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How to Clean Your Range Hood and Vent in 4 Easy Steps

Your range hood has a front row seat to splatters and grime—it sits right above your cooktop and is often on the receiving end of splashes from your pots and pans, leading to grease accumulation and other sticky messes. Over time, food matter might simply become caked onto the hood’s interior vent and exterior surface, becoming tricky to remove. The good news is that getting your oven hood spotless is simple when you establish a regular cleaning cadence and follow these helpful steps.

Why It’s Important to Clean the Range Hood and Vent

Your range hood’s vent serves an important purpose, says Ron Shimek, the president of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company, and that is to remove excess heat and moisture from your kitchen for superior comfort and temperature control. “To keep your kitchen’s filtration system in tip-top shape, periodically clean the vent hood,” he notes, adding that washing the unit’s internal parts, like the fan blades and filter, is a necessary part of the process.

How Often Should You Clean the Range Hood and Vent?

It’s recommended to clean your range hood and its components monthly, advises the expert, though you can extend this to once every three months if your cooking frequency is low. “The cleaning frequency should align with your cooking habits,” they explain. “For daily cooks, a monthly cleaning is advisable to prevent buildup. However, if cooking is infrequent, a deep cleaning every three months should suffice—but always refer to the owner’s manual for the most accurate cleaning schedule.”

How to Clean a Range Hood and Vent the Right Way

1. Unplug Unit and Remove Grates and Filters

To begin, disconnect the unit from power or switch off the circuit breaker powering the vent. “Then, take out the grease and charcoal filters,” advises the expert. “You should be able to access the fan blades from there and clean them using a damp cloth or sponge with a degreaser.”

2. Wipe Down Range Hood’s Exterior

The exterior of your vent hood encounters various elements, including smoke, cooking odors, and cooktop messes. This area often accumulates grease or grime, especially after cooking numerous meals,” says a household specialist. To clean it, use a mild soap and water solution. “Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a few drops of dish soap,” recommends the specialist. “Always use a microfiber towel, following the grain of the stainless steel for optimal results. Circular motions may cause surface scuffing.” If conventional cleaning isn’t sufficient, consider a homemade paste of vinegar and baking soda.

3. Soak Grates and Filters

Ensure you soak your grates as well. “When cleaning your hood range, don’t overlook the grates—often equipped with built-in filters, most of which are stainless steel,” advises the specialist. “Removing them is easy, and soaking them in warm, soapy water helps clean out any channels. Rinse and reinsert them.”

4. Scrub Filters If Necessary

Occasionally, grates and filters require more than a simple soak. For stubborn stains, utilize a nonstick pan-cleaning brush with soft bristles. However, scrub gently, taking care to avoid damaging the material, which may not withstand abrasive cleaners or excessive scrubbing. In such cases, opt for a gentler cleaning agent (like dish soap with a degreasing agent) and a soft cloth—never use abrasive sponges or scrubs on materials such as stainless steel or wood.