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How to Clean Range Hood Filters

How to Clean Range Hood Filters - Proline Range Hoods

Do you know how to clean your range hood filters? Do you know how to properly care for your range hood?

A quality range hood is a must-have for your kitchen. Your hood fan is there to reduce cooking fumes and lingering odors, toxic chemicals, smoke, grease, and sweep the air clean.

But, if you don’t keep it clean, your hood won’t be able to do its job well or last as long as it could.

Here’s how to clean your range hood filters to keep your hood in top shape for years to come.

When cleaning your filters, avoid using coarse scouring tools, such as steel wool or brillo pads, as they can damage the finish.

Also, be careful about using dish detergent. Some detergents contain harmful chemicals or even bleach that may harm the finish of your hood.

All stainless steel filters have a grain. When scrubbing and drying your filter, move in the direction of the grain for a smooth, sleek finish.

Check out the video below for a quick tutorial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V710ECSPk24

How to Clean Range Hood Baffle Filters - Easy Method

The quickest and easiest way to clean your range hood baffle filters is to place them in the dishwasher. Place them in the bottom rack and wash as usual with a regular load. Be sure to avoid harsh cleaners or ones with bleach.

As soon as the cycle is complete, wipe the filters completely dry with a soft towel, polishing in the direction of the stainless steel grain.

If you want to hand wash your filters, that doesn’t have to take up much of your time, either. Here’s how.

Note: When removing your filters, be careful. The edges may be sharp.

  1. Remove the filters from your range hood.
  2. Fill your sink about halfway with warm or hot water and soap.
  3. Let the filters soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Rotate the filter if it wasn’t fully submerged.
  5. Soak again for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Scrub the filter lightly with a sponge or scrub brush.
  7. Rinse the baffle filter with warm water.
  8. Dry it with a dish towel or microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Range Hood Baffle Filters - Deep Cleaning

How to Clean a Range Hood Filter

If you neglect cleaning your filters, hand washing may be your only option. The dishwasher might not be able to get your filters as clean as you’d like. They may need a deep clean to cut through all the grease and grime.

Here’s how to give your filters a deep clean in just 10 minutes.

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • Dawn dish soap (or any other soap that is a degreaser)
  • Warm or hot water
  • Scrub brush or scrubby sponge (nothing too coarse to prevent scratching)
  • Dish towels or microfiber cloths

1. Remove the filters from the hood.

Most filters should easily slide or pop out of the underside of the hood. If you have honeycomb filters, you will usually find a metal loop to push the filter up and slide it out.

If you have baffle filters, simply lift the back of the filter, move it to the back of your hood, and slide the filter out with the front edge first.

Learn more about how to remove a range hood filter in this complete guide.

2. Fill your sink about ⅓ full with warm or hot water.

The hotter the water, the easier it will be to clean your filters. But, use a temperature you are comfortable with. You don’t want to get burnt.

3. Pour in a ½ cup of baking soda and a few squirts of dish soap.


Stir this in with your scrub brush or with a spoon. Be careful if the water is hot. Stir until you see bubbles and you’ve made a soapy mixture.

If the water dissolves the baking soda or you don’t have bubbles, add a little more baking soda and water.

4. Place your filters in water.

They don’t have to be completely submerged. It’s easier to clean the filters if you don’t fill your sink all the way. If it overflowed, you wouldn’t want to deal with that mess.

Start with one end of the filter in the hot water. Then, after soaking the filter and scrubbing it, place the other end of the filter in the water.

5. Let the filters soak for 10 to 15 minutes to help break down the grease and extra residue.

6. Scrub the filters with your scrub brush or sponge in a circular motion.

If you only have a sponge, make sure the water is cooled down enough before you put your hands in it. You can use rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat as well.

7. Rinse the range hood filters with warm water.

8. Dry the filters with a dish towel or microfiber cloth.

9. Place your clean range hood filters in your range hood.

After you’re done cleaning, put a reminder on your calendar to clean your range hood filters again in one to three months. It will keep your exhaust hood working properly for years to come.

Check out this video to learn how to safely place your filters back in your hood. Some hoods have grease trays that will go in first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnnZirTs4z0

How to Clean Range Hood Mesh Filters - Easy Method

Like with baffle filters, the quickest method to clean your mesh filters is to place them in the dishwasher.

If you want to hand wash the filters, here’s an easy method you can try out.

  1. Remove the filters from your range hood.
  2. Fill your sink about halfway with warm water and add dish soap.
  3. Let the filter soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Grease can easily get stuck in the honeycomb filters and it can be difficult to clean if you don’t let them soak long enough.

Mesh filters aren’t as bulky as baffle filters. So, you can probably fit the whole filter or even multiple filters in your sink.

If not, be sure to rotate the filter and soak it thoroughly.

  1. Use an old toothbrush or scrub brush to cut grease in the hard-to-reach places.
  2. Rinse the filters with warm water.
  3. Dry the mesh filters with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Range Hood Mesh Filters - 3 Deep Cleaning Methods

Woman cleaning range hood - How to clean range hood filters

If your filter requires a deep cleaning that cannot be done with the dishwasher, try one of these deep cleaning methods.

Method One - Soap and Water

  1. Wash the filter with hot water using your kitchen sink sprayer if you have one. If not, you can rinse it under the tap. This will help to remove tough grease.
  2. Lay the filter down in your sink and completely cover it with dish soap.
  3. Let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add warm water and scrub the filter lightly, wiping off any remaining residue.
  5. Rinse with clean water.
  6. Air-dry the filter or dry it with a microfiber cloth.
  7. Place the filter back into your range hood.

Method Two - Boiling Water

  1. Fill a pot large enough for your filter with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Slowly pour in about a half cup of baking soda to prevent the water from bubbling over.
  3. Place the filter into the water for around 15 minutes as the grease floats to the top.
  4. Take the filter out of the pot using tongs and rinse it off in the sink with hot water.
  5. If it wasn’t fully submerged, place the other end in the water and soak it for 15 minutes.
  6. If any grime remains, scrub it away with a soft brush and rinse.
  7. Wipe the range hood dry with a microfiber cloth.
  8. Place the filter back into the range hood.

Method Three - Ammonia and a Trash Bag

  1. Put your range hood filter and a small amount of ammonia into a large plastic bag or trash bag.
  2. Keep the bag closed overnight so your filter can soak.
  3. In the morning, open the trash bag. Keep your nose and face away from the bag because the chemicals will be strong.
  4. Rinse the filter with warm water.
  5. Dry it with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean a Range Hood Charcoal Filter

If your charcoal filter is getting greasy, you need to buy a replacement filter. Unlike baffle and mesh filters, charcoal filters do not need to be cleaned. Instead, replace them about every 120 hours of cooking. This can range from a month to half a year or more depending on your cooking style.

To learn more about replacing your range hood charcoal filters, click here.

What is a baffle filter?

PLFW 755 wall range hood

Baffle filters are durable stainless steel filters. They can handle the heat of outdoor hoods and are resistant to grease and dirt stains. If you cook often, a stainless steel baffle filter is right for you. It will be the most cost-effective option in the long term.

Stainless steel baffle filters are dishwasher-safe. They do not need to be replaced. Instead, just place them in the dishwasher every few weeks to months depending on your cooking style.

What is a mesh filter?

A mesh filter is a stainless steel or aluminum range hood filter with a mesh. If you have the option, go with the stainless steel filters. They are much more durable.

Mesh filters are more effective than charcoal filters at filtering your kitchen air, but not as effective as baffle filters.

Like baffle filters, mesh filters are dishwasher-safe.

What is a charcoal filter?

Charcoal Filters

A charcoal filter is a carbon filter used in ductless range hoods. They sit inside the range hood blower and filter the grease and odors from your kitchen air. Then, the hood moves the air back into your kitchen.

Like ducted hoods, ductless hoods have either baffle or mesh filters. But, ducted hoods do not use charcoal filters. Instead, they move all the greasy air through ductwork to the outside of your home.

Range hood with a recirculating kit on it and charcoal filters in it

Charcoal filters may seem less expensive than stainless steel baffle filters. But, they require replacement. Unlike baffle filters, charcoal filters must be replaced every three to six months or after 120 hours of cooking.

So, in the long run, you’ll save money using a ducted hood with baffle filters.

Charcoal filters are ideal for smaller, low-powered range hoods. They should not be used in any case for outdoor hoods since they do not withstand as much heat as baffle filters.

Where can I buy charcoal filters?

You can buy charcoal filters from Proline Range Hoods at this link. They are sold in pairs so you have one filter for each side of the range hood blower.

How to Remove a Range Hood Filter

Have you had trouble removing your range hood filter in the past? If so, we can help you out. Learn how to remove your range hood filter in just 3 steps.

How to Clean a Range Hood Fan

If you clean your range hood filters consistently, you won’t need to worry about grease buildup in your range hood fan. If your blower is weak, it might be due to grease buildup. In that case, you’ll need to give it a quick clean. Check out this article to learn more.

How to Clean Range Hood Duct

If you clean your filters consistently, you won’t need to clean your range hood duct at all. As long as you keep the heavy grease from building up, you can avoid this hassle. If you do need to clean your range hood duct, it requires a professional. Learn more about how to clean it in this article.

Island hood without a chimney

How often should you clean range hood filters?

Clean your filters every two to three months, depending on your cooking habits. If you use your stovetop frequently, fry a lot of foods, or cook with a wok, your filters may require regular monthly cleanings. If you don’t cook very often, you may be able to go a couple of months or more without cleaning.

You should always clean your filters after a major cooking event such as a holiday feast or a dinner party. Just look at them closely every few weeks and see if grease and grime are starting to build up.

How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher

If you want to put your range hood filters in the dishwasher, it’ll do most of the work for you.

Be sure to avoid cleaners and dish detergents with bleach.

  1. Rinse the filter off in your sink.
  2. Wipe off the loose food and grease.
  3. Place the filters in the bottom rack with a regular load. You may need to run multiple loads.
  4. Wipe the filters completely dry with a soft towel, polishing in the direction of the stainless steel grain.

Should my center island range hood have charcoal filters?

If your island range hood is ductless, it should have charcoal filters. But, most island range hoods duct to the outside. Ducted island range hoods don’t require charcoal filters. Instead, they work efficiently with either stainless steel baffle or mesh filters.

How to Clean Range Hood Grease

  1. Mix three parts baking soda and one part water to make baking soda paste.
  2. Coat the greasy areas of your range hood with the paste.
  3. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Wipe the range hood clean with a damp towel.
  5. Dry the hood with a microfiber cloth.
  6. Polish the stainless steel with stainless steel polish.

For more details on how to clean your greasy range hood, check out this complete guide.

When your filters are soaking or being cleaned in the dishwasher, it’s the perfect time to clean the rest of your range hood. You should clean the outside of your hood every few weeks – or even weekly if you do a lot of cooking.

This is usually not a problem as it’s much simpler to do than cleaning your range hood filters.

Also, be sure to clean the inside of the hood where the filters sit before you return them to their place.

If you don’t have baking soda, you can use a liquid spray-on degreaser and some soft rags. A very common choice of cleaner for many household owners is warm soapy water which works great on just about any surface.

Remember to scrub in the direction of the grain. Be aware that in some areas of your hood, the grain may be going in a different direction. If you look closely at the hood, you should be able to see the direction of the grain.

If your exhaust hood comes with push-button controls, scrub more gently as you work your way around the buttons. If you have a glass range hood, use a standard glass cleaner.

For a stainless steel hood, finish by polishing with a dry microfiber cloth, moving your hand in the direction of the grain.

After cleaning, wipe away all the remaining residue. Use warm water and a cloth to rinse off the degreaser. Then, wipe all surfaces completely dry.

That wraps up our guide on how to clean range hood filters. Keep up your cleaning spree by checking out the articles below.

Wall Hood with Stainless Steel Push Buttons

What is a baffle filter?

Baffle filters are durable stainless steel filters. They can handle the heat of outdoor hoods and are resistant to grease and dirt stains. If you cook often, a stainless steel baffle filter is right for you. It will be the most cost-effective option in the long term.

Stainless steel baffle filters are dishwasher-safe. They do not need to be replaced. Instead, just place them in the dishwasher every few weeks to months depending on your cooking style.

What is a mesh filter?

A mesh filter is a stainless steel or aluminum range hood filter with a mesh. If you have the option, go with the stainless steel filters. They are much more durable.

Mesh filters are more effective than charcoal filters at filtering your kitchen air, but not as effective as baffle filters.

Like baffle filters, mesh filters are dishwasher-safe.

What is a charcoal filter?

A charcoal filter is a carbon filter used in ductless range hoods. They sit inside the range hood blower and filter the grease and odors from your kitchen air. Then, the hood moves the air back into your kitchen.

Like ducted hoods, ductless hoods have either baffle or mesh filters. But, ducted hoods do not use charcoal filters. Instead, they move all the greasy air through ductwork to the outside of your home.

Charcoal filters may seem less expensive than stainless steel baffle filters. But, they require replacement. Unlike baffle filters, charcoal filters must be replaced every three to six months or after 120 hours of cooking.

How often should you clean range hood filters?

Clean your filters every two to three months, depending on your cooking habits. If you use your stovetop frequently, fry a lot of foods, or cook with a wok, your filters may require regular monthly cleanings. If you don’t cook very often, you may be able to go a couple of months or more without cleaning.

You should always clean your filters after a major cooking event such as a holiday feast or a dinner party. Just look at them closely every few weeks and see if grease and grime are starting to build up.

Should my center island range hood have charcoal filters?

If your island range hood is ductless, it should have charcoal filters. But, most island range hoods duct to the outside. Ducted island range hoods don’t require charcoal filters. Instead, they work efficiently with either stainless steel baffle or mesh filters.
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