Your kitchen is one of the most used rooms in your house. When you think about everything that goes on in your kitchen on a daily and weekly basis it’s no wonder keeping it clean is a daily chore. But when it comes to cleaning, your range hood (aka vent hood) is often one of the most overlooked areas of your kitchen. However, keeping it clean can improve the air quality in your kitchen, and throughout your home. So grab the baking soda, a degreaser soap, sponge, and some cleaning rags. We’re going to take an in-depth look at how to properly clean a range hood and keep it clean.
Here are some simple steps to follow that can help you get that range hood sparkling clean:
Start with dusting. With a duster or dry cloth, remove all dry debris. This will clear the area so you can focus on lifting the grease—not wiping dirt.
Apply a baking soda solution. Mix one part baking soda with three parts warm water and apply the solution over the surface of the hood with a soft sponge.
Spot-treat with baking soda paste. Add a little water to baking soda to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to troublesome grease spots, and let it sit for a half hour before washing it off with a sponge or cloth.
Use degreaser soap. Next, wipe down the vent hood with a degreaser soap or detergent, such as a heavy-duty liquid dish soap. Avoid using abrasive brushes. Although it might be tempting to aggressively scrub the grime, you’d likely remove the finish on your vent hood along with the grease.
Consider the stronger stuff. If there are still patches of gunky grease, you might try a degreasing kitchen cleaner product. Keep in mind that harsh chemicals and abrasives could damage the finish on your range hood, so it’s best to test the product first in a small, unnoticeable section.
After you clean the large surfaces of the vent hood, consider cleaning these parts too. First, shut off the breaker that supplies power to your range hood exhaust fan.
The grate or filter. This is the mesh-like part that sits above your stove and draws in air when you’re cooking. Learning how to clean the range hood filter starts with making baking soda your friend. In a shallow dish tub or baking sheet, mix one part baking soda with three parts hot water. Remove the filter from the hood by pulling or sliding it out. Soak it in the solution for 15 to 20 minutes. Then use a soft bristle brush to dislodge the remaining grime. Rinse the grate with clean water and dry it before putting it back in the range hood. If you’re tempted to throw the filter in the dishwasher, think again. The grease may lodge itself in the dishwasher spray arms or drain, which will be a hassle to clean later.
The range hood fan. The fan is tucked behind the filter, where it pulls the hot air from the kitchen and pushes it outside. If you want to learn how to clean a range hood fan, first identify if your fan is screwed in or secured with rivets. Riveted fans should not be removed from the hood. If it has screws on the fan cover, you can remove those with a drill and screwdriver bit. Remove the fan assembly from the hood, and unscrew the cover. The nut securing the blades on some fans turns the opposite of traditional, so be prepared to turn clockwise to loosen. Remove the blades, but do not mix them up. They are designed directionally and will not function properly if switched. Let the blades soak in warm, soapy water for half an hour. Then scrub off the remaining grime, dry the fan blades, reassemble the fan, and reinstall it.
The range hood duct. As all the greasy hot air from your cooking flows into the vent hood, most of the mess is captured by the filter. However, some goes through to the fan or even the duct that takes the air outside. If you have a ducted range hood, ideally, you shouldn’t have to clean the duct at all. But if you never really give the range hood a good cleaning, it’s possible the duct is full of grease. So, how do you clean a range hood duct? Call in the experts. No, really—cleaning kitchen ductwork requires specific tools and training.
Related Topic: The Best Range Hoods to Keep Your Kitchen Ventilated
Your range hood is not only decorative, it also serves a useful purpose. If the range hood is neglected, it becomes less efficient, and those smells linger and stagnate. In addition, grease buildup can trap smoke in your kitchen, potentially causing damage to your walls and cabinets—and your indoor air quality!
Mark your calendar so you remember to clean your vent hood every one to two months. This will allow the appliance to efficiently filter the smoky air, cooking residue and smelly fumes out of your cooking space.
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