If you’re like most people, you don’t give a second thought to your range hood, even though it’s one of the most important safety features of your home. There are three types of range hood filters:
- Fabric filters – Usually made from a dense material like wool, fabric filters are uncommon in home use. Fabric range hood filters cannot be cleaned and require regular replacement.
- Charcoal filters – Used for ductless range hoods, where the air is recirculated inside and not vented outside. Charcoal range hood filters cannot be cleaned and require regular replacement.
- Aluminum Mesh filters– Usually made from aluminum, metal range hood filters are the most common type of filter used in ducted range hoods, and are easy to clean with common household products.
- Baffle filters – These are made from stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. They are basically indestructible and look nice.
If you have a replaceable charcoal or fabric filter, it may be supported by a metal grid of mesh structure. You can use this method to clean the supporting grid when you replace the filter.
Cleaning your range hood filter involves a simple soak and scrub routine and won’t take long if you do it regularly.
How To Clean Your Range Hood Filter
Before you begin cleaning, unplug the range hood. Make sure everything is dry before plugging it back in.
1. Assemble cleaning materials:
- Container slightly larger than the filter – no need to buy a specific container, a large baking pan with sides might suffice, or it may fit in your sink.
- Boiling water – hot or warm water is ok, but boiling water will make cleaning easier.
- Degreasing liquid – you could use a dish detergent like Dawn, or a spray degreaser such as Simple Green, Greased Lightning, or Goo Gone. You should be able to find any of these at a supermarket or big box store.
- Baking soda
- Non-abrasive scrub brush – a soft brush made for scrubbing dishes or a toothbrush is perfect.
- Paper towels or dish cloth for drying – lay out a drying area on a table or countertop.
2. Remove the range hood filter
No matter what brand you have, the range filter should be easy to reach and remove. On the underside of the hood, look for a latch or a loop you can grasp to pull. You may need to push it up and slide it out.
To remove a Robam range hood filter with an inverted pyramid design, grasp the grease cup at the bottom of the inverted pyramid, push up and twist clockwise to remove. Be careful, it may have liquid grease inside. Empty any grease and set the cup aside to clean.
Next, unscrew the single screw holding the filter and filter support in place. It’s held in place around the edges with tabs and slots. You’ll be able to easily pull it out.
3. Fill the container with soapy water
Fill your sink or container with boiling or hot water. Add a half cup of baking soda to the water and stir to dissolve. If you’re using a degreasing dish soap, add a generous amount – two or three healthy squirts should be enough. The mixture may fizz, this is normal. If you’re using a spray degreaser, spray it directly on the filter and let sit for a minute while you fill the container.
4. Soak the range hood filter
Submerge the filter, its support structure, and the empty grease cup in the hot water and let soak for ten minutes to loosen and remove grease.
5. Scrub the filter
Use your non-abrasive scrub brush or toothbrush to clean any remaining gunk, and wipe down the frame with a soft cloth. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this part.
6. Rinse and dry
Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place all components on the toweled surface you prepared earlier to dry completely.
7. Replace the filter
Reassemble the parts in the reverse order. For a Robam grease hood filter, this means:
- Put the filter into the frame.
- Line up the screw with the hole, and look for the slots around the edges where the tabs fit. Fit the tabs in first, then screw in place.
- Line up the grease cup and slide into place with a counter-clockwise motion.
- Plug the range hood back into its outlet (make sure your hands are dry).
While the range hood is soaking
Use a soft cloth and a degreasing spray to wipe down the outside of your range hood and clean the underside of the range hood.
Why You Should Regularly Clean Your Range Hood Filter
Maintaining a clean range hood filter is more important than you might think. Your health may depend on it! Indoor air quality is affected by cooking, no matter what kind of cooktop you have, it releases particulates and chemicals into the air. Indoor pollution can lead to respiratory issues and affect other areas of your health.
Your kitchen range hood fan is one of the most powerful tools you have to ensure clean air in your home. Keeping it clean increases efficiency, extends the life of the mechanism, and removes smoke, particulates, and grease from your environment.
Lastly you should keep your filters clean or replaced often because when the grease builds up it can lead to a fire hazard.
How Often Should You Clean The Range Hood Filter?
At an absolute minimum, your range hood filter should get a thorough cleaning once a year. We recommend that you clean your filter once a month. Cleaning it often makes it easier and faster to clean each time, and prevents a grease and grime buildup in your ductwork.
This is a decision you can make by eyeballing. How dirty your filter gets depends on how often you cook, what you cook, and what type of cooktop you have. When you’re cleaning your stovetop, take a look at the underside of the hood. If it needs to be cleaned, you’ll be able to tell.
Deep Cleaning A Range Hood Filter
We recommend occasional professional cleaning once in a while. Cleaning the fan and ductwork is not a good DIY project for the average homeowner.
How often you need to have your exhaust fan and duct cleaned depends on you – if you keep your range hood filter clean, your fan and ductwork won’t need cleaning as often. Look for telltale signs on the outside of the house near the vent. Is the area greasy and discolored? If the outside is dirty, chances are the inside has greasy buildup as well. With a Robam range hood filter, this is unlikely. Our award-winning filters capture almost all floating kitchen grease and gunk.