We get requests quite frequently regarding home hood cleaning. We are a commercial hood cleaning company and we can’t clean residential hood systems. Our pressure systems and methods simply would not work in a residential hood cleaning. But we can give you some recommendations on how to clean your hood at your residence.
Dirty filter ruining mealtime? Discover three efficient solutions for range hood filter cleaning with expert tips from a professional hood cleaner.
If you don’t regularly clean your range hood filter, vent hood, or exhaust fan, then a buildup of grease and grime occurs that will impede the filter’s ability to function correctly.
Luckily, cleaning these parts is relatively simple and doesn’t require fancy formulas to complete. Most of these solutions include one to two ingredients that already live in the pantries of the average household.
A dirty range hood is greasy, slimy, and warm. This is an environment where some pathogens (bacteria and the like) thrive. Also, the small food particles that are carried along with the fumes and settle on the filters help feed the growing bacteria.
Regular Hood Cleaning Makes Things Simple
Even though it may not seem like the best way to spend your time, you’re going to want to make sure that your range hood filters are maintained well. Top manufacturers such as Broan recommend that you clean the filters at least once a month.
That’s definitely a lot of cleaning if you’re like every regular homeowner. Most people have never cleaned their filters in years, some even a decade. But, being a self-proclaimed expert on range hoods, I must second what the guys at Broan are telling you. Consistent cleaning of your filters is necessary for the following reasons:
How to Clean a Home Range Hood Filter in a few Simple Steps
Metallic grease filters can and must be cleaned often. They are usually aluminum or in some cases stainless steel. They would be either mesh filters or baffle filters and are usually visible at the base of your range hood.
It may seem like a long process, but depending on how dirty your range hood filters are and the method you choose to follow, the total time could be anywhere up to an hour, whereas the actual cleaning time would be below 15 minutes.
Fortunately, the most difficult type of attachment that you’re going to come across is one with a combination of support and a fastener. The only reason I say it’s difficult is that there are models where the rotating flap is placed at such an awkward position, you’re going to find it difficult to get your fingers in place. Instead, you may have to use a spoon or a screwdriver to rotate it.
Note: I will be proceeding from the most effective cleaning method to the least effective. This is done to save reading time and you would only proceed to another method if you’re out of stock on certain supplies and/or prefer another method due to simplicity.
Rather than using dish soap or a grease remover, you’re going to be using dishwasher detergent to get the job done. As an alternative to this method, you could also use a combination of vinegar and baking soda to get the job done.
If you’ve been following your cleaning schedule and cleaning every other month, this simple method using just soapy water and ammonia (not always necessary) is all you’re going to need.
However, if you’ve failed to regularly clean them, your filters may have accumulated a lot of grease and dirt. In this case, just placing them in the dishwasher is not going to do much. You will instead have to follow one of the first three methods explained above.
Since the filters are metallic, I would not recommend using a blow dryer as this could in unfortunate cases lead to electric shocks. Therefore, the best thing that you could do is allow them to dry in time. Before you set them back in place, make sure that they are completely dry as you don’t want the wiring of the range hood getting wet by any chance.
There are bound to be oil and grease deposits on certain parts of the range hood which are immediately above the cooktop and also around the grease filters. These areas can easily be cleaned using a mild degreaser.
All you need to do is use a napkin, spray some degreaser and wipe away. Make sure that you read the instructions before you spray, as some of them are concentrated and you need to mix them with water before use.
Don’t dilute your degreaser if it comes in a spray bottle, it is already diluted. spritzing spray degreaser into a large amount of water is counterproductive. On the other hand, a concentrated degreaser needs dilution with hot water to work. Industrial purple from Zep is similar to what the pros use.
If your sink is large enough to soak the filters, a good automatic dishwasher detergent is also good, this is what I use at home when I don’t have industrial purple. Automatic dishwashing powder is great for soaking and will help loosen and lift the soiled grease out of hard-to-scrub areas.
The Comment Section
“In most cases I find the dishwasher works great for cleaning these extractor filters, just make sure they are fully dry before re-fitting otherwise corrosion can appear.”
“My filter was horrible. I soaked it overnight first using dish soap. Then for an hour with dishwasher soap. It was very clean but had a couple of spots. Then used the vinegar and baking soda method. Came out sparkling clean.”
“If there are excess grease and oils left on the hood filter, they will also get into your dishwasher and potentially ruin it. Use this method if you clean your range hood every six months.”
“Remember: commercial hood cleaning companies cannot clean your hood or filters.”
“With a rag and degreaser, reach as far up into your duct as you can to remove grease that’s made it that far. You might only be able to reach in a foot or two, but that will make for a better hood cleaning than leaving that grease build-up.”