How to Keep Your Kitchen Hood Grease Free

How to Keep Your Kitchen Hood Grease Free

Kitchen
Cleaning
By Dikran Seferian January 07, 2022

Whether you prepare meals for yourself, your family, or as a hobby, sanitary cooking space is undeniably important. While you may be cleaning most of the kitchen on a regular basis, there is one particular spot that you might be forgetting about — the kitchen hood. Also referred to as a range hood or a stove hood, this appliance is often neglected despite its crucial role. It is essentially designed to extract the smoke and odors emitted while cooking. A kitchen hood basically serves as an exhaust fan, considerably improving the air quality. Greasy meals and indoor dust particles, however, eventually take their toll on the stove hood. Not giving the unit the proper maintenance may not only risk its functionality but also create an unhygienic cooking area. 

How Often You Should Clean Your Kitchen Hood

When was the last time you had a look beneath the kitchen hood? If you can’t remember, then you’re probably not going to like what you see. Although a buildup of grease and dust only means that your appliance is doing its job, cleaning your stove hood every now and then is crucial for its longevity.

If you’re preparing meals on a regular basis, consider cleaning the hood inside out — including the filter — once a month. Otherwise, seasonal cleaning should be enough. However, it is always a good idea to clean at least the filter after cooking a holiday feast for instance — even if you don’t plan on cleaning the rest of the unit.

Grease and other flammable particles that make their way to the ductwork tend to stick to the surfaces. Cleaning your range hood on a monthly or seasonal basis not only ensures its good condition but may also prevent a fire.

The Importance of Keeping Your Kitchen Hood in Good Condition

The Importance of Keeping Your Kitchen Hood in Good Condition

What You’ll Need

  • Boiling or hot water
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Solution of vinegar and water to use as a cleaning spray
  • Dish soap or any kind of detergent that removes grease
  • Dust brush cleaner with soft bristles
  • Non-abrasive scrubbing brush 
  • Dishcloth or kitchen towel
  • Dishwashing gloves

While you could go for commercial products like kitchen degreasers, household ingredients such as baking soda and white vinegar are just as effective — while being inexpensive and eco-friendly. You may also want to avoid harsh chemicals for the filter; regular soap will often do just fine.

Dusting The Kitchen Hood

Consider starting the stove hood cleaning process by dusting the unit. Using a dust brush cleaner, get rid of any loose particles from the surface of the kitchen hood. Make sure to also target the appliance’s narrow spots, corners, and edges. It is a good idea to place a cloth or a sheet of newspaper on the stovetop before dusting the hood. This prevents dirt and debris from falling inside. Consider keeping it there for the rest of the process.

Cleaning the Hood Filter

Cleaning Hood Filters is Important for the Functionality of the Unit

Cleaning Hood Filters is Important for the Functionality of the Unit

Range hoods will typically have a filter for trapping grease and other particles before they reach the ducts. While certain kitchen hoods have disposable charcoal filters, many others have metal filters that you’ll need to clean every once in a while. Fortunately, cleaning the hood filter is the easiest part of the whole process.

To disconnect the filter, you will either have to slide it out or press a latch to remove it. Check for any instructions if available. Next, fill a large heat-proof pot or the sink with boiling or hot water. Add a drop or two of liquid dish soap to the water and mix in half a cup of baking soda.

After thoroughly mixing the solution, place the filter into the solution and leave it for 15 minutes. This is when the soap does its magic. Make sure to remove it before the water gets cold to prevent the grease from resettling on the component. Afterward, use your scrubbing brush to eliminate any stubborn particles of grease that are still on the filter. Thoroughly rinse with hot water and let it dry completely. Then, spray a white vinegar solution on the filter and wipe it with a paper towel before reattaching it to the stove hood.

Cleaning the Interior of the Kitchen Hood

Tips on Maintaining Your Stove Hood Interior

Tips on Maintaining Your Stove Hood Interior

Kitchen hoods are typically mounted 24 to 30 inches above the stovetop. This means that they are exposed to food splashes during cooking, allowing for a buildup of grease and grime. While waiting for the filter to soak in the solution, you could take the time to clean the interior surfaces of the range hood. Consider keeping your gloves on throughout the entire process to protect your hands from dirt and other substances.

Prepare a separate mixture of hot water, baking soda, and dish soap. Dunk your scrubbing brush in the mixture and gently scrub the inside of the hood. Make sure to follow up by wiping frequently with a dishcloth or a kitchen towel. Finish up by dipping a separate piece of cloth in plain warm water and wiping the interior surfaces to remove any remaining soap or baking soda residue.

Tip: The baking soda breaks apart grease buildups on the inner surfaces. Consider applying a more concentrated mixture in the form of baking soda paste to get rid of stubborn grime. Leave it for 30 minutes and wipe it off with a paper towel. 

Wiping the Exterior of the Kitchen Hood

How to Clean the Exterior of Your Range Hood

How to Clean the Exterior of Your Range Hood

While maintaining your kitchen hood’s functionality is obviously important, you may also want it to look nice and shiny on the outside as well. Cleaning the outer surface of the hood unit depends on the type of material it is made of. Under-cabinet hoods, for instance, typically feature stainless steel or painted metal exterior. You may want to dust decorative hood covers on a weekly basis and clean it once a month. Consider checking manufacturer guidelines for different types of exterior surfaces. If your hood features a brass or copper exterior, you could either give it a high polish or allow it to age into a vintage patina.

To clean the hood exterior, dip a dishcloth into a bowl of soap diluted with water and wipe the surface down. Consider using a solution of water and white vinegar to get rid of tough grease stains. Simply spray the solution over the surface and wipe it down with paper towels. To avoid leaving streaks, apply a bit of olive oil on a soft cloth and rub the surface for a final polish. If you intend on using a special degreaser, make sure to test it out on a small corner of the hood before proceeding with it. Certain store-bought degreasers tend to contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the finishes. 

Inspecting the Vent

Your stove hood is connected to a long pipe that is installed just above the cooking range. This pipe is known as the vent or the duct and it is designed to exhaust all the smoke and odors out.

Homeowners tend to forget about this component that may be harboring several years’ worth of grease and grime. As you’re carrying out your stove hood maintenance, it can be a good idea to take a quick peek in the ductwork to see what — possibly ghastly — condition it’s in.

Simply grab a flashlight, step on a ladder, and remove the cap from the vent. Inspect the inside of the ductwork for debris or buildups of smut. Should you notice any, consider reaching out to a stove hood cleaning service to have the vent cleaned. Giving your range hood the maintenance it needs every month or so will ensure that your kitchen stove vent is always in good condition. With frequent oven hood cleaning, you may never even have to worry about the ductwork.

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian