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Right now, the hospitality industry is taking hygiene and sanitization more seriously than ever. And that’s saying a lot. They already took it incredibly seriously. More seriously than pretty much everyone but surgeons.
But cleanliness has been thrust front and center in 2021. That's why digital wine list options are becoming so popular. In fact, there's no two ways about it, a QR code menu is the future. Any QR code statistics or analysis of the future of touchless menus will lead you to that conclusion.
So we reached out to our friends and family in the food and drink industry. We wanted to know what they’ve been using, or plan to use, to stay on top of their business’s hygiene. We also read and reread guidelines from the federal and local governments, The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Restaurants Association (NRA).
After many conversations and much research, these are the items that, as a whole, people found most effective and most useful.
We broke it up into a few different categories. Take a gander.
Multiple 6-, 8-, and 10-quart commercial cleaning buckets are indispensable for bar and restaurant sanitization. What’s nice about these San Jamar buckets is that they’re color-coded. You can use different colors for different sanitizers and prevent cross-contamination. Using red buckets for sanitizing refrigerators, for example, prevents raw meat or food contamination if you avoid using red buckets for cleaning and sanitizing walls. Beyond that, they play all the greatest cleaning-bucket hits: graduated marking, trilingual lettering, and an especially durable handle. And they’re downright affordable.
Steramine tablets are some of the most commonly used commercial-strength sanitizing tablets in the industry. And for good reason. One tablet makes one gallon of sanitizer. Which means this pack of six makes 150 gallons of cleaning solution. It’s non-corrosive, odor-free, easy on skin, and applied via cloth, sponge, or sprayed from a spray bottle. That makes it incredibly versatile. Spray it on machines, appliances, tables, stools, counter tops, cutting boards, you name it. Steramine can handle anything that we recommend to be sanitized in our restaurant cleaning checklist. And because it’s in dry tablets, it’s incredibly long-lasting. It’s also been found to be effective against an array of viruses. If you’re looking for a universal sanitizer, look into Steramine.
One gallon of Nu-Foamicide concentrate makes 32 gallons of sanitizer. What’s special about Nu-Foamicide is that it has been registered with the EPA—and is listed with the EPA—to be used against human coronavirus. That’s not to say other sanitizers can’t, just that Nu-Foamicide went out of its way to get EPA-approval. Always look into each sanitizer you use to confirm whether it can be used to treat any specific bacteria or virus you want to target. You can find additional information on the EPA’s website. At any rate, Nu-Foamicide concentrate is used in commercial and industrial spaces across the country—restaurants, bars, schools, gyms, and more. It’s an industry standard.
Cleaning and sanitizing walls and ceilings is now critical. This DocaPole “do-it-all” soft bristle brush comes with a 6 to 24’ telescoping extension pole. That makes for easy scrubbing of any hard-to-reach walk-in or storage walls, along with most ceilings. The tip of the pole is a fairly universal thread, too. So you can use a variety of threaded attachments with it: dusting, squeegeeing, gutter cleaning, etc. Our sources say this is the best value long scrubbing brush out there.
Here’s another DocaPole product people in the industry love. It’s a 5 to 12’ extension pole with a combination squeegee and scrubber. That makes it ideal for cleaning all 1st and 2nd story windows, inside and outside, high and low. While the extendable scrubbing brush above can be used for window cleaning with a squeegee attachment, this product is specifically designed for it. It’s also a little easier to use, clocking it at a more manageable size. It has three streak-free squeegee blades for multiple window sizes, and comes with a Chenille microfiber window scrubber that removes grime, dirt, and dust. The microfiber scrubber is velcroed and easily removable for machine washing.
This is a 15-piece multipurpose cleaning brush set. There are so many different brushes and uses that it’s hard to call them out specifically. It’s basically the widest selection of brushes on the market. It accounts for any nook or cranny that needs to be scrubbed or brushed. It’s a good thing to have on hand for any business that needs to clean at the drop of a hat. It’s got stiff brushes for serious scrubbing, and soft brushes for items that need a softer touch. And they’ve all got flexible handles that make corners easy to work around. With a 12-month warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee, you may as well pick up a set.
Extra thick. PVC. Waterproof. Reusable. Non-slip. These are the five tenets of the glove. The Lanon Wahoo-series multi-purpose PVC gloves hit them all. They’re lead and cadmium free, cotton-lined and breathable, and resistant to oil, grease, and solvent. They’ve also got embossed palms and fingers for better grip. They’re the most effective gloves we’ve found for dishwashing and any sort of cleaning that involves chemicals (which is most cleaning). Keeping a hospitality business stocked with these is a smart move.
Far be it from us to extol the virtues of commercial-grade white shop towels. If you work in the biz, you know. Here’s a 100-pack of 12” by 14” towels that’ll clean all spills, grease, grime, and muck from everywhere. They’re machine washable and dryable, too. If you don’t have a constant supply of clean shop towels, something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong.
This Rubbermaid commercial food storage container comes in over 10 different, industry-standard sizes. What makes them all great is that it’s made with extremely durable BPA-free polycarbonate material. That means they’re both dishwasher-safe, freezer-safe, and human-safe. The rounded corners make carrying and maneuvering easy, and the snap-fit lids keep food as fresh as possible. They’re obviously useful for food storage, but also for cleaning materials, towels, brushes, and other cleaning materials. The easiest way to stay clean is to stay organized, and a collection of these gets you there.
This is on the list for restroom cleaning. It holds up to eight 32-ounce bottles, along with paper towels, cloth towels, brushes, and other assorted tools. If you don’t have a specific restroom caddy, you should. It’s advised to keep commercial restroom cleaning materials separate from other materials used to clean commercial food businesses. Pick up one of these heavy-duty caddies, label it for bathroom use, stock it with materials you’ll use only for restroom cleaning, and you’re good to go.
Restaurant-grade griddle cleaning pads are ideal for the stubborn build-up of caked-on grease, carbon, and food build-up. These pads don’t have any incredible features or bells and whistles, which makes sense. Because they’re just scouring pads. They are designed to scour and scour they do. They’re heavy-duty but they don’t damage underlying metal. They do exactly what they’re supposed to, and that’s all you can ask. Pick up a bunch of them, keep them on hand, and always have shiny, clean cooking services.
A lot of folks use a solution of water and vinegar for degreasing. If that’s not cutting it, try this Stanley degreaser. It’s specifically designed to dissolve stuck-on grit and grime from all surfaces. It works on metal and grills, yes. But it also works on cookware, dishes, grease traps, wood, broilers, countertops, tools, and more. It’s concentrated, too, so this 32-ounce bottle is enough for 64 gallons of commercial-grade degreaser solution.
Here we have a pack of leak-proof, industrial-grade squirt bottles. These are great for the degreaser solution, Steramine, or any other disinfectant or cleaner you’ll need to spray. Their chemical compatibility is large enough to handle virtually any solution you put in it. The reason why they’re useful for commercial businesses is that they have no rubber parts. Rubber is typically the first material to decay in corrosive chemical environments. But these bottles are made from heavy-duty HDPE plastic, with polypropylene spray heads and stainless steel springs. They don’t corrode, and they don’t leak. They’re 16-ounces, dishwasher-safe, BPA-free, and have a pull trigger that’s easier to use than similar products. Less finger fatigue means more spraying, which means a cleaner space.
Yes, these are just sponges. But we think they’re the best sponges. You’ll need something on hand in between shop towels and grill scouring pads. These are that. They can be used to deep-clean tables, stools, and customer-facing countertops. Throw a few in your restroom caddy, and keep the rest in the front of the house for table, door handle, and other heavier-duty sanitizing. The sponges themselves can be sanitized in dishwashers.
This is a standard bolt-on mop head from Rubbermaid. It’s got four-ply cotton fibers and is the standard for general, all-purpose floor cleaning. It’s simple, cheap, and gets the job done. Sometimes a mop is just a mop.
In line with the mop head, here’s the Rubbermaid commercial mop handle. It’s got a slide gate to make mop head connection super easy. At 54” long, it’s long enough for any standard mopping adventure, and it’s made of fiberglass, so it’s corrosion-resistant.
Your new Rubbermaid mop needs a home, and here it is. This is the standard 35-quart mop bucket you see everywhere. It’s got a side-press wringer, wheels, a carry handle, and is made of very durable polypropylene. The bright yellow is for easy visibility and safety, and the mop-handle clip-on holder keeps mops in an upright position when not in use. Backed by a 1-year AmazonBasics limited warranty.
This is the push broom to end all push brooms. The push broom’s push broom, if you will. It comes with a 60” steel handle and an 18” or 24” bush room attachment. Because of the Snap Lock technology on the handle, the broom head never twists loose. To anyone that’s used a push broom for any length of time, a broom head that doesn’t come loose and twist is legitimately exciting. Another great thing about the SWOPT handle is that it can be equipped with many different cleaning heads. That turns it from a push broom into a cleaning system.
One Last Invaluable Restaurant Cleaning Supply...
The QR code-based digital menu. If you could have a 100% contactless menu that totally removes the risk of filthy paper menus for far cheaper than a menu app or bar and restaurant software, why wouldn’t you?
Beyond menus, QR code uses are numerous. There’s QR code marketing, contactless ordering, touchless payments, you name it. Let us walk you through exactly how QR codes will make a lot of this cleaning a non-issue.
Restaurant Cleaning Supplies: Achieved
The commercial restaurant cleaning supplies listed here isn’t everything you need. But you can get pretty darn close to everything with what we’ve listed here. Your physical space and business have unique needs, of course. So use what’s listed here as a starting point.
If you have all of these restaurant kitchen cleaning supplies on hand, in healthy quantities, you’ll be prepared for almost anything. Good luck out there.