Keeping your kitchen appliances, oven and microwave clean is just the beginning! Grease, dirt and grime love to accumulate on the fan filter of your stove. It is simply an unavoidable fact. Because it is located directly over your stove and is designed to take up the smoke or steam that your cooked food produces, it will become slightly dirty over time. The last thing you would want to have is a heavy coating of oil forming on the surface, making it both unclean and ineffective.
Therefore, the longer you wait to clean your stove filter, the less effective it will be and the more effort it will take to clean it. Follow this guide to learn how to remove the filter and clean it properly to get your stove back in full operating condition.
Why you should clean stove vent fan filters
Generally speaking, when you fry or cook food, you switch on the fan over your stove, and your range hood will suck the steam and all cooking aromas through its filter.
The filter will then capture several grease particles when the air passes through it. The scents are sent out of your house if the fan is vented to the outside, as most are.
Even if your extractor fan isn’t vented outside, the filters will still remove grease from the air and return the rest to your kitchen. As a result, there will be less dirt in the air in your home, and you will not have to clean the kitchen cabinet as often. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But, the thing is that unclean stove filters do not effectively catch grease, whether you have stainless steel or charcoal filters. Thus, they must be cleaned on a regular basis. Here is why you need to do a deep cleaning:
1. Pests love dirty filters
A dirty stove filter can end up malfunctioning if you are not able to completely stop a fruit fly infestation or get rid of cockroaches. Why? Because those two domestic pests adore eating any grease they can get their hands on. Even better for them, is the grease that has been seasoned with food.
2. Unclean filters will fill your home with toxins
Dirty and unhygienic filters will contribute nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde to your indoor air at amounts that are dangerous to your health.
Filters on dirty electric stove hoods aren’t any better. Electric hobs generate ultrafine particles, which convert dust to vapours. Those vapours will simply float around in your air if you don’t filter them through the stove hood filter.
Also, extreme grease buildup on your stove filter may well create a fire hazard in your kitchen. That is why it is imperative that you should clean range hood filters on a regular basis to keep them fully functioning.
3 DIY methods to properly clean stove vent fan filters
So, now that you know why it is important to take care of yours, let’s see how you can do it like a pro!
Method 1: Using ammonia to soak the filters
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Pour ammonia over the filters in a 4 litre-sized re-sealable plastic bag
Place the filters in the bag and pour enough ammonia over them to cover them, or you can just fill the bag about halfway.
The bag should then be closed and placed on a level surface, such as a counter or table. Make sure that the filters are well sealed in the bag so that the smell of ammonia will be contained too.
Step 2: Allow the filters to soak in the ammonia for at least one night
While the filters soak, the ammonia will break down the grease and clean them. Let them stay there at least 8 hours or overnight.
There’s no need to scrub or reposition the filters in the ammonia. Simply soaking them will clean them.
Step 3: Allow the filters to dry after rinsing them under hot running water
Remove the filters from the bag over a sink. Put them in the kitchen sink and turn on the water faucet. To eliminate all of the ammonia, thoroughly rinse them with water. The filters should then be placed on a clean, dry paper towel to air dry.
Method 2: Using baking soda and dish soap
Two materials that you can easily find and one of the greatest cleaning tips of all time! Let’s have a look!
Step 1: Remove the hood’s filter
Before cleaning, figure out how your filter is attached and remove it. The process for detaching the filter varies by kind and model, but they are all very straightforward.
Some are secured with screws, while others are released by pressing and lifting a simple latch mechanism and then you can easily pop it out of the underside of the hood.
You can rotate a fastener in and out of position on some filters. If yours is protected by a plastic case, you’ll need to remove that first with a screwdriver before removing the filter.
Step 2: Fill your sink halfway with boiling water
Use a sink stopper to prevent water from flowing down the drain. Fill the sink to around 35% of its capacity and make sure that the water is very hot.
If your tap water isn’t hot enough, boil some water in a tea kettle or a pot and then fill your sink.
Step 3: Fill a container with 1/4 cup (60 g) baking soda and a dab of dish soap
Fill it with 1/4 cup of baking soda and then add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of degreasing dish soap. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until you have soapy water.
To avoid burning your hands, stir the baking soda mixture with a brush, especially if you used boiling water. For added filter cleaning strength, add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the mixture.
Step 4: Fill the sink with water and soak the filter for 10 minutes
If possible, submerge it completely to ensure that the entire greasy range hood filter is cleaned at the same time.
Allow the baking soda and degreaser to penetrate difficult stains by soaking the filter in hot water for at least 10 minutes. If your filter is on the larger side and won’t fit in the sink completely, you may need to do part of it at a time.
Step 5: Clean the filter now using a non-abrasive scrub brush
Scrub the filter while it’s still in the sink to remove any residue. Scrub the whole surface, front and back, to ensure it is fully clean.
Step 6: Rub the filter with a clean towel after rinsing it under running water
To rinse the filter, drain the sink and turn on the hot water. Remove all of the baking soda and dish soap with the running water and wipe down any leftover residues.
After rinsing the filter, pat it dry with a clean cloth. If the filter needs to be dried more, place it on a towel or dish rack for an hour or so.
Step 7: Once the hood filter is dry, reuse it and wash it once a month
Before reinstalling your filter in the hood, make sure it is totally dry. Aim for a monthly kitchen cleaning to keep your filter in good shape.
Method 3: Using dishwasher detergent to remove grease
Another cleaning hack that works in most of your kitchen appliances. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Remove the hood’s filter and soak it in water
Hot water helps the dishwasher detergent penetrate the grease and other residues on the filter more effectively. Rinse both sides of the filter with water until it is completely saturated.
Step 2: Cover the wet filter with dishwasher detergent and place it on a baking pan
Place the filter on a large baking sheet after removing it from the sink. The greasy side of the filter should be facing up. Then, saturate the filter with a large amount of dishwasher detergent.
Make sure that the baking sheet is larger than the filter as this will prevent a big mess on your counter or table.
Step 3: Spread the detergent all over the filter’s surface with a toothbrush
Apply the dishwasher detergent evenly with a toothbrush, covering the entire surface of the filter as well as the edges.
If you don’t have a spare one, you can spread the detergent with your fingers, but it won’t be as effective.
Step 4: Allow 20 minutes for the detergent to soak into the filter
Allow the dish detergent to permeate the grease on the filter for easy cleanup. Allow at least 20 minutes for it to sit. You’ll need to soak your filter for an hour or more if it’s heavily dirty.
Step 5: Rinse the filter with warm water
The dirt and grease on the filter should simply come off in the water after soaking it. Rinse both the front and back to ensure that all the debris is removed. If your sink has a hose attachment, you can use it too to spray the filter. The hose’s water pressure should be sufficient to eliminate any accumulation on the filter.
Step 6: Repeat the process if necessary
You may need to repeat the cleaning process more than once if your filter is heavily greasy. Some debris may still be lodged, particularly near the edges. If this is the case, apply extra dishwashing detergent to those stubborn spots, scrub them with a toothbrush, and rinse again. Any leftover dirt will then wash away, leaving your filter sparkling clean. Before reinstalling the filter in the hood, make sure it is completely dry. Dry the front and back with a clean cloth and set it on a dish drying rack for an hour or so if necessary.
Your stove filter should last for several years when it is properly cleaned. No matter which method you choose from the above, make sure you clean once a month to remove any buildup that has accumulated in the filter. It’s easier than you think!