Your range's hood performs some important functions: venting smoke, grease and odors from your kitchen while you cook. But all that grease and smoke, along with food spatter, is sure to build up over time, leaving your range hood looking dull and dingy.
If you touch the exterior of your range hood, you might notice it feels slick or rough from residue buildup. Inside, it's even worse. Aside from the interior of the housing, your vent's fan, light bulb and filter also get grimy.
Clean your range's vent hood inside and out with these simple tips:
CLEANING THE INTERIOR
First, grab some rubber gloves, this is going to get dirty!
Reach inside a remove the filter and soak it in an eco-friendly grease-fighter like Simple Green
or Green Works
, or place it in the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on a normal cycle. After it dries, place it back into the hood.
If you have a duct-free range hood, it probably has a charcoal filter
that cannot be cleaned, and instead should be replaced. To replace your charcoal filter, first check to be sure which filter you will need to purchase. Once you have determined the right filter, remove the mesh filter casing and remove the old charcoal filter. Then, thoroughly clean the mesh container with dish soap and warm water and allow it to dry. Place a new charcoal filter inside of the mesh casing and place the filter back into the range hood.
The fan housed inside of the hood will also need a good cleaning. We recommend a natural solution, like soapy water or vinegar, but if you're going to use a household cleaner or spray cleanser, be sure not to spray it directly onto the inside of the range; you may get some into the electrical components and cause damage. Use a rag or sponge to clean the fan blades and them be sure to dry them thoroughly.
The Light Bulb
Most ranges have a built-in light that shouldn't be neglected when cleaning the unit. Turn the hood off and let it cool for a while. Remove the light bulb and wash it with dish soap and cold water. While the bulb is out of the socket, clean the area surrounding the bulb.
CLEANING THE EXTERIOR
Just like a greasy pan or dish, you can clean the exterior of your range hood using water and the dish soap of your choice. With a non-abrasive sponge or rag, clean the exterior of the hood with warm, soapy water. Then, use another sponge or rag soaked in water only to wipe it clean and remove the soapy residue and remaining grease. For very tough grease, you can use vinegar or one of the eco-friendly de-greasers mentioned above.
To prevent build-up over time, add vent cleaning to your regular kitchen cleaning routine. It's always a good idea to consult the manufacturer's manual if you have it for cleaning instructions.