How to Clean a Range Hood

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Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

How to Properly Clean a Range Hood

It’s so easy to ignore a range hood during routine cleaning of your kitchen. This particular device needs thorough cleaning on almost regular basis to keep your house safe from fire hazards, bacteria, and germs.

Range hood is very easy to clean, although you might need proper cleaning chemicals to accomplish that. Depending upon the type of range hood you have, you can either clean or replace the hood’s filter on regular basis. 

1. Washing the Outer Area of the Range Hood

Choose right cleaner according to your hood. These days, range hood are made using variety of materials. Always choose a safe cleaner that does not damage the hood’s material. For example: 

  • For copper range hoods, it’s best to use a good copper cleaner
  • For stainless steel hoods, use a lukewarm soapy water solution
  • For vinyl or plastic hoods, you can use a mild all-purpose cleaner or even a warm soapy water 
  • 1Wipe the outer area of your range hood. It’s an easy job since it’s aimed away from your stovetop. Just spray the surface with some cleaner and follow the directions on the pack. If it advises, let it sit there for some time before wiping it off. 
  • 2Now, dry the hood. Wipe out using a clean, dry cloth or a simple paper towels. Remove all traces of the hood cleaner. If your hood’s material has an obvious grain, you can wipe this grain for a deep clean and polish. 

2. Cleaning Underneath the Range Hood

  • 1You can steam the inner side if necessary. However, first take a peek on the underside. If it’s bit dirty, fill a big pot with some water and boil it on a stovetop. Keep it boiling for about 40 minutes. Let the steam soak deeply into the cut. This will help loosen it from the hood. 
  • 2If accumulated dirt is light enough, you can accomplish cleaning using a regular surface cleaner. If it’s heavily greased, you need a tougher degreasing chemical to get the job done. First give a small hood area a test spray before spraying the entire surface. This is important to avoid any adverse reaction with hood’s paint. Again, check the cleaner’s recommendations on which materials it can be used safely. 

Spray and wipe the hood’s interiors

  • 1Wear safety gloves and open your kitchen windows and turn the exhaust fan on to ensure strong ventilation. Now spray the hood’s interiors as per directions and wipe it down using a cloth, sponge, or maybe paper towels. 
  • 2Many cleaners recommend wiping down the range hood interior immediately. Others may allow letting it sit down for few minutes so it can easily soak grease, dirt, and crud. 
  • 3Wipe once again using a wet towel. Strong cleaners can leave odors and streaks if traces are left to linger. Once the interior area is clean, use a clean paper towel or cloth and wipe interiors once again to remove all chemical residue and repeat the process using a dry cloth. 
  • 4Repeat this frequently
  • 5Clean frequently because job can be tough if you wait longer between each cleaning. It should be a part of your weekly routine when cleaning the entire kitchen. When a particular meal uses considerable oil or causes extensive splatter, immediately clean it afterward, as soon as your stovetop is safe to work around. 

3. How to Clean the Range Hood Filter

It’s best to check it monthly. If the filter appears splattered or stained, plan on cleaning or replacing it immediately.

Can All Range Hood Filters Be Cleaned?

These days, three types of filters are used in range hoods:

  • checkMetallic grease filters. Metallic grease filters need frequent cleaning. They are usually made of stainless steel or aluminum. They are either baffle filters or mesh filters and rest at the base of range hood.
  • checkFabric grease filters. Fabric grease filters absorb grease and fumes and cannot be cleaned. They need regular replacement.
  • checkCharcoal filters. Charcoal filters are present in many ductless range hoods and their main purpose is to eliminate smoke and odor. They help in recirculating air back into your kitchen. These filters cannot be cleaned. They need replacement every 4-5 months, depending on how often and the kind of meals you prepare. 

Grease filters help in filtering out grease and oil fumes. They are found in all range hoods with exception of few models. 

How to start with range hood filter cleaning?

Range hood filter can be cleaned easily in just an hour.

  • 1First you need to detach the metal grease filter.
  • 2Place this filter in a large sink/pan.
  • 3Prepare a cleaning solution using the right chemicals.
  • 4Immerse the filter in the solution.
  • 5Brush to remove the grease. 
  • 6Let the filter air dry. 
  • 7Insert it back into the range hood. 

How to Detach the Range Hood Filter to be Cleaned?

This depends upon your range hood model. However, in all range hood models the process to detach is very easy. Before you proceed, it’s important to switch off your appliance.

Now check the overall setup of your hood. See if metal filters are visible or they are hidden? Remove all protective casing at the base of the hood using a screwdriver. In most hoods, there is no protective casing.

Screws hold filters in place, so you need to unscrew them. Some range hoods may have T-lock mechanism or a metal/plastic fastener that holds them in place. Many models may have rim support where you just have to push the filter up and rote it to set it free.  

Cleaning the Range Hood Filter

1. Using dishwasher detergent to clean the range hood filter

  • checkWet your range hood filter under a tap or a blast hose. 
  • checkSoak it in a sink or a pan for an hour after applying dishwasher detergent around the filter, including its metal rim. It’s best to use hot water. 
  • checkNow place the filter in the sink and wash off all the detergent with grease. You can apply more detergent and scrub with the help of a brush to remove tiny traces of grease on the corners.
  • checkRepeat the process for extremely greasy hood filters. 

2. Using a good degreaser to clean the range hood filter

  • checkYou will have to do lot of scrubbing. Fill up a cooking pot (that can hold filter) with water so that it is completely submerged. Heat this water mildly. Spay degreaser into this water. Around 12-18 sprays if there’s more grease that is to be removed. 
  • checkAvoid touching with bare hand as this mixture is mildly acidic. Leave it there for 20 minutes to an hour.
  • checkNow remove the filter with the help of tongs and place it into the sink and scrub both surfaces hard on both sides. 

3. Baking soda and vinegar solution for range hood filter cleaning

  • checkTake a pot that can take in a filter and fill it with water so that your filter is completely submerged. Now bring this water to boil. 
  • checkOnce this water boils, add four tablespoons of vinegar and two teaspoons of baking soda to this solution. Always add baking soda slowly and never in one go. 
  • checkLet the filter remain there in this solution for one hour.
  • checkNow remove the filter with the help of tongs and place it in kitchen sink and scrub surface hard on both its sides. 

4. Placing the range hood filter in the dishwasher

Most modern range hoods are equipped with dishwasher safe stainless steel or aluminum grease filters.

Check product specifications to find if the filter in your range hood is dishwasher friendly or not. 

If it is dishwasher friendly, simply place it in your dishwasher without worrying about scrubbing or using cleaning solutions. 

4.a. Hot Soapy Water + Ammonia

If you’ve been regularly cleaning your range hood filter every week or month, this simple technique of using just ammonia and soapy water is all you’re going to need. 

  • checkBlock your kitchen sink and add dish soap, water and some ammonia. 
  • checkMix this solution and place your filter in it. 
  • checkNow use a brush and scrub on your filter.

Drying the Filter and Reattachment of Range Hood

Since most filters are metallic, don’t use a blow dryer as this can lead to electric shocks.

The best approach is to allow your filter to dry in time. Put them back in place once they are dry. 

Charcoal and fabric filters can be easily replaced.

So if your range hood has either of them, avoid cleaning them. Simply discard the old one and install the new one.

However, charcoal filters need to be replaced only if they are installed in ductless range hood because when exhaust is being ventilated outside the house using ducts, then you need to replace the charcoal fiter.

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Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.