When you consider how much greasy air they take in, it’s easy to understand the importance of a clean stove hood filter.
If you haven’t been able to fully kill fruit flies or get rid of cockroaches, a dirty range/stove hood filter may be to blame. Why? Because both of those nasties LOVE to eat any grease they can find. Food-flavored grease? Even better.
Cooking Can Be Harmful To Your Health?
Most people spend at least 60% of their day at home, making indoor air quality of obvious importance. This is particularly true for those with allergy or immune issues.
But if you cook with gas and don’t use the exhaust fan, or your stove hood filter is dirty, your home’s air may have nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde levels that exceed acute health-based standards.
Using an electric stove isn’t necessarily better, since electric burners produce ultrafine particles by turning dust into vapors.
Sure, you could use the microwave exclusively. You could eat nothing but take-out. You could even adopt a completely raw food diet.
Or, you could take a two-pronged approach: run the fan over your stove when you cook, and (2) clean the filters regularly.
When To Run The Stove Fan
Many people assume the fan over the stove exists mostly as a barrier between whatever you’re cooking and the cupboard above the stove. If you’re a particularly bad cook, it might even serve as a firewall protecting your kitchen ceiling.
But that fan is really your ally in fighting kitchen grime as well as improving indoor air quality. When you’re frying or sauteing food on the stove, running the fan will pull the greasy steam through the filters where many of the grease particles will be trapped.
If your fan is vented to the outdoors, and most are, the rest of the air gets sent out of your house. If your fan isn’t vented to the outdoors, the filters will still trap much of the grease while the rest of the air is vented back into your kitchen.
Given their role, it’s easy to see why it’s important to clean stove hood filters regularly.
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How To Clean Stove Hood Filters
- Serious deep-cleaning: If you’ve never cleaned your stove hood filters, they’re no doubt full of dust and grease. You could spend hours scrubbing them… or you could put them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and pour in 1/2 bottle of ammonia. Seal the bag well since ammonia smells awful and let them sit for the day. Remove from the bag, rinse well under hot water, and let them air dry.
- Regular deep-cleaning: If you’ve been cleaning your stove hood filters fairly often but they’re still looking a bit dingy, this method is for you. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove and s-l-o-w-l-y stir in 1/2 cup of baking soda. (It’s going to foam a lot, so do this slowly! That’s why I used all of those hyphens!) Add the filters and simmer 5 minutes or so, then use a pair of tongs to pull the filters out. Run them under hot water and let them air dry.
- Weekly cleaning: Once you’ve deep-cleaned your stove hood filters, keep them clean by running them through the dishwasher once a week. Or, if you don’t have a dishwasher, let them sit in a sink of very hot, soapy water for 5 minutes then rinse them well. Always allow the filters to air dry before returning them to the stove hood.
With regular maintenance and use, your stove hood filters can help reduce cooking odors, greasy kitchen grime, and indoor air pollution. So be sure to spend a few minutes ensuring you have clean stove hood filters each week!
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