If you cook a lot of oily food at home, grease will likely get stuck in your range hood. That’s because range hoods suck up the smoke in your kitchen while you’re cooking. Range hoods filter and trap all the smoke and grease so your entire home won’t smell of food. When they’re not cleaned regularly, you might notice that your kitchen is smellier than usual.
Here is a step-by-step guide showing you how to clean range hood.
How to Tell If Your Range Hood Needs Cleaning
If you notice the smell and smoke in your kitchen aren’t clearing up, you might need to check on your range hood. If your range hood’s motor sounds louder than it usually is, it might be working harder to do its job.
This is due to the filter already being clogged with grease. You might need to clean the motor and fan to get the whole range hood running smoothly. You may also test if your range hood works by placing a piece of paper against the vent. Usually, the vent should be able to suck up the paper and keep it there. If not, then your range hood probably needs cleaning.
How to Clean Your Range Hood
Before you start cleaning your range hood, here’s a list of items you’ll need to help you get the job done :
- Scrubbing brush
- Sink or large basin
- Hot water
- Cleaning gloves
- Baking soda
- Vinegar solution
- Degreasing soap
- Cleaning rags or paper towels
1. Clean the Outside of Your Range Hood
You can start your task by cleaning the outside surfaces of your range hood because grease and dust can also build up there.
- Clear your stovetop of any cooking utensils, as the cleaning solution may drip. You can also cover your stove with a cloth so nothing gets inside.
- Dust the surface with a brush.
- Spray the area with the degreaser mixed with warm water. You can test your degreaser on a small portion of your range hood first to ensure it won’t ruin its finish.
- Leave the degreaser on the range hood for around 15 minutes.
- Wipe up the cleaner with a paper towel or rag.
- If grease is left, spray more of the solution on a cleaning brush and scrub it off. Wipe it down again afterward.
- Following steps three to five, you can try using a vinegar solution for stubborn grease particles.
- Rinse the surfaces by soaking a paper towel or rag in warm water to clean up the residual cleaning solution.
2. Clean Under the Hood
This area of the range hood is usually much messier than the outside. You’ll need to be careful of any sharp edges and electrical components. You may wear cleaning gloves to protect yourself from these and the chemicals in the cleaning solutions.
- Soak your brush with a commercial degreaser or homemade degreasing soap.
- Scrub away the built-up grease.
- If the build-up is nasty, you can mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Baking soda can help break down the grease that’s stuck underneath the range hood.
- Apply the baking soda paste on tough grease spots.
- Leave the paste on for around 30 minutes.
- Wipe off all the residue with a clean paper towel or rag.
3. Remove and Clean the Filter
If your range hood has a lot of grease, you may want to set the filter aside before cleaning the inside. If the filter isn’t too messy, you can remove and clean it afterward.
- Take out the filter by sliding it out. Some have a latch or metal loop that you can use to pull it out. You may refer to this video for help.
- Fill your sink or a large heatproof basin with boiling water. Be careful not to burn yourself while you work.
- Pour one or two tablespoons of anti-grease dishwashing liquid and half a cup of baking soda. Mix the solution well.
- Place your filter in the sink or basin and ensure it’s completely submerged.
- Leave it to soak for around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the filter from the water before it cools and the grease settles back on it.
- Use a brush to scrub off any grease still stuck on the filter.
- You may keep repeating this process until the filter is clean.
- Once you’re satisfied with the state of your filter, rinse it and then dry it off with a cloth.
- You can spray a vinegar solution on the filter and then wipe it with a paper towel or cloth for a thorough cleaning.
- Place your filter back in the range hood, and you’re good to go!
Cleaning Your Filter With a Dishwasher
If your baffle or mesh filter isn’t too dirty, you may throw it in with a regular load in your dishwasher. Rinse your filter in the sink first, removing all the food particles and grease you can. Place your filter on the bottom rack of your dishwasher and run it. It may take a couple of loads, but you don’t have to do any heavy cleaning.
Once the filter is clean, dry it and reattach it to your range hood.
Deep Cleaning Your Filter
If your metal filter requires deep cleaning, place it in a large plastic bag and soak it with a small amount of ammonia. Leave the bag closed overnight. When it’s time to open it, do it in a well-ventilated area and away from your face because of the strong chemicals. Rinse the filter with warm water and dry it with a paper towel or rag.
How Often Should a Range Hood be Cleaned
Cleaning your range hood once a month is enough, even if you cook daily. If you rarely use your stove, you can get away with cleaning it several times every year. While at it, you can also check up on the vent or the long pipe connected to the range hood. This is where all the smoke and smell pass through.
Regular cleaning of your range hood means you won’t have to worry about the vent getting clogged with grease in the future. If you’ve never cleaned your range hood, a grease build-up may also be inside. You may call a professional to clean the pipe if you notice it’s dirty.
Range hoods usually come with a reusable metal filter. If you have one with charcoal filters, they’re disposable, and you’ll need to replace them occasionally. Changing charcoal filters every one to three months is recommended, depending on how often you cook in the kitchen. If you rarely cook, it’s enough to change it twice a year.
How to Keep Range Hood Clean for Longer
Don’t forget to include your range hood in your monthly cleaning routine. Pay attention to the filter because it catches most of the grease from your cooking. The outside surface of range hoods is often made from stainless steel or painted metal. You can use commercial or homemade degreasers that are recommended for this material.
You can also use a soft cloth with a few drops of olive oil to wipe your range hood and keep grease streaks away. You’ll get a nice shiny finish on the metal surface as a result. If the outside of your range hood is decorative, dust it every week to keep it looking clean. You should remember to polish hoods that are made of copper or brass. When you don’t, a patina can form over the copper, which gives it an aged aesthetic.
How to Make Homemade Degreaser to Clean Range Hood
With a homemade degreaser, no harmful chemicals will contact the surfaces you use to prepare food.
Here are instructions on how to make your degreaser at home.
- In a spray bottle, pour 3 cups of warm water, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and ⅛ teaspoon of Castile soap.
- If you want to add a scent, you may mix in 20 drops of a non-acidic essential oil.
- Secure the spray bottle’s nozzle, then shake it to mix all the ingredients.
These ingredients aren’t harmful but may still irritate your skin and eyes. Wear gloves and keep the area well-ventilated before using the degreaser to clean your range hood.
Now that you know how to clean a range hood correctly don’t forget to check on it occasionally, especially if you cook often. Your range hood may also need a good cleaning after major cooking events, like holiday feasts and dinner parties.
Cleaning the outside, inside, and filter of your range hood will help keep your home smelling clean and smoke-free. After you clean your range hood, you can check out our detailed guide on how to clean a fridge