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Written by Action Academy Oct 25, 2021

What Type of Cleaning Supplies Should Restaurants Use?

Your name and reputation are on the line when it comes to the restaurant's cleanliness. You must also consider other factors, including if the cleaning products are safe to use around your customers and food. What you use in the bathroom may not be suitable for cleaning up a kitchen mess.

Whether you run a coffee house to a commissary, learn to use the right product to clean every square area of your establishment.

Cleaning the restaurant is more than a dishwasher for plates and utensils, a spray bottle full of disinfectant to clean spills, and a mop with an accompanying bucket full of suds. 

When working with food and the public, there's more opportunity for cross-contamination with chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and allergens at stake. Also, other areas to consider include what products to use in the dining area after a customer leaves.



Sanitizers reduce bacteria in a kitchen's food preparation area. After thoroughly washing the surface area, food-safe sanitizers are an effective preventative practice that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and reduces the number of germs.

Most food-safe sanitizing products' instructions state that you should allow the surface to air dry for 30 seconds after application. Food-prep surfaces should be sanitized multiple times per day. Those areas include cutting boards, countertops, food-prep surfaces, and appliances that come into contact with food.



Disinfectants destroy viruses and bacteria and are much stronger than sanitizers because they kill and prevent the growth of some bacteria and viruses. Regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), disinfectants do not affect dirt or dust. They are best used for cleaning non-porous surface areas tainted with blood, vomit, and other bodily fluids.

Unlike sanitizers, don't use disinfectants on food preparation surface areas. The chemicals may contaminate food served to customers. Reading a label in its entirety helps resolve any confusion on how or where to use a particular product.

Bleach is one of the most well-known disinfectants that many people may not understand how powerful it is in undiluted form. Fine for non-food surfaces like floors and cleaning the bathroom area. Disinfectants like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and chlorine compounds do not belong in the kitchen or any food prep area. As usual, if unsure, read the label.

Use disinfectants on frequently touched areas, including:

  • Doorknobs
  • Railings
  • Light switches
  • Bathroom surfaces: faucets, sinks, toilets
  • Menus
  • POS systems
  • Tables
  • Serving-area countertops



This type of cleaner effectively cleans, loosens, breaks down, and dissolves grease, oil, wax, and other water-insoluble material surfaces. Versatile, like many different cleaning products, you should never mix degreasers with any other cleaning solutions. There are food-safe products like dishwashing liquid and non-food ones safe to use outside a restaurant's kitchen.

For stubborn messes, you can allow them to sit on a surface without harming the area, but you should always wear protective clothing like gloves and goggles if scrubbing to prevent contact with your eyes.

There are varying types for each use, such as dishwashing liquid for manual cleaning and machine detergent for the larger volume jobs. After rising to remove the food particles, washing thoroughly, rinsing again to remove the detergents, many establishments then dip utensils and dishes in a diluted sanitation solution for an extra step. Allow your dining and kitchen equipment to air dry. In this situation, a degreaser and a sanitizer work together. 

With so many cleaning products available, you may wonder what type to use, how to use, and how frequently. Since food and customers are part of the equation, incorrectly using the wrong cleaning product may cause illness and even death. Food inspectors issue warnings if they find bleach and other non-food safe products in the food preparation area.

Keep your restaurant clean and sanitized by using the proper sanitizers, disinfectants, and degreasers correctly. Some products are not food safe and never mix cleaning solutions.  

Action Unlimited Resources carries everything your restaurant needs
, no matter how many people you serve in a day. With an entire catalog of products available, you'll find suitable cleaning products to keep your staff and customers safe.


Topics: restaurant cleaning, cleaning supplies

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