How to Clean a Range Hood

- Aug 21, 2020-

 Method 1:Washing the Outside of the Hood

Choose the right cleaner for your specific hood. Range hoods can be made from a variety of materials. When choosing what to clean with, pick a cleaner that's safe to use on that material in order to avoid damaging it. For instance:
  • For plastic or vinyl hoods, use an all-purpose cleaner or warm soapy water.

  • For stainless steel, go with warm soapy water.

  • For copper, use copper cleaner.

Wipe the outside of the hood. Expect the hood’s exterior to be a pretty easy job since it’s aimed away from your stovetop. Simply spray it with your cleaner. Follow the cleaner's directions if it advises letting it sit for any length of time before wiping it off.


Dry the hood. Wipe it down with a dry, clean cloth or paper towels. Remove all traces of the cleaner. If the hood's material has an obvious grain, wipe with the grain for a more effective clean and polish.

Method 2:Cleaning Underneath the Hood

Steam the inside if needed. First, take a peek under the hood. If it looks like you have your work cut out for you up there, fill a large pot three-quarters of the way with water. Bring it to a boil, uncovered, on the stovetop and keep it boiling for a half hour or more, as needed. Let the steam soak into the crud so it starts to loosen from the hood.
  • Wait for the stovetop to cool before proceeding. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to lean over the stove to reach up and under the range hood. If you boiled water to work the crud loose with steam, remove the pot to a heat-safe surface. Wait for the burner to cool down before moving on.

Test-spray the inside. If the dirt is light enough for your regular surface cleaner to work, great. If, however, you need a tougher chemical for degreasing (like Super Clean, OxiClean, or Mrs. Myers’ All-Purpose Cleaner) to get the job done, give a small area of the hood a test spray before using it all over. Make sure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions with the hood’s paint or other materials.

Again, always double-check the cleaner's recommendations regarding which materials it's safe to use on.

Spray and wipe. First, read your cleaner’s instructions for proper use. Wear safety gloves if advised. Open windows and turn the exhaust fan on if strong ventilation is recommended. Then spray the hood’s interior as directed and wipe it down with a sponge, cloth, or paper towels.[9]
  • Some cleaners may recommend wiping down immediately. Others may advise letting it sit for a period of time so it can soak into the dirt, grease, and crud.


Wipe again with wet towels. Expect strong cleaners to leave streaks and odors if any traces are left to linger. Once the area is clean, dampen a cloth or paper towels. Wipe the interior again to remove any chemical residue. Then repeat with a dry cloth to dry it.


Repeat frequently. Expect the job to be tougher the longer you wait in between each cleaning. Make washing the hood part of your daily or weekly routine when doing the whole kitchen. If a particular meal used a lot of oil or caused a lot of splatter, clean it up immediately afterward, as soon as the stovetop is safe to work around.


Method 3:Dealing with the Filter


Check it monthly. Clean the hood itself on a daily or weekly basis, but don’t worry about dealing with the filter that often (unless you happen to deep-fry a lot of foods on a regular basis). Inspect it once a month. If it appears stained or splattered, plan on cleaning or replacing it ASAP.

Remove the filter. Filters can be secured into place in a number of different ways. Give yours a look over. It will probably be attached by:[14]
  • A fastener that you can rotate in and out of position.

  • A latch that you need to press and lift.

  • Rim supports that just need to be pushed up and rotated.

  • Screws.

Replace fabric and charcoal filters. If you have either of these types, do not attempt to clean them. Simply switch the old one out and install a new one. However, with charcoal filters, keep in mind that you only need to replace these if you have a ductless range hood.[15]
  • A ductless range hood means the exhaust fan is recirculating air right back into the kitchen. If the exhaust is being ventilated out of the house through ducts, you shouldn’t need to replace your charcoal filter.

Soak metal filters in cleaner and water. Fill your sink with hot water. Add dish soap or the recommended amount of a stronger cleaner (like Super Clean or OxiClean) to degrease it. Let it soak for ten minutes up to a half hour, then agitate it in the water to shake off any loose dirt. Use a bristle brush to scrub any stubborn bits.[16] Then rinse clean under a strong jet of water (like your faucet’s sprayer attachment).[17] After that:
  • Set the filter on a clean towel or drying rack and allow it to air-dry before reinstalling.