Kitchens are designed for cooking, but preparing food stinks! Thankfully, the extractor fans above your stove remove smoke, odour, and fumes produced while cooking. They work to keep your home looking and smelling pleasant and safe!
Although, cooker hood filters become clogged quickly. This reduction in airflow can cause your extractor fan not to work proficiently and a host of other problems. You may be wondering how to clean a cooker hood filter for the best results.
Grease and grime will inevitably reach your filters, but you don’t need to buy a new one. Instead, you can clean it using this easy-to-use guide.
Dirty Range Hoods Can Be Dangerous
It’s important to note that a poorly maintained range hood carries health and safety risks. All of the trapped greases could lead to a fire. Plus, range hoods work to carry fumes and smoke out of the home. With a dirty hood filter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide have no place to go.
A dirty range hood wreaks of old grease. This is an environment in which many pathogens, like bacteria, thrive. The food particles in the air collect in the filters and feed growing bacteria. This is harmful in your home, especially if you have allergies and a weakened immune system.
For these reasons, regularly cleaning extractor filters is vital for a healthy home. If you cook a lot or try to get a kitchen pest problem under control, you may need to deep clean once every 1-2 months and wipe it down after every use. Those who cook less or do not often cook with oil may not have to clean it again for six months to a year. Either way, without this grease removal, toxic fumes may pose a threat to you and your loved ones.
What is an Extractor Fan Filter?
If it is your first time cleaning an extractor fan filter, you may have some questions. You’re in the right place! Filters are fine mesh grates on the bottom of the hood. A majority of filters pop off or slide off and are easily cleaned.
Grime and gunk build up on extractor hoods after use. Your cooking hood is directly above your stove because its job is to suck up the smoke, fumes, and steam that are a natural result of cooking. There is no way to prevent your filter from getting gross, but what can be avoided is a thick layer of grease building up.
That doesn’t look good, and the hood can’t do its job effectively in addition to posing a fire hazard. Face the problem and don’t avoid it. The longer you put off washing your metal filter, the harder you’ll have to work to get it clean. Plus, cleaning cooker hoods is fast and easy with our method.
How to Clean Extractor Hood Filters
Extractor hood filters are the fine mesh grates that are on the underside of the cooker hood. They keep all the grease that cooking smoke contains out of the extraction vents. This helps to avoid clogs.
Many modern range hood models have dishwasher-ready aluminium or stainless steel grease filters. You can use your dishwasher to help clean the hood filters. However, placing them in the dishwasher alone will not do the trick on its own. Your filters likely need a little elbow grease!
For best results and a deep clean, plan on cleaning the filter in your sink with soapy water. It may seem like a lengthy process, but the total time spent is about an hour depending on how dirty your range hood filters are.
After your deep clean, wipe the fan filters over with a cloth or paper towel every time you use the hob. Remember to make sure the fan and hood are completely cooled before cleaning.
You Will Need:
Time to gather supplies! This is a simple process, so there is no need to buy anything fancy. You likely have all the tools you need at home.
- Boiling hot water
- Dishwashing soap
- Paper towels
- A large bucket to hold the filters
- Baking soda or Bicarbonate Soda
- Microfiber cloth or another clean cloth
- A toothbrush or another non-abrasive brush
- Carefully remove your filter from the cooker hood.
- Fill your sink with boiling hot water. Be careful not to burn yourself! You can also use your bathtub, large pan, or bucket if the sink is too small or full of dishes.
- Pour in baking soda and dish soap.
- Submerge filters into the water and let them soak in the baking soda mixture for at least 10-15 minutes.
- After a decent soak, scrub them gently with a toothbrush and occasionally rinse to make sure the grease build-up is removed. You may need to scrub! For stubborn stains, you may need to more dish soap directly to the brush.
- Repeat as needed.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
- Put the filters in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle with dishwasher soap.
- Repeat on hot cycle until fully clean.
- You might need to replace your filter if it is still not coming clean.
You are almost done! Once all the stains have been removed, thoroughly rinse the filters with clean water. But wait, don’t put them back just yet! Leave the range hood filter out to dry on a towel or microfiber cloth. Drying time will vary but plan on around an hour.
To expedite the process, open the window and use fans. Since the filters are metal, don’t use a dryer due to possible shock. Before putting everything back together, ensure they’re fully dry.
Finally, put the filters back into the hood and admire your hard work! Then, repeat the deep cleaning process every 1-2 months to prevent the build-up of any additional grime.
Stubborn Grease Solution
If your filter has never been cleaned before, the grease may have formed a stubborn coat. You can take on grease and grime by letting it soak with a few drops of liquid soap overnight. Make sure the vent is completely covered with hot water.
The next day, use a brush on the filters to scrub off the thick layer of grease. You can now repeat steps 1 and 2.
How to Clean an Extractor Hood Surface
While you are cleaning your filters, glance up. The surface of extractor hoods also can build up tons of grease over years of use. You already have all your cleaning supplies out; why not wash the hood, too? Clean your cooker hood regularly to prevent build-up. Your extractor hood is visible to guests, so having it clean will help your entire kitchen sparkle.
Stainless Steel Extractor Hood
For stainless steel hoods, mixing bicarbonate of soda with boiling water works best. Use a non-abrasive sponge or brush to scrub the range hood and wipe with the grain. Rinse, and allow the surface to dry completely. You can turn on a fan and open windows to help it dry faster in the fresh air.
After allowing the stainless steel to air dry, apply a thin coat of baby oil or another stainless steel polish for a sparkling finish.
Glass Extractor Hood
Like the stainless steel method, mix bicarbonate of soda with boiling water and gently wash the hood to loosen the gunk. Using a paper towel or newspaper helps reduce streaks. Use glass cleaner for a dazzling shine!
Reasons to Keep Extractor Fan Filters Clean
A grease filter is an essential but often neglected part of every extractor fan hood. The role of the grease filters is to prevent grease and fumes from reaching the extraction vents. If the filter becomes clogged with oil, this may lead to:
- Bacteria and other pathogens
- Extractor fan malfunction
- Insects, like ants and files
- A fire starting
- Filter fan breaks
- A loud, rattling sound of a struggling fan
- Unpleasant odour
- Build-up on walls
Key to a Clean Cooker Hood
Now that you know how to clean a cooker hood filter, you can save money in the long run by regularly cleaning your cooker heads and filters. If you put it off, you might have to purchase an entirely new ventilation system. Luckily, cleaning your filters and cooker hoods is an easy way to enhance the lifespan of this important appliance.