How to Clean a Range Hood – Expert Tips for Scrubbing Every Inch

A range hood is one of the most essential yet often overlooked appliances in the kitchen. As it sits above the stove, it works hard to eliminate smoke, grease, odors, and moisture from the air while you cook. But without regular cleaning, range hoods can become grimy and less effective over time.

Fortunately, learning how to clean a range hood thoroughly isn’t difficult. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can have your range hood looking like new again in no time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide expert tips for scrubbing every inch of your range hood. You’ll learn how to clean all areas of the range hood—from the fan blades and filters to the interior ducts and exterior surfaces. With these simple step-by-step instructions, you’ll keep your range hood in top working condition for years to come.

Supplies You’ll Need

Before getting started, make sure you have the following supplies on hand:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper towels
  • All-purpose cleaner or degreaser
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Garbage bags
  • Replacement filters (if needed)
  • Ladder (for cleaning exterior of ducted range hoods)

It’s also a good idea to have gloves to protect your hands and goggles to shield your eyes from cleaning chemicals. Gather all your cleaning supplies in one place so they’re within reach as you work.

How Often to Clean a Range Hood

To keep your range hood working efficiently, it’s important to clean it regularly. Here are some general guidelines on cleaning frequency:

  • Filters – Clean metal mesh filters monthly. If you have aluminum filters, you may be able to clean them less often, or when they appear greasy. Check manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Grease tray – Empty and wipe down the grease tray every couple of weeks.
  • Fan blades and interior surfaces – Wipe down fan blades every couple of months with a soft cloth. Do a deep clean of the interior at least 1-2 times per year.
  • Exterior surfaces – Wipe down exterior surfaces of the hood weekly or anytime you see dust, splatters, or grime buildup.
  • Ductwork – Have ducts professionally cleaned every 3-5 years. Clean duct openings and vents yearly.

More frequent cleaning is required if you do a lot of frying, sautéing, or grilling under the hood. Always start by reading the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations in your model’s owners manual.

Cleaning Range Hood Filters

The metal mesh filters trap grease as air passes through the range hood. Letting them become too dirty restricts airflow and reduces effectiveness. Here’s how to clean range hood filters regularly:

Remove The Filter

  • Locate the release tabs on the filter
  • Press the tabs and pull down to remove it.
  • If you can’t find release tabs, the filter may pop out when you pull down.

Wash with Soap and Water

  • Place the filter in the sink and add dish soap and hot water.
  • Let it soak for 5-10 minutes to loosen grease.
  • Scrub both sides of the filter with a soft brush.
  • Rinse well until all soap residue is gone.

Degrease with Vinegar

For extremely greasy filters:

  • Fill the sink or a bowl with equal parts hot water and white vinegar.
  • Soak the filter for 20-30 minutes.
  • Scrub with a brush then rinse.

Optional Steam Cleaning

  • Place filter in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water.
  • Steam for 10 minutes.
  • Wipe away grease with a soft cloth.

Air Dry and Replace

  • Shake excess water from the filter and let air dry completely before replacing (at least 24 hours).
  • Slide the clean filter back into the hood until it clicks securely into place.

Cleaning Baffle Filters

Baffle style filters have angled metal Mesh to enhance grease capture. Follow these steps to clean:

  • Remove by sliding or popping the filter out of the hood.
  • Spray liberally with degreaser and let soak 10-15 minutes. Use oven cleaner for tough grease stains.
  • Scrub the filthy filter with a brush under hot running water.
  • Rinse until water runs clear.
  • Allow to air dry fully before replacing in hood.

Repeat cleaning monthly or whenever filters appear visibly dirty. Consider purchasing a second set of baffle filters to rotate each month.

Cleaning Charcoal Filters

Charcoal filters absorb cooking odors but don’t capture grease like metal filters. Here’s how to clean charcoal filters:

  • Remove filter from hood by twisting counter-clockwise or sliding out depending on model.
  • Vacuum dust from exterior surface.
  • Soak in sink of hot soapy water for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly under hot water.
  • Air dry for 48 hours before replacing.

Replace charcoal filters every 6-12 months when they are no longer effective at removing odors. Check your owner’s manual.

Cleaning Aluminum Mesh Filters

Aluminum mesh filters are durable, dishwasher safe, and often don’t need cleaning as frequently. But follow these tips when it’s time:

  • Carefully remove filter from hood.
  • If very dirty, spray with degreaser and let soak 15 minutes.
  • Wash in the dishwasher, using heated drying cycle.
  • Alternatively, wash by hand in hot soapy water and air dry completely.
  • Reinstall the gleaming filter into the hood.

Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on aluminum filter cleaning and replacement timing.

Cleaning the Grease Trap

The removable grease tray or cup catches extra grease from cooking. To prevent buildup:

  • Remove the tray by sliding or pulling it out.
  • Scrape off any stuck-on grease with a spatula.
  • Wash the tray in hot soapy water, scrubbing with a brush.
  • For tough grease, soak in degreaser solution first.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing.
  • Empty into the garbage every 2-4 weeks.

Wiping down the grease trap after each use prevents excessive buildup between cleanings. Replace aging or warped grease trays.

Cleaning Inside a Range Hood

The underside of the hood and areas behind the filter become coated in sticky grease too. Here’s how to clean inside a range hood:

Remove Filter First

Always remove filters before cleaning the interior. This allows access and prevents pushing grease into the filter.

Remove Blower Fan

The fan unscrews to be cleaned separately. Locate screws to remove it.

Clean Sides and Top

  • Spray degreaser onto interior surfaces and let soak 5 minutes.
  • Scrub with a small brush to lift grease from corners.
  • Wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth.

Clean Fan Blades

  • Spray both sides of each blade lightly with degreaser.
  • Scrub gently with a toothbrush.
  • Wipe clean.

Clean Fan Motor

  • Use compressed air to blow dust away.
  • Wipe exterior carefully with a dry cloth. Don’t immerse in water.


  • Replace fan and screw back into place.
  • Test to ensure fan works before replacing filters.

Thoroughly cleaning the interior 1-2 times per year keeps your range hood working like new.

Cleaning Exterior Range Hood Surfaces

Don’t forget the outer surfaces when cleaning your range hood. Follow these tips:

  • Wipe down stainless steel exterior weekly with stainless steel cleaner and microfiber cloth.
  • Use glass cleaner for tempered glass hoods.
  • Remove stubborn splatters with a nylon scrub pad.
  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste for tough grease spots.
  • Scrub gently to avoid scratching finish.
  • Rinse and dry with soft cloth.
  • Clean control panels with rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs.

Buff over external surfaces after cleaning for a streak-free shine.

How to Clean Range Hood Ducts

To work correctly, range hoods require regular duct cleaning. Here’s how:

Clean Hood-to-Wall Duct

  • Remove and wash removable duct covers.
  • Run a brush attachment on your vacuum through the duct opening.
  • Use a wire chimney cleaning brush to scrub the duct interior above the hood.
  • Rinse away grease with hot soapy water.

Clean Duct and Roof Vent

  • Remove roof vent cover and vacuum opening.
  • Feed a chimney scrub brush through the vent from the roof.
  • Use drain snake to dislodge built-up grease.
  • Flush with a garden hose sprayer inserted in vent.

Hiring a professional duct cleaning service every 3-5 years removes heavy grease buildup. Clean ducts ensure proper venting during cooking.

Range Hood Cleaning FAQs

Cleaning your range hood thoroughly doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are answers to some common questions about the process:

How do I get rid of that sticky black coating inside my hood?

That stubborn sticky residue is cooked-on grease that occurs from not cleaning often enough. Spray liberally with degreaser and let soak for 10-20 minutes. Use a brush and toothpick to gently scrape off.

What’s the white powdery stuff on my range hood?

White powdery build up on range hoods results from alkaline detergents reacting with grease. Scrub with a baking soda paste to dissolve the powder.

Why does my hood still smell bad after cleaning filters?

If odors linger after cleaning, grease may be coating the fan blades and interior. Remove buildup with degreaser and wash all parts. Consider replacing charcoal filters.

How do I clean a range hood without removable filters?

For hoods with permanent baffle filters, spray degreaser then scrub gently with a small brush. Rinse using clean water and a microfiber cloth. Avoid soaking electrical components.

Is it safe to clean a range hood while hot?

Always allow the range hood to cool completely before cleaning. Hot surfaces can cause burns or damage to parts. Clean appliance only when fully cool.


Regularly cleaning every part of your range hood is essential for capturing cooking pollutants. Follow these expert tips for scrubbing filters, grease cups, fans, interiors, exteriors, and ductwork. Take particular care when using chemical cleaners. With the proper techniques, you can easily remove burned-on grease and restore your range hood to like-new condition for optimal performance.