I Cleaned My Range Hood Filters for the First Time in 14 Years — Here’s How It Went

published Jul 11, 2021
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Credit: Cat Meschia

Confession: I had never, in my entire life, cleaned a range hood filter … until a few weeks ago when I had one of those pressing urges to actually perform a cleaning task I’ve read about so many times. I’ve had my oven for 14 years, and it’s a chore I’ve never done. So, if you haven’t cleaned yours either, I hope it makes you feel better to know that you are most certainly not alone.

I followed these steps (with a few modifications) and thought, because it had been so long, I should document how it went. Here goes!

Credit: Cat Meschia

First, I realized just how easy it is to pull out the filters. (All I had to do was slide the filter a bit in one direction; the end on the opposite side slipped out of its groove, and I was able to get out the whole filter. So far, so good!) Next step: Promptly get grossed out by the griminess.

Rather than submerge my filter in a bath of hot water and soap, as Kitchn’s main article instructed, I took a shortcut: I used Dawn Powerwash instead. (This stuff didn’t exist when the Kitchn article was first written and I figured it’d be a step up from regular dish soap.) I sprayed it over the filter on both sides and set it down in the sink to let the spray do its grease-cutting magic. 

Credit: Cat Meschia

Next, I turned on the water as hot as it would go and used a soft-bristled brush. I scrubbed the filter under the hot water and watched a decade of grease and grime melt away. And guess what? My hood filter returned to its shiny-silver, sparkling-clean self right before my very eyes! It really was that simple. I then set it out to dry for several hours.

Credit: Cat Meschia

But I learned a really valuable tip along the way. When I went to put the dry hood filter back, I ran into a bit of trouble. Around the outside of the filter’s mesh portion there is a frame made of thin, malleable metal folded over the edge of the raw mesh. Somehow, when trying to put the filter back, I accidentally bent the frame, causing it to lift away from the mesh it was concealing. I did my best to fix it, but the frame kept popping off in other places. I decided to leave well enough alone and put back the slightly warped hood filter.

So, when you clean your hood filter, it’ll be a satisfying, visibly rewarding task — just be sure to handle it extra carefully!

Have you ever cleaned your hood filter? How did it turn out? Tell us in the comments below.