and refrigerators clean so they operate properly. Ice machine sanitizers and cleaners are generally safe to use on nickel and tin surfaces and many products have multiple uses, such as cleaning the walls, floors, and equipment located in your freezers or coolers.

See More: How to Properly Clean an Ice Machine

Coffee & Espresso Machine Cleaners

You need to clean your coffee machines regularly to ensure they're running smoothly and eliminate any unwanted deposits that might affect their performance. There are many different kinds of coffee and espresso machine cleaning products for different purposes. Most products can be interchanged between coffee and espresso machines without any issues. When cleaning a specific item, be sure to look up its intended purpose first.

Beer & Wine Line Cleaning Chemicals

Beer and wine lines are vulnerable to unwanted deposits that can alter their flavor and cause them to flow poorly. Cleaning products can help keep your line clear.

Clean beer and wine lines at least once per month. Most kitchens choose to clean their walls and floors at least once per 2 weeks. Regular cleanings will keep your lines looking good and prevent them from becoming blocked or clogged up.

Oven Cleaner & Grill Cleaner

It is always important to clean and sanitize kitchen commercial ovens before using them for cooking. With liquid cleaners, sprayable aerosols, and premixed rinses, cleaning off your grills' burnt-on fats, greases, and soot has never been easier. These cleaning and sanitizing products can be applied to both indoor and outdoor appliances.

Cleaning your oven once a month will help prevent the crusty build-up that usually occurs when cooking there. Even if you cook at extremely high temperatures, the crusty layer can change the flavor of your food.

Deep Fat Fryer Cleaner

It's important to clean your deep fryer regularly so that it doesn't get clogged up with grease and oil residue. If you're cooking different foods at once, then keeping your fryer clean is especially important. There are three types of fryer cleaners: liquids, powders, and tablets. Using a tablet cleaner saves time and eliminates waste because they are pre-measured.

The frequency at which to clean your deep fat fryers depends on the amount of oil used cooking in them and the type of foods you're cooking. If you're cooking a lot of different types of foods at once, some kitchen staff might want to clean their fryers each night. Most kitchens clean their fryers once every two to three times a week

Cutting Board & Block Whitener

You can use board and block whiteners to clean and sanitize your chopping boards while also eliminating odors and bleaching stains. These cleaning solutions will help keep your chopping surfaces clean and shiny.

Steps on how to Whiten your Board:

  • Choose a cutting board cleaner with a strength that matches your needs.
  • Spread the cleaner evenly across the surface of your chopping block.
  • Let the cleaner sit on your board for the specified waiting period.
  • Before using the cutting board, rinse the surface thoroughly.
  • If you need to repeat the whitening and rin­sing process, do so.

Glass Washing & Sanitizing Chemicals

Maintaining your glassware is important for keeping your brand looking good. You can use the following to clean out any glassware you have.

  • Bleaches/De-stainers
  • Detergents
  • Disinfectants
  • Sanitizers
  • Solvents

Drain Openers & Maintainers

Commercial kitchens need drains because they're prone to clogs from food and grease. You can prevent drain blockages or remove minor clogged drains yourself with proper maintenance. These drain cleaners are meant to dissolve clogs and get your drains back into working order.

Regularly using drain cleaners can help prevent severe clog issues in the long run. To get rid of hard water deposits from your drains, use an extra-tough cleaner.. If severe drain clogs occur, they may lead to pipe bursts. If you consistently encounter clogs in the exact same place, call a plumber.

The Different Types of Food Grade and Food Safe Lubricants

Food-safe lubricant products are specially formulated for food processing machinery and are safe to be used on any type of machinery. There are several different kinds of food grade and food-safe chemicals, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. To learn more about food-safe lubricants, check out these types of lubricants:

  • Grease
  • Lubricants
  • Oils
  • Silicone lubricant

Dishwashing & Sanitizing Chemicals

Dishwashers usually need at least one of these three things: detergent, rinse aid, and sanitizer. Detergents are usually available in liquid, solid (powder), metallic-safe, and phosphate-free varieties. Rinse aids are simple to use and help prevent spots from appearing on tableware. They're effective in any environment and quickly clean surfaces of grease, soil, and grime.

It is important to note that high-temperature dishwashers don't need sanitizers because they use hot water for cleaning instead of cold water. Low-temperature dishwashers require a detergent, rinsing agent, and chemical sanitizer.

See More: How to clean a Hobart Dishwasher

Popcorn Kettle Cleaners

It contains no harsh chemicals so that the inside of the kettle won't get dirty and will also keep the inside looking fresh and clean. To ensure you're using the best popcorn kettle cleanser, mix the powder into warm water before adding it to the kettle.

See More: How to Clean Popcorn Machine