For anyone who works in the food service industry, the grease trap is an important item you’ll have to learn about in the kitchen. The grease trap connects to the kitchen’s plumbing system, helping separate oils, grease and sludge from water so your pipes don’t get clogged – cleaning it regularly is vital for ensuring the quality of your drains.

At Whipple Plumbing, we’re here to help with this and all areas of commercial drain cleaning. Let’s go over the basics on cleaning a grease trap.

Lid Removal

First, slowly remove the lid with a pry bar. Make sure to do this without going too fast – this can damage the gasket that sits under the lid. Once you’ve removed the lid properly, you can inspect the trap and start to get familiar with the parts.

Measuring Grease

From here, grab a simple measuring stick and slowly insert it into the trap until it hits bottom. Twirl it around briefly so some grease sticks, then pull it back out. Read the measurement of how much grease is in the trap, and record this in your FOG pump-out report (as mandated by the EPA).

Remove Standing Water

Using a bucket, remove any standing water in the grease trap. It’s usually best to hold this water in the bucket until you’re done so you don’t dump it down the drain with any attached oils.

Remove Grease and Oils

Remove all oils, grease and sludge using a scoop or small bucket. Place all this waste in strong plastic trash bags meant to hold liquids. Be sure to spend time scraping the sides and lid of the trap clean, using a wet vacuum if you have one.


Finally, scrub the grease trap using basic soap, warm water and a metal scrubber. Rinse the screens and all removable sections with a basic jet of water, then replace all parts properly. Be sure to make a copy of your report for personal records.

For more on how to clean a grease trap, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning services, speak to the pros at Whipple Plumbing today