Cooking can be lots of fun. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking something so familiar that you could prepare it with your eyes closed. Or maybe it could be that new recipe you chanced upon while scrolling through your phone. It’s a fun thing to do, whether this is something you do every day, as it is part of your career or lifestyle, or whether it is only during the rare occasions that you get to take out your pots and pans and whip up something to eat, the experience of cooking can be something we find enjoyable.
From my personal experience, it’s always a lot of fun cooking when you know family or friends will be coming over to eat it. Our family has always associated get-togethers with food and we are always on the hunt to try out new recipes, whether we are sitting down for a simple supper meal or are gathered together for a milestone or celebration of some sort.
Just as cooking comes with preparations to make sure your food tastes delicious, cleaning up also takes a lot of care. Oftentimes, when we cook, we simply fry what needs to be fried and boil what needs to be boiled and then perhaps wipe the stove a little bit when it has cooled down so it is nice and clean and ready to use the next time we will be cooking something.
Nevertheless, one of the places we often forget to check after we cook and the stove has cooled somewhat is the exhaust fan filter under our stove hood. Let me warn you though: it’s not a very pretty sight. As the purpose of the range hood is to collect grease, it is most likely going to look and feel very greasy. If you don’t get to clean the filter from time to time, it may become so blocked with grease and not do its job as properly as you would like it to, hence the importance of cleaning your range hood regularly. It might also collect a lot of dust over time, so cleaning this is an absolute must.
Here are some easy ways to go about cleaning your range hood.
What You Will Need
- Boiling (or very hot) water
- Dish soap that works really well for removing grease
- Laundry powder (optional)
- Baking soda
- Non-abrasive scrub brush
- Paper towels or dish cloth
How to Clean Grease from Your Range Hood
These 6 steps will walk you through the super easy process of cleaning the grease from your range hood.
1. Remove the filter from the range hood
Most filters can easily slide or pop out from under your range hood. Once your stove has cooled down and you are ready to clean your range hood, remove the filter (usually, there is a metal loop that allows you to pull the filter out). Because the filters most likely carry the most amount of grease, they need to be cleaned really carefully.
Tip: Most filters are dishwasher safe, so in order to clean them properly you can place them in a dishwasher along with other stainless steel/aluminium cookware, and wash it off on the hottest cycle.
2. Fill a sink or big basin with boiling water
(Steps 2 to 4 involve manual cleaning of your filters. If you manage to clean them in the dishwasher, skip to step 5!)
If you have a basin or a big sink, you’ll need to fill this with hot, hot water (the hotter, the better, but you have to be careful not to burn yourself).
Add a teaspoon of some anti-grease liquid dishwashing soap and about 1/4 cup baking soda and mix these all together in the hot water.
Submerge the greasy filters for about 15-20 minutes so that it can work on those stubborn stains and get rid of most of the grease. Make sure they are completely under water so the filters get all the cleaning they can get!
3. Soak and scrub your greasy filters
After you’ve soaked your filters for a few minutes, now is the time to take a scrubbing brush to help you thoroughly clean the filter with firm, brushing strokes. Make sure that the brush you have is non-abrasive (such as this one from MG Chemicals).
While you do want your filters to be clean, you don’t want to do anything that will scratch them or damage them. Don’t apply too much pressure, but don’t be afraid to be vigorous either.
If you feel like the water has become too greasy, drain the sink or empty the basin and refill it with new soapy water as often as you need to.
4. Rinse and dry your range hood filters
Once you’re satisfied with all the scrubbing you’ve done to your range hood filters, you can rinse them off in hot water and then dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.
You may want to place them somewhere to air dry, before you insert them into your range hood.
5. Wipe the exterior of the range hood
Sometimes, while you’re cooking, grease can land outside of the range hood. While the filters get most of the grease, you must not forget to clean the exterior of your range hood as well! You may also have grease on your walls, so make sure you clean your walls properly without damaging the paint.
Get some anti-grease liquid dishwashing soap and mix it with a bit of warm water. Get some thick paper towels or rags and dip them into a basin full of this mixture. The bigger the hood and the more thorough you plan to be, the more mixture you will need.
With the rags and the warm-water-and-dishwashing-soap solution, give the exterior of your range hood a very thorough wipe-down. Sometimes, you might have to wipe down the whole range hood twice, just to make sure it gets a thorough cleaning.
Special note: If you’re going to get a special cleaner that’s specially designed for removing grease or any other household chemical, make sure to test it first on a small corner of your range hood. Some chemicals are so powerful, they can also harm the finish or surface appearance of your range hood.
6. Clean the stains under the hood
While your filters are soaking or drying up, it’s time to clean the underside of the hood, where the vent is installed. If you don’t clean your hood regularly, chances are, this area might be a mess of soot and grease.
It’s a good idea then to grab a scrubbing brush (such as these mDesign Bamboo Scrubber Brushes) to help you tackle any large spots of grease or ash deposits.
You can also create a mixture of warm water and dishwashing liquid or even laundry powder to help you scrub the under of the grease hood more thoroughly.
If the build up of ash and grease is really bad, you might want to create a paste type of mixture made of warm water, dish or laundry soap, and baking powder and apply it under the hood and let it sit for an hour or so.
After some time, the soda should have been able to break apart some of the bonds holding the grease and it will now be easier for you to wash and wipe it clean.
Once the underside of the hood is clean and the filter is dry, you can install the filter under the range hood again and whip up something to eat!
If cleaning grease from your range hood seems like a daunting task, you have absolutely nothing to fear.
It is quick and easy to do and you can do it with regular household items. So that you don’t have to spend so much time cleaning the range hood because so much grease is stuck on it, try to set some time once a month to clean your range hood. Your kitchen will be much more sanitary and you’ll enjoy prepping your food more.