A good-quality range hood has several benefits; it helps keep your home free of cooking odors, cuts down on grease and debris in the kitchen and can even save you money and improve your diet by motivating you to cook at home more often. However, cleaning a greasy range hood and hood filter are a household job that often gets overlooked. It’s important to do this regularly, as the filter and hood can quickly become caked with grease. Not only is this counterproductive and unsightly, it’s also unhealthy.
If your range hood and filter aren’t working properly due to build-up, they can’t do their job properly. More importantly, that grease build-up softens quickly from the heat generated by cooking, especially steam heat. What does this mean? It means that the yummy fish you fried last weekend could well be dripping into tonight’s spaghetti. If that thought motivates you to get to cleaning, read on. Cleaning a greasy range hood and the filter will take you less than half an hour.
Getting Ready to Do the Job
All you’ll need is:
Before you get started, turn off the circuit breaker to the range hood, just to be safe. Then fill your sink with some very hot water and add Dawn dishwasher detergent (just a quick squeeze) and a cap of white vinegar. You also may want to throw on an apron or old tee shirt to protect your clothing.
Cleaning the Range Hood Itself
Either unclip the range hood filter or use a screwdriver to remove it, if needed. Pop it into the hot, sudsy water and let it soak while you’re cleaning the hood. Half the work will be done for you by the time you turn your attention to cleaning the filter.
Spread a couple of sheets of aluminum foil over the cook top before you get started on the range hood. This will cut your cleanup time in half, since you won’t have a mess on the cook top when you’re done.
In a bowl or small container, mix hot water with a few squirts of Dawn and more white vinegar. To cut the grease quickly, use two caps vinegar per pint of water. Soak the sponge well in this liquid, squeeze out the excess, and apply it to the range hood, rinsing frequently. Once the hood is clean, just close up the foil and throw it away.
Cleaning the Range Hood Filter
The greasy build-up on your range hood filter will be loosened up quite a bit from soaking. Just use the scrubbing side of the sponge to remove the rest of the grease. If you like, a vegetable brush or other small scrub brush can be used as well. Once all of the grease is removed, you can either rinse it well and lay it on a paper towel to dry or run it through your dishwasher.
You may want to also take this opportunity to unscrew the light bulbs beneath the range hood and wipe them with the same solution to clean. You’d be amazed how much grease collects on them and how much more light you’ll have when you’re done.
You should follow this cleaning procedure at least once a month to keep your range hood and filter working their best.