The range hood in your kitchen is a real workhorse, ridding your air of grease and smoke so that you can have better air quality in your kitchen. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect the fact that this part of the home requires a little care from time to time. The range hood filter can easily become caked with grease and pose a problem for a tidy kitchen. You need to learn how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher, one easy method that gets them clean almost every time.
The dishwasher is bound to be your new best friend when it comes to cleaning these range hood filters. It can save you from scrubbing and handling harsh chemicals while trying to rid your kitchen of built-up grease. Let’s take a closer look at why you need to clean your range hood filter and how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher.
- Why Should You Clean Your Range Hood Filter?
- How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher: Basic Steps
- What If Cleaning My Range Hood Filter in the Dishwasher Doesn’t Work?
- How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher: What to Use First
- How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher
Why Should You Clean Your Range Hood Filter?
For the most part, you probably never see this hard-working piece of equipment in your kitchen. It is tucked away inside your range hood, working hard to capture all of the greases from what goes on over your stovetop. If you tuck your head beneath the hood, you might be unpleasantly surprised at what it looks like under there.
As long as the filter is doing its job, you might wonder why it is even necessary to clean it. After all, it is just going to get messy again as soon as you whip up a batch of your favorite grease-fried French fries. However, there are a lot of important reasons why you need to prioritize cleaning this equipment.
Improving the Efficiency of Your Range Hood
First, you can improve the power efficiency of your range hood. When the screen is not coated completely in grease, it is more effective at removing grease that splatters and drawing up any potential smoke. The blower will have a longer lifespan if you are taking care of the range hood filter as well.
Cleaning your range hood filter is also incredibly important for the safety of your kitchen. It can pose a major fire hazard. Also, it can lead to extremely smoky air in the kitchen. This poor air quality can make it difficult to breathe.
Get Rid of Pests
Have you had a sudden influx of cockroaches or fruit flies that you just can’t get rid of? Some homeowners find that their greasy range hood filter is attracting a barrage of pests that can be difficult to eliminate. They love the tasty morsels that they find up under your range hood. Until they are cleaned and taken care of, you will have a hard time getting rid of these pests.
How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher: Basic Steps
The more frequently you clean your range hood filter, the easier it will be to keep it clean. Once the grease builds up on the screen, it can be a challenge to get it to come off. Learning how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher is important, but it may not be effective if you never clean it. Learning how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher is a simple way to keep up with this chore.
1. Remove the Filter
The first thing you need to do is release the filter itself from the range hood. On most models, you can simply slide or pop it out of place. If you are unsure how your particular range hood filter attaches, you should consult your owner’s manual. Don’t risk damaging the filter by attempting to force it out in a way that does not work.
This is a great time to evaluate what kind of range hood filter you have. You cannot clean all range hood filters in the dishwasher. Most are made of metal, and these are the type of filters that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. If you find a fabric or charcoal filter in your range hood, then these must be replaced instead.
2. Load Up the Dishwasher
Once you have your range hood filter removed, it is time to load up the dishwasher. It should always be placed in the top rack of the machine. The idea here is that the steam produced by your dishwasher should serve to loosen up the grease particles on the filters. After this is done, the water spray should get into all of the hard-to-reach crevices and clear them out.
If your filter is particularly dirty, you may want to try scrubbing it a little bit before placing it in the dishwasher. Using hot water and baking soda, you can scrub it vigorously with a used toothbrush or handheld scrub brush. Rinse the entire thing with hot, soapy water and then load into the dishwasher.
3. Insert the Filter
Once you know how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher, you have to simply let them air dry. Prop them up in the drying rack on your kitchen counter or let them be in the dishwasher until all of the water droplets are gone. You can towel dry them if you are in a hurry, but it is best to air dry if time permits. Once everything is dry, reinsert the filter back into the range hood.
What If Cleaning My Range Hood Filter in the Dishwasher Doesn’t Work?
There are times when cleaning your range hood filter in the dishwasher may not work. If you find that your range hood filter still comes out dirty and greasy, it is time to take another approach. One simple and effective method is to use a household cleaner like ammonia to soak with the filter.
This is a great method for homeowners who have never cleaned their range hood filters before. It might take you hours to scrub them clean, but this is a no-scrub method. First, you will need a large bag that zips shut. A gallon-sized bag should be sufficient, but you might need a larger one depending on the size of your filter. The filter should fit comfortably into the bag.
Place the filter in the bag and pour in a half-cup of ammonia. Seal the bag up to prevent it from spilling and to lock in all of the fumes. Breathing in ammonia can be dangerous.
Last, let the entire mixture sit for a full day. Remove it from the bag the following day and rinse it with hot, soapy water. Allow it to air dry. This should have removed all of the potential grease and buildup from the metal.
Some people prefer not to use harsh chemicals like ammonia in their kitchen. This is a perfectly acceptable choice, and there are other options for you. As long as you do not mind doing a little scrubbing, this boiling method is also highly effective.
On the stovetop, bring several quarts of water to a boil and then allow it to cool for two to three minutes. Add in a tablespoon of mild dishwashing detergent and two cups of distilled white vinegar. Place the filter inside the pot and allow it to soak in the solution for thirty minutes. Carefully remove the filter from the solution using a pair of tongs to protect your hands from the heat.
Transport the filter to the sink and start scrubbing with an old toothbrush or a handheld scrub brush. Rinse it with water and allow it to air dry before replacing it.
While it is much harder to get in the nooks and crannies of your filter this way, it could be an alternative to using the dishwasher. After you finish scrubbing it by hand, you might consider cleaning the range hood filters in the dishwasher as an extra measure to get it sparkling before returning it to the range hood.
How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher: What to Use First
If you have never cleaned your filter or it is in particularly rough shape, you might want to use a professional cleaner on it first. A store-bought degreaser specifically formulated to tackle grease head-on might be called for in this type of situation. Here are a few of the best options on the market.
Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish
Many people have range hood filters that are made of stainless steel, so that makes this Weiman cleaner an obvious choice. You might not necessarily need to polish the underside of your range hood but it is a nice touch. This pH neutral cleaner can effectively clean, shine, and protect all of the stainless steel surfaces in your home, including your range hood and its filter.
By spraying this cleaner on your range hood, you can effectively eliminate surface fingerprints, haze, grease, streaks, and any other type of residue buildup. It is a great all-around cleaner for someone who needs to deep clean their entire kitchen.
Many people love this option because it is so affordable. It costs just a few dollars and can be used on so many different surfaces in the kitchen.
Easy-Off Professional Fume-Free Max Oven Cleaner
The Easy-Off name brand might claim to be an oven cleaner, but don’t let the title full you. This strong store-bought cleaner can also handle the greasy mess that is your range hood filter. It is specifically designed to get rid of baked-on food particles and spills without any scrubbing on your part. It is effective at cleaning ovens, broilers, and even outdoor grills.
This foaming spray does not require heat to activate its cleaning properties.
One of the best things about this cleaner is that it can effectively clean your range hood filter without any harsh fumes or lye. You can even use this cleaner without the need for protective gloves. However, you may want to consider wearing them anyway to protect sensitive skin. It comes with a refreshing lemon scent that can make your kitchen smell fresh and clean.
Zep Foaming Citrus Degreaser
Are you looking for something that is going to be strong enough to cut through multiple layers of grease? The Zep Heavy Duty foaming degreaser might be just what you are looking for. It is a restaurant-grade degreaser that can easily take care of oil, grease, adhesive, and other kitchen messes. In addition to your range hood filter, you can use it on:
- Grill exteriors
- Vent Hoods
Make sure that you read the instructions very carefully on this cleaner. There are a lot of surfaces that you cannot use it on without damaging them including plastic and glass.
The foam action sticks to vertical surfaces instead of dripping down. This prevents you from having to clean up a major mess, no matter how you have to prop up your range hood filter while the cleaner does its work.
It is a little more expensive than the other products listed here to clean your range hood filter but not by much. However, it does come in a two-pack which accounts for some of the price differences.
How to Clean Range Hood Filters in the Dishwasher
Learning how to clean range hood filters in the dishwasher is a simple and effective process. All it takes is a few simple steps and you can restore your filter to its former glory. It will make your home more efficient, safer, and less attractive to pests. You must learn how to take good care of this element of your home kitchen.
Even if the dishwasher does not fully get your range hood filter clean, there are other methods you can try. Attempt a few of these different methods or try a store-bought cleaner to give you the best chances for success. No matter what you have to do to get your range hood filter clean, it is ultimately worth it!
Can I clean the range hood filters in the dishwasher?
Yes, you can clean in the dishwasher if you place them in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Do range hood filters go in the top or bottom of my dishwasher?
They should always be placed in the top rack of your dishwasher.
What is the best way to clean your range hood filters?
The best way to clean them without scrubbing is to place them in your dishwasher. You can also allow them to soak in ammonia for a full day before rinsing the grease and cleaner off.
How often should you clean your range hood filters?
Ideally, you should clean your filters once per month.