One crucial step in running a restaurant or facility that uses a commercial kitchen is grease trap cleaning. This area is responsible for catching and holding fats, oils, grease, and other grime that goes down the plumbing. However, without proper cleaning, it can become clogged and display the following signs. 

How to Know You Need Grease Trap Cleaning

1. Slow Drains

When grease traps are too full, the drain system will slow down. If you notice a sluggishness in the plumbing throughout your facility, check for a thick cap of dried fat and grime on the grease trap. This buildup indicates that the trap is at or beyond its capacity.

2. Bad Smells

Over time, old grease, oil, and food waste will emit a foul odor. This will happen when the grease trap is full and these substances are left to sit. The pungent odor will circulate throughout the kitchen and possibly into the eating area, which can impact the dining experience of your customers.

3. Grease Spots

grease trap cleaningWhen you’re overdue for grease trap cleaning, you may begin to see fat and grime in various places around the kitchen. The buildup can happen in sinks, water lines, sewer pipes, and any area with a drain that can back up. Regular cleanings will ensure that the kitchen remains in excellent condition and will help to maintain a pleasant atmosphere for kitchen workers.

4. The 25% Rule

If solids and grease in the trap fill more than 25% of the liquid depth of the container, it’s time for a cleaning. The more grease and fat inside, the more difficult it is to clean everything thoroughly. The 25% rule is also mandated by the EPA to ensure safe, healthy conditions in your commercial kitchen.

5. Length of Time

If you cannot remember the last grease trap cleaning, you probably need services. Every 90 days is the recommended time in between cleanings, but busier or larger establishments may need more frequent purging. Even if it has been less than three months since the last cleaning, if you notice symptoms of a full grease trap, contact a professional.


For grease trap cleaning in Westchester, Putnam, and Southern Dutchess counties in New York, call Great Bear Septic Service. This customer-oriented company provides affordable offerings to residential and commercial customers. From septic tank care to sewer cleaning and cesspool maintenance, their clients can rely on their staff to keep their plumbing and wastewater systems running efficiently. They also offer special discounts for senior citizens, veterans, active military, and school teachers. Call (845) 621-0250 to schedule an appointment or visit them online to learn more about their services.