Modern kitchen appliances have revolutionized the way we work. Now everyone can aspire to produce meals like Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay. The range hood is often forgotten, yet it works efficiently to eliminate kitchen odors and smoke.
The optimal way to clean a range hood is to take the filters out and, if needed, replace them. If reusable, they should be thoroughly cleaned and left to dry while the range hood is degreased, deep cleaned with all the sticky muck removed, and then reassembled.
The range hood is the unsung hero of the kitchen, as it generally works flawlessly, removing smoke, grease particles, and air from the kitchen, making it a pleasant working space. When the range hood filters are blocked or stop working, it soon becomes apparent.
Why Clean The Range Hood?
Whether your range hood is over the stove in the kitchen or outside on the deck over the barbeque stove or grill, it works by sucking up air rising from cooking the food, resulting in it becoming caked in oil and grease.
Most people are conscientious about cleaning the countertops, hob, inside the oven, sinks, fridges, and everything else in the kitchen, but somehow it is easy to overlook the need to clean the hood. Eventually, when you get down to it, you are horrified at just how filthy it is.
Whether you have a ducted hood that expels the air outside or a ductless model, both appliances use filters that extract and retain the fatty deposits from the air.
Dust in the air mixes with the grease deposited on the extractor fan, and unfortunately, the longer it stays uncleaned, the harder it is to clean the dust/ grease mix.
The Most Effective Way To Clean A Range Hood
The most effective way to clean the range hood is to follow a series of structured steps that will enable you to clean it optimally without difficulty.
Before starting any of the steps, switch the range hood off, and if there is a separate plug for it, unplug it.
Before cleaning the range hood, cover the oven or stove below it with a large enough cloth. It will stop any dirt you remove from falling onto the appliance below and getting caught in cavities or seams.
Step 1 – Clean Off The Loose Dust Off The Range Hood
Use a dry cloth or specialist dust brush to remove all loose dirt.
Wipe down the range hood’s external surface with soapy water and dry it.
Step 2 – Remove The Range Hood Filters
Open the compartments which contain the filters and remove them. If you are unsure, check the instructions or the internet.
Most range hood filters are held in place by one of the following methods.
- Screws hold them in place.
- An A T-Lock or similar mechanism.
- A metal/plastic fastener that is rotated.
- A latch mechanism where a lever is pressed to detach.
- Rim supports where you push up and rotate to set the filter-free.
- You can remove most range hood filters by turning a clip or mounting bracket.
There are three filter types in range hoods.
- Paper Carbon Based Filters
- Metallic cartridge grease filters
- Charcoal filters
Paper Carbon Based Filters
Paper Carbon Based Filters act like a sponge and absorb fumes and grease (much like a sponge).
If the filters are paper-based, it is not possible to clean these; instead, you should purchase clean new ones.
Metallic Cartridge Grease Filters
Metallic cartridge grease filters are usually aluminum or stainless steel. They will either be mesh filters or baffle filters.
If the filters are the metal cartridge type, fill a sink with hot water, a cup of vinegar, a squirt of degreasing dish soap, and 1/4 cup of baking soda into the hot water to break down the grease. Let the mix do its magic overnight.
The next day, remove the filters from the water and rinse them well.
Use a small brush (toothbrush) and scrub the inner parts of the filters to remove the clogged muck which is still present.
Charcoal filters are used exclusively in ducted range hoods, and their function is to clean the air and absorb any odors.
As the charcoal filter absorbs the odors, it can’t be cleaned and instead must be removed and replaced periodically.
Clean The Inside Of The Range Hood
Depending on the model range hood, remove the grid behind which the filters are installed.
If this is the case, clean them in the same way that is recommended for metallic cartridge grease filters.
- Fill a sink of hot water, a cup of vinegar, a squirt of degreasing dish soap, and 1/3 cup of baking soda into the hot water to break down the grease.
- Let the mix work over a few hours.
- When the filter has been in long enough, remove them from the water and rinse them well.
- Use a small brush (toothbrush) and scrub the grids and remove the clogged muck which is still present.
Wipe the inside of the hood and clean any collected grease/dust off the inside.
Use a small brush to clean out the grease from all nooks and crannies, paying particular attention to the filter’s mounting points and the latches that attach the filters to the range hood.
Use a strong degreaser to wipe the surfaces and remove any residual grease inside and outside the range hood.
Reassemble The Range Hood
Wipe the cleaned parts with a dry cloth and leave them in a place where they will dry thoroughly.
Don’t reinstall any part until it has dried because there are electrical connections for the range hood lights and switches, which may become wet if you reinstall the items too soon.
If you removed the plug at the beginning of the cleaning process, you could now replace it and switch the wall socket on.
Test all of the switches still do everything they should, and if all is in order, the range hood is ready for use.
If you repeat this process every four to six weeks, it will be much easier to keep the range hood clean without doing a major deep clean each time.
Deep cleaning a range hood that has not been sanitized for a long time is a laborious but necessary process. The range hood’s function is to keep the air free of grease and other toxins, and as long as it is clean and working, it will perform to spec.
If the filters are blocked, they will not function, and ultimately the kitchen will end up smelling old burnt grease and smoke.