Don’t spend another minute cooking in or looking at a dirty microwave! A dirty microwave can leave lingering tastes, pose sanitation and health issues, and just look nasty. While it is best to remove stains and food splatter as soon as it occurs, who has time for that?! Chances are you will need to do some heavier cleaning from time to time. Although you may not enjoy the task, your customers, guests, and/or family will thank you. Read on to learn some microwave cleaning “do’s and don’ts”. Delay no longer! Clean your microwave!
Clean Your Microwave: DO
Unplug the microwave from the power supply before performing maintenance or cleaning.
Sweep out any crumbs/loose debris. We don’t want to make mud!
Use mild dishwashing liquid and a damp cloth, scrubber sponge, or paper towel.
For tough spots, you can use a plastic scouring pad with mild dishwashing liquid.
Baking soda and water can be used to remove any lingering odors.
Change your air filters. Dirty air filters collect grease.
Clean Your Microwave: DO NOT
Use foil or other metal objects. Metal in a microwave equals danger! Can cause a fire!
Turn the machine on while there are cleaning products inside.
Spray household air-fresheners as these can stay behind and contaminate food.
Use commercial oven or abrasive cleaners.
Use sharp utensils on oven walls.
Spray cleaners directly onto the control panel.
Now that you know the basic do’s and don’ts, get in your kitchen and clean your microwave! Still have questions about proper procedure for your microwave oven, consult your owner’s manual.
Need a new microwave altogether? Let us help! Central has a wide variety of microwave ovens to fit your needs. Visit our website to see what we have to offer. If you still have questions you can call a knowledgeable product consultant at 1-800-215-9293 or live chat with one. Call today!
The spring season is always a great reminder to deep clean your dining room, kitchen and equipment. Keeping in mind how often to clean and how to properly clean your commercial kitchen equipment will ensure that your equipment lasts longer, is more efficient, and cooks food properly with a consistent great taste!
The following is generic instructions and guidelines to cleaning and upkeep of your equipment. Please consult the User Manual for your specific model for precise instructions on cleaning your equipment. Improper cleaning can lead to damage of the equipment or injury.
How: Wipe exterior with clean, soft cloth. Any discoloration can be removed with a non-abrasive cleaner. Remove the water pan and cooking grates and wash in a sink. To clean the heating element, remove the grate and scrub with a stiff wire brush or equivalent.
How: Use a pumice stone or griddle brick to scrape food waste off of the griddle until the griddle’s surface is a bright metal and wiping the remaining powder residue. Never use steel wool, detergent, or oven cleaner to clean the griddle surface. Then, use a soft-bristled fiber brush in a circular motion to remove any remaining food particles. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth and dry thoroughly. Empty and clean the grease trough. Wipe down the splash guard in a sink with warm water and mild detergent. Wipe down exterior of griddle and control panel with a clean cloth and non-abrasive cleaner.
To see more details on how to properly clean a commercial griddle, see Cody Bell’s recent article here!
Frequency: Clean outside daily and the kettle/tank once a week or as needed (it is also recommended to clean the oil more than once a day)
How: Wipe the exterior with a soft cloth. Any discoloration can be removed with a non-abrasive cleaner. To clean the kettle of an open pot style fryer, drain fat from fryer while the fat is warm, not hot. Rinse to remove all loose residue and crumbs. Fill with water, bring to a boil and add a fryer cleaner. Boiling time with depend on the condition of the fryer. Turn heat off, drain and rinse with water until clean. Use a vinegar rinse to stir, drain and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Wipe kettle with a soft cloth and allow to thoroughly dry.
To clean the tank of a tube style fryer, drain the tank and flush out scraps and sediment with a small amount of warm shortening using tank brush. Use a low foaming cleaner/ degreaser to clean the fry tank. Add commercial boil-out solution, allow solution to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes and drain the cleaning solution from the tank. Close the drain valve and refill the tank with water. Add 1 cup of vinegar to neutralize alkaline left by the cleaner. Bring solution to a simmer and allow to stand. Drain the tank and rinse thoroughly with hot water so that all traces of cleaner are removed. Dry the tank and close the drain valve.
Cleaning the oil will vary depending on the make and model of your fryer/filtration system, but it is important to clean the oil at least once a day, though it is recommended to clean it more frequently. This will decrease the chances of a grease fire, fill allow your fryer to operate more efficiently, and will give your food a better taste.
How: Wash stainless steel hoods on a regular basis using a clean cloth, warm water and mild soap or dish detergent. Clean in the direction of the polish lines. Rinse with clear water and immediately wipe dry. Note: be cautious about using “new and improved” cleaning agents. Most chemicals found in these cleaning agents react with the heat from being above hot cooking equipment and may loosen paint.
Aluminum mesh grease filters should be washed in your dishwasher approximately every month, depending on the amount of usage, with a non-phosphate detergent. Using phosphate detergents may cause discoloration of the filter. Baffle filters are made to operate for longer periods of time in high grease conditions. These need to be cleaned on a regular basis (every other month depending on usage) with soap and water.
Frequency: Regular cleaning daily, coils at least every 3-4 months
How: Wipe down the exterior, interior and shelves daily with a clean, wet cloth for the protection of your produce. Additionally, you should clean the evaporator coil and condenser coil at least every 3-4 months. To clean the these coils, wipe with a commercial coil cleaner. Then on the condenser coil, brush the fins from top to bottom (never side to side). Be sure that the unit is disconnected from power to clean the coils. These coils collect dust and lint that is in the air and can cause your refrigeration to not cool properly if not cleaned regularly. This simple step will keep your refrigeration running properly far longer!
How: Remove evaporator and all ice from the bin or dispenser. Change toggle switch to CLEAN position. Wait until the water trough refills and water flows over the evaporator, then add the proper amount of ice machine cleaner. Wait until the clean cycle is complete and place the toggle switch in the OFF position and disconnect power. Remove and clean water curtain, ice thickness probe, water trough and shield, splash shield, and water pump assembly in solution of cleaner and warm water. While those parts soak, thoroughly clean the foodzone surfaces of the ice machine and bin/dispenser with a nylon brush or cloth.
Your equipment will now look as good as new and will work in a similar fashion! If you have any further questions, please speak with one of our helpful Product Consultants at 888.537.1674- or live chat with them!
It’s Friday evening just before the dinner rush and you open your kitchen’s refrigerator. But instead of that welcoming, icy cool blast of air (that is usually so refreshing in contrast to the hot kitchen), you feel the luke-warm surprise of an under-performing refrigeration unit. Do you need a service call? A replacement? Could this have been prevented? In many cases, your unit may be just struggling to overcome the environment where it is located.
Regular Condenser Cleanings and Maintenance
You can lengthen the reign of your refrigerator with consistent preventive maintenance from the day you buy it. Your kitchen is a hot, damp, greasy and dusty environment that can negatively affect any piece of equipment. That is why it is important to regularly clean your unit’s condenser coils of dust and debris. Most manufacturer’s recommend a monthly check and cleaning that takes just minutes.
Cleaning Illustrations from a True refrigerator manual
Manufacturers have made accessing the condenser relatively easy. In most cases, the front grill can be removed from your unit by turning a few screws or wing nuts. Here you will find the condenser which helps pull the heat out of your coolant and returns cooler air to the inside of your unit. If this bundle of fins, tubing and metal lattice is blocked, your refrigerator is being overworked when trying to maintain the proper temperatures. Use a heavy duty nylon wire brush to clear the fins in a top to bottom motion. Be careful not to poke or prod the tubing which can cause costly damage. Afterwards, you can use a shop vacuum to remove the smaller dust particles that remain. Usually, it is not necessary to use soap or water to clean this part. Your job is done when you can see through the condenser to the back of the unit.
Remember Your Fan Blades Too
While your maintenance access is open, check the fan motor and blades. Of course, you’ll want to make sure the refrigerator is unplugged to ensure they don’t start up during cleaning. Again, a soft brush or shop vac is useful here, although a soapy rag with warm water may be necessary if there is grease or other buildup on your blades. Just be careful to safeguard your motor and other electrical parts from the water.
Other Preventive and Cosmetic Maintenance
There are several other parts of your refrigerator that can use some consistent attention. First, many manufacturer’s units have easily removable door gaskets. These should be removed periodically and soaked in warm soapy water to remove debris that can block your door from completely closing or even contribute to food contamination. Position of food inside your refrigerator can also affect performance. When vents are blocked, or air is not permitted to flow properly around the edges of your unit – the performance is decreased. Refer to your unit’s instruction manual to learn the best configuration. Finally, is your refrigerator in view of your customer? Then you’ll want to help your exterior shine. Food grade stainless steel cleaner or mild hand soap with warm water is recommended. Never use abrasive cleaners or steel wool.
Central is Here to Help
Back to the Friday night scenario. You checked your airflow, condenser and gasket and there are still problems. Remember, your Central Restaurant product consultant can help you find a service option or even work to rush you an in-stock replacement from True or any of our other valued vendors. But remember, in many cases these issues can be prevented or prolonged with some simple ongoing maintenance steps. Steps that can reduce your energy costs and increase the longevity of your unit from the very day you buy it.
An ice system requires routine maintenance, and there are three steps to properly clean a Scotsman Prodigy ice machine. A clean ice machine is essential for the health of not only your customers, but it also prevents wear and tear that could shorten the life of your ice machine.
Three Steps For Maintenance
The first step to maintain your ice machine is scale removal. Remove the evaporator cover after your last ice harvest and push the clean button which drains and refills the reservoir. Then, circulate Scotman’s Scale Remover for at least a ten minute cycle. Push the clean button again to drain the reservoir for at least twenty minutes so you can get all of the cleaner solution out of your machine. When you’re done, simply push the off button, remove the curtain, ice thickness sensor and the water distributor making sure all distributor holes are open. Make sure you wash these parts, and the water level sensor, with scale remover and water. Finally wash these parts with sanitizer to make sure every surface is bacteria-free.
Put these pieces back to their rightful place in the machine, and wash the inside of the freezing compartment with your leftover sanitizer. Push and hold the clean button to drain the reservoir. Push the clean button again and when the purge valve indicator light goes out, immediately pour the remaining solution into the reservoir and circulate for at least ten minutes. Then push and release the clean button and let the machine drain and repeatedly refill the reservoir for at least twenty minutes to purge the remaining sanitizer and residue. When you’re done, push the off button.
When you’re ready to start making new ice, push and release the on button. The last step is to wash the reusable air filter and put it back in place. Scotsman recommends never using an ice machine without an air filter, except when cleaning. Remember only a refrigeration technician can clean your ice machine condenser.
Watch this week’s video for more help on the three steps for maintaining your ice machine and don’t forget to shop Central for Scotsman Prodigy ice machines!
April is a month full of sunny days, rain to bring May flowers, taxes and SPRING CLEANING! We are here to help. Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting blogs full of information about organization, renovations, updates and more!
Today’s topic: SPRINGCLEANING! This is the time of year people begin to sweep the dust bunnies out from under the furniture and reorganize their lives from the hectic winter. But how do you reorganize or clean without the proper equipment? Don’t worry, we are here to help.
We have many helpful products for reorganizing and cleaning.
We carry shelving unit packages for use in dry and humid areas and for use in many different walk-in brands such as Kolpak and Nor-Lake.
If you are looking for products to make cleaning easier consider our color coded microfiber cleaning cloths. Assigning one cloth to each room will decrease confusion and increase cleanliness. These can be used with or without cleaning products.
Are you looking for something to help keep your area clean? Consider a disposable floor mat for your restrooms. These help protect the floor from stains. These mats have a green apple fragrance and are infused with a neutralizing agent to combat odors.
Do you work with onions or other strong scented foods? Invest in an odor removal bar. This bar is made of stainless steel and removes harsh odors including garlic, onion and fish.
Spring cleaning doesn’t always have to be stressful. Let us help!