Commercial Kitchen Cleaning & Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Kitchen equipment can be your best friend. Proactive maintenance of your cooking, refrigeration and kitchen equipment helps ensure proper performance and can save you an estimated 12% to 18% over a reactive maintenance program. Or, it can be your worst enemy. Improperly maintained equipment is more prone to failure, and that means problems like downtime, emergency charges, food spoilage and unhappy residents.

Keep your kitchen equipment running at peak performance to ensure staff can deliver high quality meals that help residents thrive and turn heads during walk-throughs and tours.

Complete the Following Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Tasks at Least Semiannually

Cooking Equipment

Stoves & Ranges

  • Clean and inspect burners as well as connections for cracks or damage
  • Check oven seal and door alignment
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer-suggested guidelines specific to your equipment

Steamers & Combi-Ovens

  • Any equipment using water requires descaling with a frequency based on mineral counts within your local water
  • Along with frequent deep cleanings, it’s recommended to check for mineral buildup or chloride corrosion
  • Look for buildup of scale greater than the thickness of a business card or peeling (in layers)
  • Follow manufacturer-specific guidelines or request service from an authorized provider
  • Check door gaskets for wear and reverse or replace when needed
  • Clean or replace filters


  • See the Steamers & Combi-Ovens section for guidance on determining the need to descale booster heaters and interior of units
  • Follow manufacturer-specific guidelines or request service from an authorized provider
  • Calibrate flow switches and maintain sensors to ensure proper performance
  • Clean or replace filters

Ice & Refrigeration

Refrigerators & Freezers

  • If your refrigerator runs but is not cold enough, you may need to clean your condenser coil
  • Wipe dust, dirt and other contaminants from the condenser coils with a coil or vacuum brush
  • Sweep or vacuum any refuse from the floor
  • Always unplug before any cleaning but remember to plug back in

Ice Machines

  • Your ice machine should be cleaned and sanitized regularly to avoid problems. Cleaning will help remove the buildup of lime scale and other deposits from impure water; sanitizing is designed to eliminate organisms like algae, slime and bacteria
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer-specific guidelines
  • Check filters and clean your condenser coils
  • Some filters are disposable and some can be cleaned with soap and water
  • See the Refrigerators & Freezers section for instructions on condenser coil cleaning

Legionella and Water Management

As part of CMS guidelines, it’s important to include any equipment requiring the use of water in your Water Management Plan and to continually test for the presence of Legionella bacterium.

Commercial Floor Care

Floor care and maintenance is another part of your commercial kitchen cleaning checklist. In today’s tough regulatory and reimbursement climate, floor maintenance and operations professionals are pressed to find savings amidst tight budgets. Discover how to extract savings with commercial floor care and equipment

TELS Can Help with All Your Commercial Kitchen Cleaning and Preventive Maintenance Needs

TELS® Platform makes it easy to schedule and prioritize service through workflow optimization, regulatory compliance and asset management. Find and schedule seasonal tasks like those noted above under your Administration tab or schedule ad hoc Work Orders.

If your backlog on maintenance isn’t allowing your staff to address these tasks, TELS® Building Services can help. Our fully vetted network of local service providers has the right expertise for any routine maintenance, project and emergency service request a Senior Living building has. Contact us today at (888) 433-3224 with your list and let’s get your service scheduled.