Get Your Range Hood Ready for the Holidays

By Lyle Weischwill | Oct. 20, 2023 10:25 am PST

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s time to get your range hood in top shape to ensure your kitchen is clean, safe, and functional when you’re cooking those festive meals. Cleaning the range hood will also help beautify your kitchen and give you the peace of mind that you haven’t missed a beat when preparing for holiday guests.

Here are steps to prepare your range hood for the holiday season.

1. Clean the Range Hood Exterior

Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for your range hood to clean exterior surfaces. These general guidelines will work for most range hoods.

How to Clean Painted Range Hood Surfaces

Follow these steps to clean painted range hood surfaces:

  1. Prepare a solution of water and mild detergent such as dishwashing soap.
  2. Moisten a cleaning cloth in the solution and clean all painted surfaces.
  3. Wipe down the surfaces with plain water and dry with a towel to remove detergent residue.

Some owner’s manuals indicate that you can use automotive polish to restore discolored or dull surfaces.

Do not use rough abrasive cleaner or porcelain cleaner on painted surfaces.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Range Hood Surfaces

Procedures for cleaning stainless steel exterior surfaces on range hoods differ from the procedures for cleaning painted surfaces. Follow these steps to clean stainless steel:

  1. Wash the stainless steel surfaces with a clean cloth or rag soaked with warm water and mild soap or liquid dish detergent. Always clean in the direction of original polish lines of the stainless steel finish.
  2. Rinse the surfaces well using a clean cloth soaked with clear water (2 or 3 times) after cleaning. Wipe dry completely.
  3. Use a stainless steel cleaner to polish and protect the exterior surfaces.

Image of homeowner cleaning the grease filter in a range hood

2. Clean the Range Hood Grease Filters

The best way to clean range hood grease filters is to wash them in your kitchen sink using dishwashing detergent and water. Rinse the grease filters thoroughly with plain water and let them air dry completely before reinstalling them in the range hood.

You can also wash grease filters in the dishwasher but discoloration can occur when some filters are washed with some types of dishwasher detergents. To avoid discoloration, hand wash the grease filters in your kitchen sink as described above.

3. Clean the Fan Blades

While you have the grease filters removed, clean the fan blades using a clean cloth soaked with warm detergent solution. Wipe the fan blades with a cloth soaked in clear water and dry the blades with a towel.

4. Replace the Non-Ducted Recirculation Filter

Range hoods that recirculate exhaust air back into your kitchen space have a charcoal recirculation filter that removes grease, smoke and odors from the exhaust air. Replace this filter every six months (or more often if your cooking style generates extra grease, such as frying and wok cooking).

Range hoods that vent the exhaust air to the outside of your home won’t have this recirculation filter so you can skip this step and follow the instructions in the next step.

5. Check and Clean the Exhaust Duct System

Examine the exhaust vent damper mounted on the outside of your home to ensure that the damper opens freely and isn’t stuck or blocked. Wasps and birds tend to build nests in this area. Use caution when checking the damper.

Clear any blockage and lubricate the damper if needed so it opens freely.

To ensure that your range hood works efficiently and safely, have a professional check and clean your range hood duct system yearly.

Following these steps to thoroughly prepare your range hood for the holidays ensures that your kitchen remains a pleasant and safe place to cook during the festive season.

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