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Cleaning Your Oven’s Greasy Range Hood Filter is a Vital Safety Precaution — Here’s How To Do It

It gets dirtier than you think.


Cleaning your home is part of your regular routine. You vacuum, do the dishes, mop the floors, et cetera. And while these things are important, it’s easy to forget the little things in your home that you don’t see all the time. One of those things is the filter inside your oven’s range hood. Not only does it get dirty quickly, but leaving it dirty for too long can be dangerous. Learn how to clean your range hood filter quickly without harsh chemicals and how often you should do it. 

What is a range hood filter?

First, let’s talk range hoods. A range hood is a vent that goes above ovens to remove smoke, moisture, and grease from the kitchen while you cook. The range hood filter is the perforated metal panel inside the range hood that’s responsible for that removal. The range hood filter is important for both keeping potentially dangerous pollutants out of your kitchen, and for preventing fires from excessive heat, grease, and smoke. In fact, commercial kitchens are required by law to have range hood filters for safety, says cleaning company Guardian Services

How To Clean Range Hood Filters 

Because they come into direct contact with grease, heat, and smoke, range hood filters get dirty quickly — and a dirty filter means more potential for danger, says Guardian Services. If your filter is clogged with debris and buildup, your kitchen could become excessively hot and smoky, which is bad for your air quality, but could also be a fire hazard. Check out this easy, step-by-step process for cleaning your range hood filter from home appliance company Compact Appliance to keep your kitchen — and family — safe. 

What you’ll need: 

  • A heat-proof container big enough to fit your filter inside it, like a casserole dish, a pot (not nonstick), or even the sink
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Non-abrasive scrub brush
  • Rag or paper towels

Step 1: Take out your filter. 

Most filters should easily pop or slide out from underneath the range hood. If you’re having trouble, look for a latch or loop that may help. 

Step 2: Create your cleaning solution.

Fill your heat-proof container with nearly boiling or boiling water. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap and ¼-½ cup baking soda and mix, careful not to let the solution bubble over. 

Step 3: Soak your filter. 

Submerge your filter in the solution and let soak for 10 minutes to break down grease. If the whole filter won’t fit inside your container, you can do one side or one portion at a time.

Step 4: Scrub your filter. 

Use a scrub brush to remove any additional debris, paying extra attention to hard-to-reach corners and crevices. 

Step 5: Rinse, dry, and replace. 

Remove your filter from the solution and rinse to remove soap and grease, then dry completely with towel or rag. It’s now ready to put back into your range hood. 

How often should I clean my range hood filter?

Frequency of cleaning may depend on how often you cook. You should clean it at least once a year, says Compact Appliance, and more often if you cook a lot. If you clean it regularly, you not only ensure your safety, but you’ll also save money, because you won’t need to replace it as often. 

Incorporating this quick routine into your cleaning regimen could help your kitchen work better and your home stay safe. Want more ways to keep your house sparkling? Check out these spring cleaning hacks to make the process a breeze.

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