Cleaning the Range Hood Air Filter
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated February 20, 2023)
If you are looking to increase the air quality of your home, and most particularly your kitchen, one of the easiest ways is to maintain the range hood air filter. By periodically cleaning the range hood air filter, you will help ensure that the air in your kitchen is free of the grease, dirt, and other particulates that can often help make the kitchen air seem to stagnate so quickly. Just follow these instructions to ensure your filter is working at its best.
- Turn off the power. Before you do anything with the filter or range hood, you should turn off the power to the kitchen. This will help prevent any possible electrical accidents from happening when you remove the filter. Turn the power off at the circuit breaker, then test the hood to ensure that the power has been successfully cut off.
- Remove the filter. The next step in cleaning a range hood air filter is to remove the filter from the hood. This can easily be done with the help of a screwdriver to loosen the mounting clips or screws. Before you begin removing the filter, though, make sure that you take a good look at the owner's manual for your particular model. It will tell you the proper procedure for safely removing the filter cover.
- Inspect the filter. Once you have the filter out of the range hood, you need to take a good look at it. There are usually two types of filters that are used in range hoods, and you need to know which kind you have. The first type is a charcoal filter, and the second is a wire mesh filter. If your filter is a charcoal filter, you simply need to replace it with a new one. However, if you have the second type, a wire mesh filter, you will need to wash it before you replace it. See steps four through six.
- Wash the filter. If you have a wire mesh filter, you can begin washing it. One of the best ways to do this is to use two separate buckets. In the first bucket you will want to put a bit of baking soda, some of your favorite degreasing dish detergent, and some warm (almost hot) water. Fill the bucket with water until the suds are at the top. Fill the second bucket with clean, hot water. Dip a rag or scrubbie in the cleaning solution and use it to scrub the filter. Periodically dip it into the hot water to rinse it out, then dip it back into the cleaning solution, and start scrubbing again. Continue to clean the filter until you believe it is clean, and then rinse the entire filter off. Don't forget to clean both sides of the filter. If you don't want to scrub the filter by hand, then simply stick the filter (by itself) into your dishwasher for a complete cycle. Make sure that it is the only thing in there, though.
- Dry the filter. Set the filter in the drying rack to dry, or remove it from your dishwasher. Do not proceed until the filter is completely dry.
- Inspect and repeat. Once the filter is dry, you need to inspect it. Make sure that the filter is not only clean, but also free of any signs of rust or other kinds of damage. If you find any dirt or grease still on the filter, repeat the cleaning process. If you find any rust, repeat the cleaning process using a scouring pad and light pressure to help remove it.
- Replace and test. When you are happy with the way the filter looks and after it is completely dry, you can put it back into the range hood. Make sure that you put it back the same way that you took it out. If you have any questions about which way it should go in, please refer to your owner's manual. With the filter back in place, you can go ahead and turn the power back on to the kitchen, and then test your work.
Once you have your air filter cleaned properly and put back in place, you are done. Now that you know how to do it, you should get in the habit of keeping the filter clean. This means that, on average, you should go through the cleaning process for the range hood air filter at least once a month, or as often as you feel as necessary to get the job done.
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