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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Cleaning Popcorn Machines (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Cleaning Popcorn Machines
Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-11-2003 10:49 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What do you use to clean the inside of the popcorn machine?

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 05-11-2003 11:24 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Inside the machine itself or just the inside of the kettle?

For the kettle, each manufacture has their own kettle cleaners specially formulated to cleaning the particular metal content of their kettles. Cretors uses steel kettles and Gold Medal uses aluminum kettles. If you're talking about just the cabinet glass and metal trim cleaning then just about any common household spray cleaner/degreaser will work like 409. I've heard some people have used vinegar on the glass, too.

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-11-2003 11:45 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a little Cretors "Night Club" It has a steel kettle. When I was first getting used to it, I burned a batch. I had heard about vinegar and so I but some in there to let is soak. Of course I forgot about it and went on vacation and when I came back it was a rusty mess. I just replaced the kettle.
To answer the question I want to clean both the kettle and the glass and stainless sheet metal, but I am concerned about using something that might transfer something toxic to the corn (and me). I tried vinegar on the cabinet, but it really stinks.

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Adam Fraser
Master Film Handler

Posts: 498
From: Houghton Lake, MI, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

 - posted 05-11-2003 12:18 PM      Profile for Adam Fraser   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Fraser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We were closed for the past week and I spent two hours cleaning out our Cretors Hollywood 48.
Here is my process:
Get 2 tsp Cretors Kettle cleaner and mix it with 16 oz water and let it boil for 10 mins, you should be able to get it at a restaurant supply or from a theatre supplier. ( do all this with the lid down)Dont let the solution boil over.
Dump that solution out and then put two more cups of water in the kettle and let it boil for a while then dump that out, repeat until the water doesnt comes our nearly clear.
For the stainless steel we use restaurant stainless steel cleaner and follow the directions for use on food surfaces.

And for glass we use professional strength Windex sprayed onto a piece of paper towel and not directly onto the glass as you can get overspray onto any corn in the machine or onto the freshly cleaned stainless steel.
If you are worried about contamination, just make sure to rinse everything a few extra times to rid of leftover chemicals.

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Lance C. McFetridge
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Penn Yan, New York
Registered: Jul 99

 - posted 05-11-2003 12:18 PM      Profile for Lance C. McFetridge   Email Lance C. McFetridge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cretors makes a product called " Cretors Kettle Cleaner". We have great results with it. It removes carbon deposits. You should be able to get it from a dealer. We get ours from Theatre Confections INC. the local cretors dealer. While the kettle is hot, add water, this product, bring to a boil, shut off the heat, allow to agitate, and dump. Very little scouring.
hope this helps

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Dennis Udovich
Film Handler

Posts: 71
From: Sheboygan, WI, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

 - posted 05-11-2003 01:47 PM      Profile for Dennis Udovich   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Udovich   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cretor's has a Inside and Outside Kettle Cleaner. Using Inside Kettle Cleaner on a daily basis is best. The Outside Cleaner is okay, but Cretor's now has a new product for burnt on carbon for the outside. Over years of use, black carbon builds up on the outside and especially under the kettle. A new product call Cretor's Carbon Cleaner comes in a spray can. You need to wear gloves and best is to take the entire kettle apart. Spray it on the black carbon and it foams and bubbles. Wash it with soap and water. It's amazing!

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Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 05-11-2003 03:01 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Greg, you can get the cleaner from Harland-Fairbanks.

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Bob Peticolas
Film Handler

Posts: 73
From: Mesilla, New Mexico
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 05-11-2003 07:28 PM      Profile for Bob Peticolas   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Peticolas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We use a very caustic cleaner called "Carbon Kleen" by Diablo. We get it at the popcorn machine supply house in El Paso.

We brush it on, leave it sit for 15 minutes to an hour and then wash off. Carbon disapears like magic. Then wash the kettle VERY thoroughly with soap and water.

On a kettle that has been used for years and never cleaned, we left it on over night. The inside was gleaming after washing, [Wink] well if not gleaming, it wasn't the Seven little dwarves kettle, either. After a few months it is almost carbon free.

Use in an open area or with good ventilation, it is mean stuff, but it works without a lot of elbow grease. Makes cleaning the kettle not fun, but not a pain either.

But, if the kettle is very old and pitted, the pits may get bigger i.e. this stuff may eat some of the metal. It is safe for aluminium but I wouldn't use it on stainless steel.

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Don Furr
Master Film Handler

Posts: 498
From: Sun City, Ca USA
Registered: Nov 2002

 - posted 05-11-2003 07:49 PM      Profile for Don Furr   Email Don Furr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In our theatres we used Creators kettle cleaner for the inside of the cooker BUT our concession folks could only use pure water on the glass. We found it did not leave the "film" that Windex and other cleaners left. Try'll like it.

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Mark Maxwell
Film Handler

Posts: 55
From: Tyler, TX, USA
Registered: Jul 2002

 - posted 05-13-2003 01:40 AM      Profile for Mark Maxwell   Email Mark Maxwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had people suggest pickle juice. Don't use that, or vinnager, lemon sleanser, of anything acidic. It can caouse a chemical reaction if there is any aluminum or copper in the metal. It can cause corrosion in the metal, and deffinately effect the way something taystes. That had been on food network several times. Cretors is awsome. They have outside and inside cleaner. Just don't get the two mixed up. If you don't have that right now, any dishwahing liquid that breaks up grease. There are lemon liquids, but I assume they are safe. I actually heard a guy ask one time if it would be quicker to go on and sprinkle some Cretors in the last batch. If you have to ask why that's a bad idea, you need to go back to cleaning theaters like we made this guy do.

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 05-13-2003 07:45 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Victor Products Co., our local concession supplier will pick up our kettles on a regular Friday supply delivery and return them the following week in like new condition--spotless. Thermostats, heaters are checked and replaced as is any missing or broken hardware. Price $79.00 plus parts. If it seems high, consider the time, foul and hazardous chemicals, profanity and the half assed job that ends up, along with the busted parts and poorly operating them. control that will still be there its a deal. See if somebody in you are has this service. You will need an extra kettle or 2 though.

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Tony Ratcliff
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 216
From: Madison, IN, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

 - posted 05-14-2003 10:05 PM      Profile for Tony Ratcliff   Email Tony Ratcliff   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've used several brands of kettle cleaners, including Cretors.
Of them all Gold Medal's inside and outside cleaners work the best for us.

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Greg Mueller
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1687
From: Port Gamble, WA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-15-2003 09:46 AM      Profile for Greg Mueller   Author's Homepage   Email Greg Mueller   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the help, everyone.

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Tom Kroening
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 214
From: Janesville, WI USA
Registered: Oct 1999

 - posted 05-31-2003 01:41 AM      Profile for Tom Kroening   Email Tom Kroening   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've tried it all... My favorate is the no fume oven cleaner stuff. It works just like those carbon removers except you don't have to breathe that crap in. Of course you have to let it sit and it still is pretty messy. I've toyed with buying a professional pressure steam cleaner but the high PSI triggared ones start at around $600... man that cleaner would do wonders on the grout too!

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Travis Hubrig
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 175
From: Minot ND, USA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted 06-07-2003 05:38 PM      Profile for Travis Hubrig   Email Travis Hubrig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When it gets cleaned, BE THERE! Have your best employee or yourself clean it...

Once upon a time, Our concession attendants started the process of cleaning the inside of our ONLY kettle... Blah cups of water, Blah tbsp of Cretors inside kettle cleaner. The turned the heat on, Me and another Manager went across the street for dinner. 15 min after we left we had the other Manager call us to let us know 'The Theatre is on FIRE'
Turns out it was just our popcorn machine, and a quick acting cashier saved the entire mall. The solution boiled down and one of the workers reached over the controls and bumped the oil pump.
Oil into smoldering kettle = FIRE. We lost a Cretors Headliner, the confidence in the Manager on Duty, and all respect throughout the mall.
P.S. We had an assistant training a new concessionist on the process when it happened. The asst. was in the concession the entire time. We got our dinner cold.

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