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A Supercharged Guide to Cleaning Your Range Hood

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

A Supercharged Guide to Cleaning Your Range Hood

Why You Should Regularly Clean Your Range Hood

Keeping your range hood clean is essential for a few key reasons:

  • Grease buildup: As you cook, grease, oil, and residue from food will cling to the interior of the range hood. If left unchecked, this grease buildup can be a major fire hazard. Regular cleaning helps prevent dangerous grease accumulation.

  • Smells: Built-up grease and grime will make your kitchen smell bad. A clean range hood removes cooking odors efficiently.

  • Appearance: Grease splatters and food bits make your range hood look dirty and dingy. Regular cleaning keeps it looking like new.

  • Efficiency: When the range hood is covered in grease, it can’t work as well to remove smoke, grease, and odors. Cleaning improves airflow and suction power.

How Often Should You Clean Your Range Hood?

Here are some general guidelines on cleaning frequency:

  • Filters: Clean metal mesh filters at least once a month. Wash aluminum foil filters after each use. Change carbon filters every 3-6 months.

  • Interior surfaces: Wipe down interior baffle filters, fan blades, and other reachable surfaces every 1-2 months.

  • Exterior surfaces: Wipe down the exterior of the hood weekly or as needed. Use a degreasing cleaner for heavy buildup.

  • Ductwork: Professionally clean the ductwork every 3-5 years. DIY duct cleaning annually if you are comfortable doing so.

Increase cleaning frequency if you:

  • Do a lot of frying or sautéing
  • Cook greasy foods like bacon regularly
  • Notice grease buildup or odors

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need

Gather these cleaning supplies before you start:

  • Microfiber cloths or paper towels
  • Mild dish soap or degreasing cleaner
  • Spray bottle filled with hot water
  • Small bucket for filter soaking
  • Brush or scrub pad
  • Cotton swabs for small spaces
  • Baking soda or vinegar solutions for deodorizing

Avoid abrasive scouring pads or powders which can damage surfaces.

Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Range Hood

Follow these steps for a sparkling clean range hood:

1. Remove Filters

  • Push filter release tabs and remove metal mesh filters. Soak in hot water and dish soap to loosen grease.

  • Carefully remove baffle filters if present.

  • Dispose of aluminum foil inserts. Replace with new foil.

2. Clean Filter Media

  • Scrub filters with a brush until grease is removed. Rinse thoroughly.

  • Soak very dirty metal filters in 1 cup baking soda and 1 gallon hot water for 15 minutes before scrubbing.

3. Clean Interior Surfaces

  • Wipe down interior walls and baffles with a hot, soapy microfiber cloth.

  • Use a small brush soaked in hot soapy water to remove stuck-on grease.

  • Swab out nooks near the motor and lights with cotton swabs.

4. Degrease Fans and Vent

  • Remove fan covers to access blades. Scrape off grease with a spatula.

  • Scrub blades with hot soapy water. Rinse and dry before replacing covers.

  • Run baking soda and water through the vent opening. Swab with cotton swabs.

5. Clean Exterior Surfaces

  • Wipe down exterior surfaces with hot water and mild dish soap.

  • For stainless steel hoods, polish with a stainless steel cleaner.

  • Use a degreasing spray cleaner for heavy grease buildup on the outside.

6. Replace Filters and Test Suction

  • Insert cleaned filters in their slots.

  • Turn on fan and test suction strength. Re-clean filters if suction seems weak.

  • Replace aluminum foil inserts. Insert new carbon filters if needed.

  • Admire your sparkling clean range hood!

Tips for Preventing Grease Buildup

Here are some useful tips to minimize grease between deep cleanings:

  • Always run the fan when cooking at high heat. Keep it on for 10-15 minutes after.

  • Change aluminum foil inserts after greasy cooking jobs. New foil improves grease capture.

  • Clean metal mesh filters manually or run them through the dishwasher monthly.

  • Wipe down exterior surfaces weekly to control dust and grease drips.

  • Use commercial filter cleaning spray for a quick touch-up between deep cleanings.

  • Capture more grease by adjusting the baffle filters to sit lower when frying foods.

By regularly cleaning and maintaining your range hood, you’ll prevent nasty grease buildup and keep your kitchen safe and smelling fresh.

Common Range Hood Cleaning Questions

What is the best way to clean greasy range hood filters?

Soak very dirty metal mesh filters in hot water mixed with dish soap or a degreasing solution to loosen baked-on grease. Then scrub vigorously with a brush before rinsing. You can also run mesh filters through the dishwasher.

How do I clean the fan blades inside my range hood?

Carefully wipe fan blades with a small brush and hot, soapy water. Vinegar solutions also help cut through grease. Rinse and dry completely before replacing the fan covers.

What’s the easiest way to clean range hood ductwork?

To clean ducts, attach a duct cleaning brush to a pole and run it through the duct interior. Attach plastic and collect debris as you extract the brush. Or hire a professional duct cleaner periodically.

Why does my range hood still smell bad after cleaning filters?

If odors persist after cleaning filters, the interior surfaces or ductwork likely need cleaning. Grease and residue can cling inside the hood and ducts which will make odors linger. Thoroughly clean all surfaces.

How can I get rid of black stains inside my range hood?

For tough black stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and scrub into the stains. You can also try a solution of white vinegar and water. The acids in vinegar help dissolve discoloration.

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