The Essential Restaurant Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

When it comes to running a commercial kitchen, cleanliness should be a top priority. Patrons not only appreciate a clean kitchen, but the law also requires it. Whether it's traditional restaurants or fast food chains, different establishments must follow foodservice and health regulations to keep their space up to code.

So what's essential to keep your kitchen spotless? From daily maintenance to annual checkups, the restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist below has all minor and major tasks you need to do throughout the year. 

During and After Shifts

Don't wait until closing time to clean everything at once. There are several tasks you can do during and after shifts. Aside from washing tableware, glasses and other utensils, put the following on your cleaning checklist:

  • Wash cutting boards, countertops and prep table surfaces
  • Wash slicers, grinders, mixers, microwaves, coffee makers and other prep equipment
  • Wipe down and disinfect prep station surfaces after preparing food
  • Brush off griddles, grills and other cooktops after making meat, poultry or fish
  • Empty drip trays from grills, griddles and other cooking equipment
  • Clean any major spills or splatters off surfaces, floors or equipment
  • Place dirty kitchen rags and linens in the laundry (separately from uniforms)
  • Place dirty aprons and coats in the laundry (separately from kitchen rags and linens)
  • Empty garbage cans frequently
  • Refill empty paper towel rolls or soap dispensers

End of the Day

When the day is done, it's time to thoroughly clean different areas and equipment in your kitchen. Make sure the tasks below are completed: 

  • Sweep or vacuum the floors of your kitchen, pantries and walk-in fridges
  • Mop the floors (use strong degreaser to scrub major grease spills)
  • Clean floor mats
  • Clean the washing stations and sinks
  • Wipe spills and splatters off the walls
  • Wash and sanitize all countertops and prep area surfaces
  • Clean beverage dispensers and gun heads
  • Clean and disinfect griddles, grills, burners and other cooktops
  • Change foil linings on all ovens, grills and cooking equipment
  • Clean deep fryers
  • Run a load of kitchen rags and linens in the washing machine (separately from uniforms)
  • Run a load of aprons and coats in the washing machine (separately from kitchen linens)


Throughout the course of the week, you and your staff should be thoroughly cleaning equipment. Always consult your manufacturer's operation manual for specific cleaning instructions. Do the following once a week:

  • Boil out deep fryers 
  • Pour drain cleaners down floor and sink drains
  • Clean and delime coffee equipment
  • Clean and delime faucets, sinks and spray heads
  • Clean the interior and exterior of ovens and steamers
  • Wash exteriors of other cooking equipment and refrigeration units


Over the course of the month, you should give your entire kitchen space and equipment a deep cleaning. Always check the manufacturer's operation manual for cleaning instructions. Below are tasks to include on your checklist:

  • Scrub off spills and splatters from the walls and ceilings
  • Clean the condenser coil on refrigeration units every 1-3 months depending on dust or grease buildup 
  • Clean the drain pans, tubes and air filters on refrigeration units
  • Wash the interior of reach-in or walk-in refrigeration units
  • Clean the exhaust hoods at least every 4-6 weeks
  • Empty grease traps
  • Calibrate thermostats and ovens (if necessary)
  • Switch out pest and inspect traps (if applicable)


Whether it's annually or sparingly, the following should be done on a limited basis throughout the calendar year: