Best Practices

Best Practices

When you have the right cleaning products, all you need is the right cleaning process to make light work of keeping your operation clean, sanitary, and looking like new. In this section, you'll find all of the helpful knowledge, facts, and cleaning advice you need to get it all done right — with minimum effort and disruption to your operation.

Clean Sooner, not Later

The longer you wait, the harder it is to clean. Soils are more difficult to remove if they are allowed to dry and set, or stored in a dirty, humid or corrosive environment.


The longer the cleaning time, the more thorough the cleaning. Cleaning time can be reduced by increased agitation and temperature, and by the use of a more aggressive detergent. While manual cleaning may take minutes, and spray cleaning, seconds, soaking may take hours, possibly overnight, to achieve comparable results. The optimum cleaning time depends on the specific soils you need to remove, water temperature, cleaning method, and detergent used.


In general, higher-temperature cleaning solutions result in better cleaning. Many soak and manual cleaning methods work best at 120°F or 130˚F (50°C to 55°C). Many spray washing techniques work best at 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 70°C). A good rule of thumb: the cleaning speed doubles with every increase of 20˚F (10˚C).


The detergent should match the cleaning method, the surface, and the types of soils being cleaned. Choose a low-foaming or non-foaming detergent when cleaning in or with a machine that relies on spraying for mechanical agitation. Detergents should be manufactured according to appropriate quality-control procedures and come with certificates of analysis available from the manufacturer.


Don’t neglect the rinse! Use room temperature, warm, or hot tap water. A running water rinse directly contacting all surfaces for at least 10 seconds on each surface is best. For large or vertical surfaces, several passes with a clean cloth or sponge soaked with rinse water followed by a clean, dry, absorbent wipe can work. In machine cleaning, after washing, there must be an adequate rinse cycle. Food processing equipment must be rinsed with potable water.


Drying can be done by physically removing rinse water or by evaporation. Wiping a surface dry will remove the rinse water before water spots can form. Depending on water quality, air drying can result water spots.

Cleaning Method

Typical restaurant cleaning methods:

Manual Cleaning

Manual cleaning is versatile, inexpensive and effective for cleaning small items and stationary equipment such as fryer hoods, oven exteriors, facilities, vertical surfaces, and countertops. Either mixing up a cleaning solution according to directions or place undiluted detergent on a warm wet cloth or sponge. Wet the article with solution and then clean with the cloth sponge or brush to agitate the surface soil without marring the surface being cleaned. Rinse thoroughly.

Recommended Products:

Alconox, Liquinox, Citranox, Tergazyme, and Alcojet.

Soak Cleaning

While soaking requires less physical effort, it is the most time consuming method of cleaning. Typically used to clean smallwares, utensils, and for larger equipment with stationary soak vats such as fryers and rethermalizers, soaking is an excellent pre-treatment method for loosening soils and preventing drying.

Begin by soaking items completely submerged  in solution, until clean. This may take several hours. Remove and rinse thoroughly.

Recommended Products:

Alconox, Liquinox, Citranox, Tergazyme, and Alcojet.

Machine Washers

Ideal for fast, effective, high volume cleaning of dishware, smallwares, and utensils. It’s important to have an effective Low or No Foaming detergent.

When loading items into racks, be sure that open ends face towards spray nozzles. Also be sure to place difficult-to-clean articles with narrow necks and openings near the center of the rack, open-side down, preferably on special racks with spray nozzles pointing directly into them. Minimize touching between articles.Group small articles in baskets to prevent dislodging.
Use hot water (above 140°F or 60°C). Most machines have at least three rinse cycles. Refer to machine manufacturer’s directions. If no instructions for detergent amount, use 1 oz. or 2 rounded tbsp per 1 gallon of tap water.

Recommended Product: