How to Start a Hood Cleaning Business (2024) Kitchen Exhaust

Starting a hood cleaning business is a good opportunity to provide kitchen exhaust cleaning services in the food industry.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and want to start a business, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll explain the process that is helpful for a beginner to start.

If you have a passion for cleaning and maintaining a safe and hygienic environment, starting a hood cleaning business may be the perfect opportunity for you.

It is a specialized field; if you provide unique, high-quality, and exceptional service to your clients, then it is possible to create a strong reputation in this competitive market.

To get started, read our step-by-step guide; all the possible steps are described in this post with proper information that can help you start your career from scratch.

Are you ready? Let’s get into the details.

What is hood cleaning?

hood cleaning

Hood cleaning is an eco-friendly and profitable commercial service for cleaning kitchen exhaust hoods, ducts, fans, and vents.

In the hood cleaning, different types of services are included, such as inspecting the kitchen exhaust system, removing grease buildup, cleaning the hood, checking properly to ensure the system is working properly, etc.

Regular hood cleaning is required for fire prevention, ensuring a safe and healthy environment in commercial kitchens.

Why is hood cleaning important?

The hood cleaning process is essential for every commercial kitchen to maintain a clean environment, improve fire safety, and improve energy efficiency.

There are many reasons why hood cleaning is an important and demanding service in the cleaning industry; here are some important points:

  • Fire safety: Prevents dangerous kitchen fires
  • Health: Clears the air, literally—better indoor quality.
  • Compliance: Stays legal and keeps inspectors smiling.
  • Cost savings: Less maintenance, more money in your pocket.
  • Efficiency: Supercharges kitchen ventilation, so things run smoother.
  • Reputation: Customers love a clean, safe kitchen—trust booster.
  • Eco-friendly: Less emissions, less waste—planet-friendly.
  • Equipment lifespan: Like a superhero for kitchen gear—it extends its life.

Is the exhaust hood cleaning business profitable?

Hood cleaning is a business that has been in existence for a long time.

The market for this industry is huge, so it is not surprising to find that many entrepreneurs are looking to get into the market.

But the question remains: is exhaust hood cleaning profitable?

Yes, the hood cleaning business can be profitable. However, some factors depend on, such as market demand, target market, competition, your skills or expertise, marketing, and most importantly a solid business plan.

So, to become successful, learn the proper cleaning skills and conduct market research to understand the target market, growth, customer needs, and competition.

The profitability of this industry largely depends on how much work you put into it.

If you put in enough time and effort, then there is no reason why your business cannot be profitable. With this, hard work, dedication, strong relationships with clients, and good customer service are vital.

Here are some reasons why a hood cleaning business:

  • High demand: Restaurants always need clean kitchens.
  • Steady cash: Get paid regularly for keeping kitchens spick and span.
  • Stand out: Not many competitors, so you shine.
  • Law’s pal: Essential for health rules—be the rule follower.
  • Easy growth: Expand easily by hiring more cleaners.
  • Cleaning pro: Being an expert builds trust.
  • Besties with restaurants: Build long-term relationships with owners.
  • Start small: Affordable startup—no need for a fortune.
  • Eco-friendly: People like it when you’re kind to the environment.
  • More services: Offer extra services for more money.
  • Flexible life: Work on your terms—no rigid schedules.

How to start a hood cleaning business

start a hood cleaning business

1. Develop cleaning services expertise

To properly clean and run the business successfully with the best customer satisfaction, having proper skills, experience, and training is helpful for safely and effectively doing the hood cleaning work.

Get proper hood cleaning training.

Hood cleaning can be a dangerous job if not done properly, as it involves working with high-pressure cleaning equipment, hazardous chemicals, and confined spaces.

So, without the necessary skills and training, you could put yourself and others at risk of injury. If you want to avoid such hazards, then you must get proper training through a professional training program.

If you are interested in building your career in this cleaning field, then find the best training and certification program.

  • International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association (IKECA)
  • Online kitchen exhaust hood cleaning certification by (MFS Tradeschool)
hood cleaning training

Also, you can check out your local area hood cleaning training organization and join their course. Through training, you can learn everything that helps build a successful business.

Learn the required skills and practice.

Qualified people also perform hood cleaning because cleaning a hood requires proper skill to prevent safety. So, to clean every part of the commercial hood safely, you need to be certified and trained.

If you don’t know what type of skill is required to become a successful entrepreneur, here are a few ideas that you can follow.

Skills and knowledge you need to have:

  • Knowledge of kitchen hood
  • Skills in using equipment
  • Knowledge of hazardous chemicals
  • Safety precautions to work safely
  • Ability to read and interpret technical drawings

Business skills that every entrepreneur should have:

  • Business management
  • Time management skill
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Physical fitness
  • Safety consciousness
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Team management skills

Having proper skills and certification is a primary part of providing safe, secure, and professional hood cleaning service.

  • You need to familiarize yourself with different types of safety protocols using personal protective equipment (PPE – gloves, eye protection, and respiratory masks); these are important for a hood cleaner.
  • Learn about the various cleaning tools and equipment used in hood cleaning, including scrapers, degreasers, pressure washers, and chemical cleaning agents.
  • Acquire knowledge about the different types of cleaning chemicals used in hood cleaning.
  • You should have basic experience and information about commercial kitchens, ventilation systems, and their components (exhaust hoods, ductwork, fans, and filters).
  • Learn cleaning techniques, such as scraping grease buildup, cleaning solution application process, pressure washing, and hood maintenance.
  • Stay updated with industry trends, new cleaning techniques, and equipment innovations through workshops, training programs, and industry publications.

These are some tips for your successful business startup. Hopefully, these points are valuable and informative; let’s discuss the next step.

You must have a hood cleaning certification, and you also need to learn the skills that are important for cleaning hoods and for providing the best services to your clients.

Having a certification in commercial hood cleaning or commercial kitchen hood cleaning can demonstrate that a cleaner has received proper training and has the necessary knowledge to clean these types of equipment safely and effectively.

2. Understanding market demand and competition

The next step is to conduct thorough market research on the demand for hood cleaning services in your area and surrounding regions.

Identify your target audience, which may include restaurants, commercial kitchens, hotels, and other establishments with commercial kitchen exhaust systems.

You also need to analyze your competitors’ service offerings, pricing, and strengths and weaknesses to gain a competitive edge.

Identify potential customers using effective market research techniques.

Your potential clients can be:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafeterias
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals
  • Schools and universities
  • Catering companies
  • Food processing plants
  • Fast food chains
  • Bars and nightclubs with a kitchen

Once you have identified your potential customers, the next step is to conduct a competitive analysis to find out what your competitors are doing and how they are doing it.

You could offer better customer service, more competitive prices, a wider range of services, or something else that sets you apart from your competitors.

3. Write a hood cleaning business plan

write a business plan

Think of a hood cleaning business plan as your business GPS—it guides you from the start to success.

When you’re kicking off a new business or have a cool idea, it’s like having a magic notebook for your goals. Write them down—it helps you make better decisions. First step: Write down your dreams for the business.

What’s the big plan, and what good things do you want from it? It’s like having a clear map before you set off on your journey.

  • Market Research: Research and create a detailed analysis of the local market demand and services. Identify your target customer and analyze competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, and market opportunities.
  • Define your Business: Clearly state your mission, value, services, and what makes your business different to stand out from the competition; write a clear description of your hood cleaning service.
  • Service Plan: Write about your cleaning services, including what tasks are involved, how often, service packages, pricing structure, and other operational tasks.
  • Develop a Marketing Plan: Craft a detailed strategy to grab the attention of your customers and outline your plan for both online and offline marketing.
  • Operational Processes: Set the stage for smooth operations. Define your scheduling, staffing, equipment maintenance, and safety procedures.
  • Create a financial plan: Crunch the numbers. Detail your startup costs, revenue projections, expenses, and cash flow forecasts. This financial roadmap will help you secure funding and make informed decisions.
  • Professional Guidance: Don’t go it alone. Consult experienced business professionals or consultants to refine your plan. Their insights can be invaluable in ensuring the effectiveness of your business strategy.

Once you have outlined these, it is time to identify the risks involved in starting a hood cleaning company. As well you will also need to know what challenges may arise when you are running the service.

Creating a well-researched business plan is an important step in establishing a brand. That helps in effectively implementing business ideas in the right way.

Resources for writing a business plan:

  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Bplans is a website that provides templates, sample plans, and expert advice.
  • LivePlan: It is a popular business plan software (offers templates, financial tools, and other features).

Hopefully, the given points will help develop a clear plan and strategy.

4. Secure a business name

business names

Once you’ve written a business plan, the next step is choosing a business name for your hood cleaning service company. This will help you create a brand and establish an identity.

Here are some points to find the best name:

  • Pick a unique or uncommon name.
  • When naming your business, skip the numbers, underscores, hyphens, or any fancy symbols.
  • Look for a name that’s friendly online, easy to remember, and simple to spell.
  • Go for something unique that makes you different.
  • And, of course, check if the website domain is available.

Find a business name:

The step to picking a name is not difficult; you can find a unique and attractive name using a business name generator tool. It is a popular idea to save time and effort in finding names.

To make it even smoother, toss in some words that tell everyone what you’re all about—like “hood cleaning,” “kitchen cleaning,” and “exhaust cleaning.”

It’s like adding a special touch to your search, helping you grab a name that shouts.

Follow the given steps:

  1. Open the website in your browser (
  2. Enter your keywords (for example – hood cleaning)
  3. Click on the generate button
  4. Filter the result and pick a good name.

With a business name, there are two more things you need: buy a domain name (for an online web presence) and create a professional logo (for creating a visual identity).

Register a domain name:

  • Register a memorable domain name to create a website and online presence.
  • Choose a domain registrar such as Google Domains, Namecheap, and GoDaddy.
  • Consider using a popular top-level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net, or .org.
  • Search for domain availability and register, filling in your payment details.
domain name resistering

5. Obtain License and permits.

To operate a business legally, you need to obtain the necessary business licenses, permits, and other necessary certifications.

Specific requirements will depend on the size of the business you operate, the location of your business, and applicable laws and regulations.

One of the first steps is choosing a suitable business structure. This decision will have implications for liability, taxes, and other legal matters.

Common options include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporation

Once you’ve chosen the business structure, register your business as per the requirements of state, local, and federal governments.

Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so carefully decide.

If you are not familiar with the process, then consult a legal advisor or get expert guidance for taking the right step for your business.

Research to meet the specific criteria related to safety practices and environmental standards, the legal need varies from location to location. You can check your local authorities also.

Another important aspect is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN serves as a unique identifier for your business when reporting taxes and hiring employees.

Compliance with NFPA 96:

Ever heard of NFPA 96? It’s basically the guidebook for making sure those big kitchen vent systems in restaurants stay safe and clean.

It is the standard for the installation, maintenance, and cleaning of commercial cooking exhaust systems, that why it is important to comply with it.

Apply for business insurance:

Having insurance for your cleaning business is a smart move; also, it is a financial safety net in case something unexpected happens that could cost you money or put you at risk.

Every business, big or small, needs insurance. It’s a must-have.

  • General liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Business interruption
  • Product liability

Insurance is like a safety net that helps you bounce back financially if something unexpected, like a fire or theft, messes with your business.

It’s just good sense to have that backup plan.

6. Purchase equipment and supplies

When it comes to purchasing equipment and supplies for hood cleaning, it is important to invest in high-quality products that meet industry standards.

From grease filters and degreasers to pressure washers and safety gear, ensuring you have the right tools will ensure effective and safe cleaning operations.

Equipment and supplies needed:

  • Pressure washer: A hot pressure washer with a minimum of 2,500 PSI is necessary to remove grease and grime from hoods and ducts.
  • Degreasers and chemicals: A variety of degreasers and chemicals are used to break down grease and sanitize hoods and ducts. Some common chemicals include caustic soda, Zep Purple Power, and Simple Green.
  • Scrappers and brushes: Scrappers and brushes are used to remove stubborn grease and debris manually.
  • Duct cleaning equipment: Duct cleaning equipment includes duct scrubbers, spin jets, and nozzles. These tools are used to clean the interior of ducts, removing grease buildup and blockages.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): PPE includes safety glasses, gloves, respirators, and slip-resistant boots. It is important to wear PPE to protect yourself from harmful chemicals and debris.

You can buy from online and offline, depending on your choice.

Here are some sources where you can buy:

  • Online retailers:
    • Amazon
    • eBay
    • Alibaba
  • Manufacturer websites
  • Local distributors
  • Trade shows
  • Buy from equipment dealers

Other essential requirements:

  • Uniforms: Professional, protective, unique (with logo or name), comfortable, etc.
  • Vehicles: A reliable vehicle should be for transportation; you can buy a new or used one.
  • Branding element: Logo, business name, tagline, website, flyers, business card, etc.

7. Create a marketing strategy.

marketing, branding and setup

To start a successful hood cleaning business, you need a proper marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and potential clients effectively.

There are various marketing strategies available to market any business in 2024. In the present scenario, online marketing and promotional methods are the most effective and popular.

  • Build a professional website.
  • Optimize for local SEO
  • Use online advertising (PPC and social media)
  • Network with local businesses
  • Create informative blog content
  • Customize your vehicle (paint your vehicle, add brand elements, company details, and contact information).
  • Optimize your Google My Business listing
  • Set up online booking and scheduling

Promote your business through social media, paid marketing, influencer marketing, and word-of-mouth marketing. Also, focus on local marketing to target local clients.

Establish a solid online presence in the digital world and stand out from the competition.

8. Hire a skilled staff or team.

To run the hood cleaning business successfully, you may need to hire staff to manage the business and complete the cleaning work efficiently and easily.

  • Create a detailed job description.
  • Advertise for hiring (on job boards, social media, and in local newspapers).
  • Interview the candidates properly (analyze their experience, skills, and abilities).
  • Provide training to them: For doing the hood cleaning job effectively, provide training to your team, as well as be aware of the latest cleaning methods to perform better.
  • Create positivity in them: You have to build a positive work environment and retain your employees with professional development skills.

Read the guide for hiring employees for your business: Forbes – How to hire employees

Hood cleaning franchise opportunity

In this section, we will be discussing what a hood cleaning franchise entails, why it may be a good investment for you, and how you can get started.

If you want to start your hood cleaning by taking a franchise, then you need to know about the franchise business model of different companies.

The franchise model comes with several benefits, including training, equipment guidance, and a standardized cleaning process provided by the parent company.

When you opt for a franchise, you don’t need to worry about branding since you’ll be serving an established brand.

However, the franchise fees can be high; you will need to invest in franchise fees, equipment costs, and materials, which may require significant investment.

Consider the benefits and disadvantages of taking a Franchise:

Benefits of Franchise

  • Established brand recognition
  • Operating procedures and systems
  • Training and support facility
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Less risk compared to starting from scratch
  • Potential for faster growth due to brand recognition and support

Disadvantages of Franchise

  • High initial investment
  • Ongoing royalty fees
  • Lack of control
  • Limited flexibility in decision-making
  • Limited territorial rights
  • Strict operational guidelines

If you’re looking for a trusted brand in hood cleaning, some options are available in the market; check the information below for more details.

HOODZ Franchise: View the complete details

  • Franchise Fee: $59,900
  • Total investment: $173,232 – $228,386
  • Training and Support

HOOD GUYZ Franchise: View the complete details

  • Initial franchise fee: $18,500-$20,000
  • Estimated initial investment: $49,100 -$62,275
  • Royalty fee: 10%
  • Training and other support facility

Watch the video to learn the process of hood cleaning.

FAQs on kitchen exhaust cleaning business

Here, you can read some frequently asked questions and their answers related to the hood cleaning business.

Is it worth starting a cleaning business?

Yes, starting a hood cleaning business is worth it for some reasons (such as high demand, low startup costs, growth, work flexibility, high earning potential, etc.); with your dedication and hard work, you can successfully set up your business.

How long does a hood cleaning take?

Hood cleaning takes 3-5 hours, and in some cases, it takes up to 8-10 hours or more to clean a kitchen or restaurant exhaust system completely.
The factors depend:
-Hood size and complexity
-Grease buildup level
-Cleaning frequency
-Cleaning method
-Quality of cleaning products
-Cleaner’s experience and skill

How much does it cost to start a hood cleaning business?

There is no straight answer as to how much investment it takes to start a hood cleaning business; it depends on many factors: the size of the business, ownership type, location, equipment, machinery, cleaning materials, marketing, and others.
Here is a rough estimation of the basic startup cost; if you want to estimate the accurate budget, you can get professional guidance or self-calculation.
-Equipment: $5,000 – $10,000
-Transportation: $2,000 – $5,000
-Licenses and Permits: $500 – $1,000
-Marketing and Branding: $500 – $1,000
-Training and Certification: $500 – $2,000
-Insurance: $1,000 – $2,000
-Supplies: $500 – $1,000
-Storage: $50 – $200
-Professional Services: $500 – $1,000
Total: $10,550 – $23,200

Do you need to be certified to clean kitchen hoods?

Yes, certification is required to clean kitchen hoods professionally. Many jurisdictions and insurance providers mandate that hood cleaning technicians be certified to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job safely and effectively.


As restaurants and commercial kitchens are required to have their exhaust systems cleaned regularly, there is a high demand for hood cleaning services.

To start any business, you will need to learn the relevant skills related to the field.

So, to start a hood cleaning service and enter the cleaning industry as a new entrepreneur, need to have basic cleaning experience, business expertise, and a passion.

With hard work, patience, planning, research, and execution, you can go on to build a successful and profitable business in this field.

Hopefully, the post is informative, and we think we must have cleared a lot of your doubts.

If you have any other doubts, then comment down below.

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