How to Clean a Greasy, Dusty Range Hood

A hood over the stove is a wonderful thing to have, but the cooking oils from your favourite fried chicken, stovetop suppers and bacon can really do a number on it. These simple tips show you how to clean grease from a range hood and keep it looking brand new.

1. Wipe Down the Outside of Your Range Hood

The first step in how to clean grease from a range hood and return it to shiny-as-new respectability is to wipe down the outside, where the grease has landed and dust settled in. Use thick paper towels or your best rags to really clean this section up. To make sure you break up the amalgam of grease and dust, use an anti-grease dish soap. Mix a little of it with warm water (you can fill your sink with this mixture if you are planning a big cleaning project) and thoroughly wipe down the hood. Finish up with a basic multi-purpose cleaner spray and some paper towels to clear away leftover residue.

Note: If you buy a special cleaner that’s designed to cut grease or use another household chemical that’s claimed to remove greasy stains (some people suggest acetone, for example), always find a small corner of your range hood and test it first. These very powerful grease destroyers can also harm finishes or the surface appearance, so make sure they are safe to use. (For a similar reason, here are eight surfaces you should never clean with vinegar.)

2. Clean Away Any Stains on the Underside of the Hood

Now it’s time for the underside of the hood, around where the vent is installed. If it’s been a while since the hood was cleaned, this spot may be a blackened mess. It’s a good idea to switch to a scrubbing brush to tackle any large grease or ash deposits here. Gas ranges tend to get especially dirty in this area.

Some people like to use OxiClean for these stains, and if you have any around it’s a great product to start with. Otherwise, try a grease-cutting dish soap and a pan filled with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. For bad build-up, turn the baking soda into a paste and apply it to the underside of the hood, then wait for half an hour or so: Baking soda is famous for neutralizing acidic compounds and can break apart some of the bonds holding grease in place. (Find out more brilliant uses for baking soda all around the house.)

Remember to wipe regularly with clean rags or paper towels to remove the layers of grease, and finish up with a gentle cleaning spray. This strategy also works well for the inside of your oven, although avoid toxic cleaners that can cause fumes. (Here’s a little-known trick to cleaning your oven without scrubbing.)

3. Take Out the Filter and Clean It

The filter gets the brunt of the grease in your range hood, and it needs to cleaned carefully. Remove the filter first—most have a metal loop that allow you to pull it out. If you don’t want to get greasy, wear gloves for this part!

Fill your sink with hot water (the hotter, the better, although you don’t want to burn yourself while you work). Add around a teaspoon of anti-grease dish soap and about ¼ cup of baking soda to the water, and then fully submerge the filter.

Let the filter soak for 15 to 20 minutes, then get your scrubbing brush and tackle the filter with firm brushing strokes: Don’t use too much pressure, which could damage the filter, but don’t be afraid to be vigorous. Drain and refill the sink with new soapy water as needed. When the filter is clean again, rinse it off and dry it thoroughly with a cloth.

Now that you know how to clean grease from a range hood, check out 13 cleaning hacks that take the hassle out of housekeeping.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home