How To Clean Exhaust Filter That Is Greasy

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How to clean the overhead range hood exhaust filter in your home the easy way.

Do you have an older oven like mine, and your exhaust filter and fan looks pretty darn yucky?? Don’t feel bad, mine gets pretty yucky sometimes too and I love to clean on a regular basis.

Time is short and I love to spend time with my kids, but sometimes the gross parts of my house really get under my skin and I just can’t fight the urge to not clean them…are you like me this way too?

The exhaust fan filter is a highly overlooked item in your home that probably doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should. I didn’t really give my range hood filter much thought before I started cleaning my home on a regular basis.

Most of you will probably never look under your range hood unless the light bulb goes out. Don’t feel bad, that’s pretty much how I found all that disgusting dirt that grossed me right out. Once I noticed the grime, it stuck out like a sore thumb and I had to find an easy and effective way to get the grease range hood clean.

If you have a newer range hood than mine, I’m super jealous, but the process should be similar.

The main thing that really grossed me out was the fact that if I was boiling water in an open pot, and some of that grease was to melt off, it would plop right into my pot of water where I was most likely cooking something delicious…and ruin my whole meal. I cook for a family of 5 so..that’s not ideal!

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Not to mention the effectiveness of the filter is affected if too much buildup is a huge issue.

So yeah, I’m not a fan of the grimy, greasy overhead exhaust filter, and I clean mine when it gets super built up which is usually every few months.

I did a little digging around for a good cleaning hack for cleaning that greasy range hood, and while I did come across some good ideas, I found most of the ideas I found, didn’t actually work all that well. I was always stuck with a little bit of grease and grime.

The most effective strategy that worked for me was good old baking soda, hot water, and dish soap. I love my baking soda, it’s the best thing and a total pantry staple for baking and cleaning!

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How To Clean Exhaust Filter (3 ways)

Soaking

Materials needed

  • Baking Soda
  • Dish Soap
  • Hot Water (Boiling)
  • Sink or large pot

Directions

If you’re using a pot, grab a large pot that accommodates at least half of your filter. If you’re going to use your sink, plug it up with a sink plug and add some boiling hot water to it, enough to submerge your filter.

Add in 1/2 cup of baking soda a little bit at a time and watch the water fizz.

Submerge your filter into the water. If you’re using a pot, you’ll likely only fit half the filter, so you’ll have to do this process once more for the other half of the filter.

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Let the filter soak for a few minutes and watch some of the initial grease floats right off the filter. Gross, yet super satisfying!

Check your filter out, and see if it’s clean and shiny.

If there is still grease on the filter, grab your trusty dish soap ( I love blue dawn)

Add a few drops of dish soap into your water and let the filter soak for another 30 minutes. If needed, you can lightly scrub the filter with a sponge or a soft scrub brush.

When you’re finished waiting for the 30 minutes, pull out the filter and rinse it off until the water runs clear.

Your filter should be sparkling by now.

Make sure you dry off the filter for a few hours before plopping it back into your range hood and you’re good to go!

Steaming

If your exhaust filter isn’t that greasy, and you have a steam cleaner then you can use this method instead.

  1. Put the dirty filter over a towel and use the steam machine to steam off the grease. The grease should be seen on the towel.
  2. When you have finished removing the steam, wash the remaining residue off with some dish soap. Use a thick bristle brush if you need to remove extra grease.
  3. Once that is finished, rinse the filter off with hot hot water and then dry off with a microfiber cloth.

Oven

You can clean your greasy exhaust filter in the oven too. Here is how you do it:

  1. Take a baking tray and place 10-15 pieces of newspaper in it.
  2. Place the filter onto the newspaper
  3. Preheat the oven to 225-250C.
  4. Leave the filter in the oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. After the time is up, check the filter and see if the grease has melted onto the newspaper.
  6. Wash the filter off with dish soap and a bristle brush.
  7. Dry the filter off with a microfiber cloth and replace back onto your range hood.
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What To Avoid When Cleaning The Exhaust Filter

As with any household item you should read the manufactures guide before detaching and cleaning your filter. Some filters cannot be cleaned and you simply have to replace them. If your range hood is under warranty then you may be able to hire an affordable cleaner to help you with your range hood.

How To Clean Exhaust Filter Wrapping Up

While you are cleaning the filters it is a good idea to clean the areas around the filters too. These areas can become greasy and grimy as well. Your favourite degreasing product should do the trick. If the build-up of grease is hard to take off then make a basking soda paste and leave it on the tough spot for 10 minutes. Then spray vinegar onto the area and wipe it off. You can finish off the clean by rubbing olive oil on the area to make the spot shine.

If you’re super eager, you should probably repeat this process once a month, but if you’re a busy mom like me and can get it cleaned once every few months, that’s fine too!

Don’t forget to clean the drywall and tile around your range hood too.

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