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How to Clean Your Grease Trap in an Eco-Friendly Way

May 18, 2015 by

Keeping your business operating efficiently and within health code regulations is essential to the success of any restaurant. Cleaning the grease trap regularly is an unfortunate but wholly necessary part of keeping your kitchen clean and safe. The industrial waste that fills the grease trap must be handled carefully to protect your business and the environment.

Grease Removal

What is a grease trap?

A grease trap is an essential component of the sewer and drainage system of any commercial kitchen, and is required by law in many regions. Its purpose it to intercept any greases and solids in the kitchen’s waste water before it reaches the sewer system. These industrial waste products can cause serious clogs in the sewer system and must be removed in order to ensure it continues to run smoothly.

Grease traps are also responsible for treating the waste water coming out of commercial kitchens before it joins the main sewer line. If not cleaned properly and regularly, excess greases and solids can bypass the grease trap entirely, entering the sewer line freely and causing serious plumbing problems. If your grease trap is not working as intended, you may find your business in violation of health code regulations.

The frequency with which your grease trap will need to be cleaned depends entirely on how much use it gets so it is important to monitor it carefully and clean it whenever necessary. Lightly used grease traps may last for a month or longer between cleanings while those used frequently may need to be cleaned as often as once a week.

How to clean a grease trap

While many experts will recommend getting a professional company to clean out your grease trap for you, if you do not use it very often it may be easier to take care of it yourself.


  • Large trash can (must have larger volume than grease trap)
  • 2 or 3 garbage bags/trash can liners
  • Environmentally friendly absorbent material (cat litter)
  • Tools to open grease trap
  • Scoop and scraper for removing contents
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber gloves


Begin by preparing your work area to prevent creating a mess. Line your trash can with garbage bags and add the cat litter or absorbent materials. Don’t forget to put on your gloves before you get started!


  1. Remove the lid and take a close look at the arrangement of the internal components so you can put it back together properly.
  2. Examine the gasket for damage before you begin. Do not use tube silicone as a gasket. If the gasket it falling in, clean and reattach it before continuing.
  3. Remove the waste from the trap, placing it inside the bag-lined garbage bin.
  4. Carefully reassemble the trap. Missing or misaligned parts can cause leaks, violating health codes and causing serious plumbing problems.
  5. Tie up the bag of waste oil and place in a dumpster. As cooking oil is organic, it can be safely disposed of in your local dump.

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