If you can see the grease on your range hood filter, it’s time for a good cleaning. The filter underneath the hood fan should be cleaned at least twice a year, and if you use your range a lot, you’ll need to do it more frequently. We’re talking to you, bacon lovers.
Let’s hope you never get to the point where a glistening glob of grease actually drips from the filter onto the range—that’s when you’ll know a cleaning is way past due. But here’s the good news: Cleaning a range hood filter doesn’t have to mean hours of messy, painful scrubbing. Here’s how to do it and restore your appliance to its former grease-free glory.
How to clean a range hood filter
Every hood is different, but the filters are always removable. So carefully release yours, along with any other vents or parts that are easily removed for cleaning.
Method No. 1: Immersion
Cleaning expert and video blogger Melissa Maker of Clean My Space recommends this immersion method. Fill a sink or bucket with hot water—boiling, if possible. Add a squirt of dish soap and quarter-cup baking soda, and stir with a utensil until suds appear.
Submerge the filter (and vent, if you have one) in this solution for at least 10 minutes to dissolve the grease. You may want to leave it in longer—up to 30 minutes—if it’s especially dirty.
Your filter is finished soaking once most of the grease has dissolved from its surface.
Carefully remove the filter and scrub it with a brush. Use more dish soap as needed to get it clean.
Rinse it completely with hot water in your sink, pat it dry, and then allow the filter to air-dry. Replace it in the hood once it’s fully dry.
“If the filter becomes rusted out or does not come clean, then it is time to replace it,” Maker says.
Method No. 2: Steam or bake the grease away
Lay a paper or cloth towel underneath the filter, and use a steamer to remove the grease.
Or, line a cookie sheet with newspaper (cut to fit the cookie sheet), place the filter over that, and let it sit in a warm (not hot) oven to begin the cleaning process.
Method No. 3: stovetop method
Soak the filter in a pan of water simmering directly on the stove. You’ll want to keep an eye on this process to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and use a mixture of dish soap and baking soda.
Carefully remove the filter and rinse it clean in the sink, scrubbing off any remaining grease. Repeat if necessary.
For more information on Maker’s methods, watch her video below.
Method No. 4: Dishwasher detergent soak
Video blogger Justin McCurry suggests another method for cleaning a range hood filter. Wet the filter with water. Then place it in a baking sheet and coat it with dishwasher detergent. Note that this is not the soap you use for hand-washing dishes—it’s the gel you put in your dishwasher. Spread the detergent with an old toothbrush, covering the filter completely.
Let the filter sit for up to an hour, depending on how greasy it is. If you’re cleaning your filter regularly, you may need only 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse both sides with a sink sprayer. Repeat the process, if necessary.
For more information on McCurry’s method, watch his video.
Don’t forget the hood interior
Whatever method you use to clean the range filter, make sure you clean the inside of the hood, too. Coat the interior of the hood, including the fan, with a degreasing cleaning solution and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wipe clean, rinse, and dry.
Now you have a clean environment for your filter, which means you can start cooking and gunking up your hood again.
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