A Simple Guide to Natural Gas Range Cleaning
In the food service industry, commercial natural gas ranges are the lifeblood of your business. To extend the life of your equipment and keep ranges in tip-top working condition, schedule periodic cleanings as part of your preventative maintenance routine. Here’s a simple guide to natural gas range cleaning:
Note: The following general guidelines are meant to be an overview. Be sure to consult the owner’s manual for your make and model for more detailed information.
Always check that all controls and knobs are turned off prior to cleaning. If your equipment was recently in use, be sure to wait until all surfaces of the range have cooled completely before cleaning. Unless otherwise noted in your owner’s manual, use warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge for cleaning products. For stainless steel surfaces, dry immediately with a clean cloth to prevent water spots.
In a commercial kitchen, the following should be cleaned daily to optimize performance and efficiency:
- Open top burners
- Range top
- Griddle top
- Exterior surfaces
Daily cleaning also prevents the severe buildup of food debris, grease, and other dirt.
Grates and Burner Heads
Cooktops, grates, and burner heads can be wiped down using soap and water. If heavily soiled, be sure to rinse the cloth or sponge often. A nonabrasive scrubbing pad can be used if necessary.
Do not bang burner heads together or against the table to remove hardened particles as this can chip the surface or cause other damage.
Once dry, re-season grates with cooking oil to prevent rust.
Knobs and Controls
Knobs can be removed by pulling firmly. Be sure to check for setscrews that may first need to be loosened. Clean and dry the knobs before returning them to the control panel, taking care to make sure they line up correctly in the off position.
Never soak or submerse your knobs in water and avoid the use of abrasive cleaners on the control panel.
Always clean the cooktop, surface grates, and burner cap prior to cleaning the burners. Begin by cleaning under and around the burners. Then, wipe the gas tube opening with a damp cloth and use a thin wire or pin to unclog any dirt burner ports. Do not use a wooden toothpick as this present a fire hazard.
When returning burner caps to their position, make sure they are properly seated, and then test all burners for proper functionality.
Note: If burner ports are severely clogged, will not light or the caps will not seat correctly, schedule a service call with a trained professional. Never alter burner ports in any way.
Inside The Oven
Never clean the oven cavity until it has returned to ambient temperature. Cleaning a hot oven can cause staining, pitting, etching, and other damage.
Remove oven racks and place them aside. Then, wipe down all oven interior surfaces using warm, soapy water. A light scouring pad can be used to gently remove spills. When finished, rinse thoroughly using a new cloth and water, making sure to carefully wipe any soap or soil from the bulb.
If and when a commercial oven cleaner is needed to remove heavy soil, consult your owner’s manual for product recommendations and then closely follow the instructions printed on the label.
Soak racks in hot soapy water to loosen burned-on food and grease. For steel racks, steel wool can be used to remove all residue. Once clean, rinse the racks and wipe them down with a damp cloth before returning to the oven.
Preventative Maintenance Tip
While you are cleaning, take the opportunity to look out for any broken, bent, or damaged parts. Making a small repair before it turns into a bigger issue will save you money and keep your business going.