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How to Clean Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan and Filters

March 3, 2024
How to Clean Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan and Filters


Kitchen exhaust fans and filters play an important role in removing steam, grease, odors, and smoke from the air while you cook. Over time, grease builds up on the fan blades and filters, reducing their effectiveness and becoming a fire hazard. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to properly clean your kitchen exhaust fan and filters. In this article, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide to cleaning your kitchen exhaust fan and filters thoroughly.

Safety Precautions

Before cleaning your kitchen exhaust fan and filters, take these safety precautions:

  • Turn off the fan and unplug it from the electrical outlet. This prevents electric shock while cleaning.
  • Allow the fan blades and filters to cool completely if the fan was recently running. This prevents burns.
  • Place towels or newspapers on the floor below the fan to catch drips.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from grease.
  • Have a stepladder ready if needed to reach the fan.

Cleaning the Exhaust Fan Blades

Follow these steps to clean the exhaust fan blades:

Step 1: Remove the Filter Screens

  • Locate the filter screens covering the fan blades. They are usually held in place by small screws or clips.
  • Remove the filter screens carefully and set them aside.

Step 2: Wipe the Blades

  • Use a microfiber cloth or soft brush to wipe off any loose grease or dirt on the fan blades.
  • For stuck-on grease deposits, use a degreaser like 409 or a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Spray or apply it onto the grease. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wipe the blades thoroughly with a clean rag until all grease is removed.

Step 3: Clean the Motor Housing

  • Use a small vacuum crevice tool to remove dust buildup inside the motor housing.
  • For grease splatters, wipe down the inside of the housing with a degreaser using a microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Reinstall Filter Screens

  • Once the blades are clean, put the filter screens back in place over the fan blades.

Deep Cleaning the Filters

The filters collect a majority of the grease and need more extensive cleaning. Here’s how:

Step 1: Remove the Filter(s)

  • Locate the filter housing behind or beside the exhaust fan.
  • Release the clips or screws holding the filter(s) in place.
  • Carefully pull out the filter(s). Some may be attached in a frame that slides out.

Step 2: Clean with Hot Water and Degreaser

  • Place the filter(s) in a sink or tub.
  • Fill it with hot water and a heavy-duty degreaser like Simple Green. Let soak 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub filters with a bristle brush to remove stuck-on grease.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

  • Rinse filters under hot running water until water runs clear.
  • Shake excess water from filters. Let air dry completely before reinstalling.

Maintenance Tips

  • Clean exhaust fan and filters every 2-3 months for light usage or monthly for heavy usage.
  • Replace filters instead of cleaning when they become too clogged or damaged.
  • Always run the fan when cooking to prevent heavy grease buildup.
  • Clean fan blades with disinfectant wipes if grease splatters when cooking.

Thoroughly cleaning your kitchen exhaust fan and filters improves air quality and reduces fire hazards. Following these steps keeps your fan running efficiently for years to come. Let me know if you have any other kitchen ventilation cleaning tips!

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