When you consider how much greasy air they take in, it’s easy to understand the importance of knowing how to clean stove hood filters. It’s not just grease you’ll be getting rid of when you wash yours, though.
How To Clean Stove Hood Filters
When you’re frying or sautéing food on the stove, running the fan will pull the cooking steam through the filters where many of the grease particles will be trapped. If your fan is vented to the outdoors (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.
But dirty filters don’t trap grease well, so be sure to clean yours regularly. Need another incentive?
Dirty filters attract pests
If you haven’t been able to fully kill fruit flies or get rid of cockroaches, a dirty stove hood filter may be to blame. Why? Because both of those household pests LOVE to eat any grease they can find. Food-flavored grease? Even better.
Still not convinced to make this a weekly task?
Dirty filters fill your home with toxins
Most people spend at least 60% of their day at home (much of it sleeping) and that means indoor air quality is important. This is particularly true for those with allergy or immune issues.
If your gas stove hood filter is dirty, you may be adding nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde to your indoor air in levels that exceed acute health-based standards.
Using an electric stove isn’t necessarily better, either. Electric burners produce ultrafine particles by turning dust into vapors. If you aren’t filtering those by running the stove hood filter, they’re just floating around in your air.
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 give your stove hood filters a deep-cleaning this afternoon and keep them clean in just minutes each week.
Methods to Clean Stove Hood Filters
If you’ve never cleaned your stove hood filters before, you’ll want to start with a deep cleaning then clean them weekly to keep them in good condition.
No-scrub Deep Cleaning: If you’ve never cleaned your stove hood filters, they’re probably 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.
Alternative Method: Don’t want to use ammonia? Be prepared for a little scrubbing, but it won’t be too bad. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil and let it cool for a minute or two. Stir in 2 cups of white vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Add your stove hood filter and set a timer for 30 minutes. Once time’s up, use tongs to remove the filter and scrub it on both sides with an old toothbrush. Rinse it with clear water and let it thoroughly air dry before putting it back in place.
Once you’ve given your stove hood filter a deep-cleaning, it’s easy to keep it clean.
The dishwasher method: Remove your stove hood filters and put them in the top rack of your dishwasher when you’re washing a load. The steam will loosen any built-up grease and the water spray will get in all of the filter’s nooks and crannies. While your filters are in the machine, use a good homemade all-purpose cleaner to remove grime from the range hood.
The sink method: Rinse the filter under hot water and sprinkle it on both sides with baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to loosen grime then wash it in hot, soapy water. Be sure to rinse both sides and allow it to thoroughly air dry before putting it back in place.
With regular maintenance and use, your clean stove hood filters will reduce cooking odors and keep grease from building up on kitchen surfaces. Just be sure to keep them clean.