Grease, grime and dirt love to build up on extractor hoods. It’s one of nature’s laws.
Because your cooking hood lives right above your hob and its primary purpose is to draw up the smoke or steam that your cooking food gives off, there’s no avoiding it getting slightly greasy over time.
What can be avoided, though, is a thick layer of grease building up and making it both dirty and less effective. The longer you put off cleaning your extractor hood and filter, the less effective it will be and the harder you’ll have to work to get it clean.
Be proactive and get your extractor hood back to full working order by following our guide to cleaning both the hood itself and the important filters.
How to clean extractor hood filters
Extractor hood filters are the fine mesh grates that are on the underside of the hood. They serve to keep all of the grease that cooking smoke contains out of the extraction vents to avoid them being clogged and more expensive cleaning tasks being necessary.
Remove your filters carefully
Fill your sink, a large pan, or a large bucket (big enough to fit at least half of the filter in) with boiling water and mix in baking soda and dish soap
Put the filters in the hot water and let them soak for at least 10 minutes
After they’ve soaked, scrub them gently with a brush (make sure it’s not too stiff a brush to avoid damaging the filters), rinsing occasionally until all of the grease build up is cleared
If you could only fit half of the filter in the water, repeat for the other side
Rinse thoroughly and pat dry or allow to fully air dry
Reinsert the filters into the extractor hood
Remove your filters carefully
Put the filters in the dishwasher on the hottest program available.
If the filters are still blocked with grease then repeat the process again to try to clear it out.
If after a few washes they are still blocked you might need to think about replacing them.
How to clean an extractor hood surface
It’s not just the filters that can get dirty, however. The surface of extractor hoods also pick up a layer of grease over time and dust can collect too, creating a sticky, fluffy coating on what was once a pristine surface.
Most extractor hoods are made of either stainless steel or glass, so we’ll cover both here!
Cleaning a stainless steel extractor hood
Mix bicarbonate of soda with boiling water and use a sponge to gently scrub the hood with the solution
Use a household grease removing product (or try making your own!) and a cloth, wiping the hood and removing the now loosened grease and dust
Wash gently with warm water to remove all remains
Dry with a cloth or allow to air dry before optionally applying a coat of stainless steel polish if you want an extra glossy finish
Cleaning a glass extractor hood
Just like with stainless steel, mix bicarb of soda with boiling water and softly scrub the hood all over to loosen the grime, using paper towels to get rid of the excess solution as you go
Use a grease removing detergent or washing up liquid to dissolve the grease.
This should clear all the grease build up fairly quickly, but it might take several passes.
Once the grease is all removed, use a household glass cleaner to create a sparkling finish
If you cleaned your cooker hood because it was under-performing and you thought it might be a build-up of grease, but it’s not helped, it might be an internal fault with the motor or control switch.