How to Clean Your Range Hood Filter to Prevent Grease Clogs

In just 15 minutes, you can be on your way to a cleaner kitchen. Follow these expert tips for removing tough grease and grime from your range hood filter.

It doesn't often get the credit it deserves, but your range hood does some heavy lifting to keep your kitchen (and consequently, the rest of your house) clean. Your range hood sucks odors up and away from your cooktop and vents them outside to maintain your home's air quality. And inside your range hood, a filter helps keep air safe and clean. Range hood filters trap grease and dirt to keep the range hood operating correctly. Without it, debris could get trapped in the ductwork, creating a fire hazard.

person removing a range hood filter for cleaning
wertinio/Adobe Stock

When was the last time you cleaned your range hood filter? If you use our 30 days of spring cleaning guide, chances are good you've wiped it down recently. However, like many homeowners, you might be surprised to learn you even have a range hood filter, let alone need to clean it. We asked Sarah McAllister, founder of the cleaning company and Instagram sensation Go Clean Co, to share her best advice on range hood filter cleaning. Good news: it's not a time-consuming chore.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

How to Clean a Range Hood Filter

  • Scrub brush
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Dishwasher tab (optional)
  • Dish towel


How to Clean a Range Hood Filter

  • Mr. Clean multipurpose cleaner


How to Clean a Range Hood Filter

You'll need just a few basic cleaning supplies to complete this easy kitchen cleaning task.

  1. Locate and Remove Range Hood Filter

    First, find the filter on your range hood and remove it. On most range hoods, the filter is visible on the underside of the hood. Depending on your range hood, the filter might have handles you simply grab and slide backward to pull out. Other range hood filters might have a pinching mechanism that you must squeeze to slide out.

    If you aren't sure where your range hood filter is or how to remove it properly, consult your owner's manual. Once you've successfully removed the filter, take it to the sink to assess before cleaning.

  2. Assess Range Hood Filter

    McAllister says that if you cook a lot and you've never cleaned your range hood filter before, you might be better off replacing it with a new one. Look at your filter to determine if it is completely clogged and covered. If that's the case, consider purchasing a range hood filter replacement, and remember to clean the new filter in about a month.

  3. Clean Range Hood Filter

    If the filter doesn't need a replacement, it's time to clean it. McAllister offers two options for cleaning your range hood filter. The first option is to spray it with Mr. Clean multipurpose cleaner ($3, The Home Depot) and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then wash the filter with a scrub brush ($6, Walmart).

    The second option is to use hot water and a liberal amount of dish soap to scrub the range hood filter. "I usually tell people to soak them in one dishwasher tab for a couple hours," McAllister says. "You will just have to soak it longer if you have never cleaned it before. Potentially overnight!" However, she cautions that aluminum filters can tarnish. The most common range hood filters are aluminum, steel, or charcoal, so check the material of your filter before choosing this option.

  4. Replace Range Hood Filter

    Once your range hood filter is clean, wipe it dry with a dish towel and return it to the underside of your range. Now your filter can get back to work so you can enjoy fresh air.

How Often to Clean a Range Hood Filter

Without regular cleaning, your range hood filter can get clogged with grease, and the air in your kitchen won't circulate correctly. So for optimal range hood performance, it's best to clean the filter regularly.

McAllister recommends cleaning your range hood filter monthly and says to always run your range hood when cooking. "Turning on your range hood is just as important as cleaning it," she says. "If you don't run it, the grease, heavy air, and smells get trapped in your kitchen. This, in turn, makes your kitchen cabinets, floor, and backsplash sticky and greasy. It has a domino effect."

Cleaning your range hood filter can significantly benefit not only the air's cleanliness but all of your kitchen's surfaces too. You'll be on your way to a cleaner home with just a few cleaning supplies and 15 minutes each month.

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