1.Removing the Grease Filter
A clean grease filter is vital to a kitchen’s air quality and fire safety. Depending on your cooking style and how often you cook, you should clean a residential range hood filter every one to three months. Clean a commercial hood grease filter at least weekly. Many microwaves also have metal grease filters that should be cleaned at least every four months. To clean a grease filter, soak it for ten minutes in a cleaning solution. Scrub it with a soft-bristled brush, and use a toothbrush to get into tight crevices. Rinse, dry, then reinstall it, and enjoy the benefits of a squeaky clean grease filter.
Make sure the appliance is turned off and cool. If you’re removing the grease filter from a range hood, make sure the ventilation system is off and the surface is cool to the touch. If it’s cool, any grease deposits will be hardened and easier to remove.
- Some microwaves also have grease filters. If you’re cleaning a microwave filter, unplug the appliance before removing the filter.
- Never operate a range or microwave without the grease filter.
Remove the metal grease filter. A range hood filter might be covered by a plastic casing secured by tabs or screws. However, most filters are easy to remove and require no tools. For some models, simply tilt the filter and lower it out of place.
- Filters are often secured by a latch that you lift and release.Some are held in place by a metal fastener that you lift or twist.
- The filter is located on the back of most microwaves.You can also find the filter on the bottom of top-mounted microwaves.In both cases, the filter easily slides out from a slot.
- Check your appliance’s user manual if you have any trouble finding the grease filter. Be sure to note how you removed the filter so you can easily reinstall it.
Use a long handled tool for tall commercial range hoods. In commercial kitchens, range hood filters are often so high that it’s necessary to use a ladder to remove them. If you’re a restaurant owner or kitchen manager, you can avoid the hassle and injury risk of using a ladder by investing in a long-handled filter removing tool.
- You can find a filter remover online for $50-65 (US).
2.Soaking and Scrubbing the Filter
1.Run the filter through a dishwasher. Metal grease filters are dishwasher safe. The dishwasher is a great option if you clean your filter more than once a month or if it’s free of grease deposits. However, if it’s grimy or greasy, you should hand wash the filter to prevent grease from building up in your dishwasher.
2.Create a cleaning solution. You can choose between several cleaning solution options, depending on how dirty your filter is and what products you have on hand. The most basic solution is to fill a sink or basin with boiling water, a quarter cup (60 mL) of baking soda, and a tablespoon of degreasing dish detergent.
3.Use a degreaser for stubborn buildup. You can also use a degreasing oven cleaner if your filter is especially grimy. If you use a concentrated cleaner, make a solution by mixing it with water. Check the product’s label for a recommended ratio.
- For thick, stubborn grease deposits, soak the filter in an auto degreaser.
- Wear rubber gloves when using an oven or auto degreaser.
4.Soak the filter in the cleaning solution for ten minutes. Whether you choose a baking soda solution or a degreaser, you should soak the filter for ten minutes. Soaking will help cut through grease deposits and you’ll have less scrubbing to do.
5.Scrub and rinse the filter. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the filter. You can also use a toothbrush to get into hard to reach crevices. After scrubbing away grease and grime, rinse the filter thoroughly with hot water to remove soap suds and residue.
3.Drying and Reinstalling the Filter
1.Towel and air dry the filter. After you’ve rinsed the filter, shake off excess water. Wipe it down with a clean cloth or paper towels. Let it air dry completely before reinstalling it.
2.Check and replace any fabric or charcoal filters. In addition to the metal grease filter, some range hoods include replaceable fabric and activated charcoal filters, which cannot be cleaned. While the metal grease filter is drying, you can check the other filters and see if they need to be replaced.
- You should replace a residential range hood’s disposable filters once every three to six months, or when they become noticeable dirty and discolored. You can purchase replacement filters from your model’s manufacturer.
3.Reinstall the metal grease filter. You can reinstall the metal filter once it’s completely dry. Slide, latch, or fasten the filter back into the appliance, depending on your model’s design. If your range hood includes a plastic cover, screw or snap it back into place.
4.Consider using disposable fiber grease filters in commercial kitchens. While residential grease filters can typically go up to three months without cleaning, grease filters in commercial kitchens need to be cleaned weekly or daily, depending on cooking style and volume. The labor and water costs of frequent cleanings can add up, but you can cut your costs by placing disposable wool filters over your metal hood grease filters.
- Disposable filters are flame retardant and designed to fit over standard metal baffle filters. They also reduce grease buildup throughout the ventilation duct system.