Range hood filters serve the purpose of filtering grease and oil fumes from the stove area. Such fumes pose a considerable fire risk, and virtually all stoves with hoods contain a filter. Filters come in three materials - fabric, metal, and charcoal. Charcoal filters cannot be cleaned and are instead replacement, usually every four months.
Method 1 covers how to clean a range hood filter made of fabric. Method 2 describes how to clean a metallic filter.
Method 1 of 2: Fabric filter cleaning
Step 1: Remove the filter from the range hood. Most filters are secured by screws or latches. If it is latched into place, simply open the latches.
For filters secured by screws, you must remove all four screws, placing them in a place they will not be easily lost. Then gently pull out the filter.
Step 2: Put cleaning solution in a shallow pan. Prepare a warm, soapy water solution using a mild detergent like a few drops of dish soap. Place this mixture in a shallow pan large enough to hold the filter flat.
Step 3: Let it sit. Leave the filter to soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse and replace. Rinse the filter off with warm, clear water. Allow the filter to air dry. Then, replace the filter in the range hood, closing the latches or replacing the screws.
Method 2 of 2: Metallic filter cleaning
Step 1: Follow steps 1 through 3 in Method 1. Most of the processes for cleaning fabric and metallic range hood filters is the same.
Step 2: Gently scrub the filter clean. Using a wire brush, gently scrub grime off of both sides of the metallic filter, taking care to remove grit from corners and edges.
Step 3: Rinse and replace. Rinse off the filter and replace it as described in Method 1.
Tip: Some people prefer to use a baking soda and vinegar solution for cleaning range hood filters. To prepare this solution, bring a gallon of water to a boil, then mix in 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
Warning: Do not scrub a fabric filter because the fabric can easily tear. If the fabric looks worn, it may be time to replace the filter rather than clean it.
While taking the time to clean your range hood filter may not be part of your cleaning routine, it can greatly increase the life of your hood system. Other benefits of regular filter cleaning are cleaner air, reduced risk of fire, and better power efficiency. This is because the oils the filter traps attract bits of food and debris, which affects your surroundings and even how well your stove system runs, which translate into a lower electric bill, too. While cleaning every four months is the general recommendation, you can adjust the timing up or down according to how often you use the stove and how many oils you use in meal preparation.