How To Clean That Greasy Stove Hood Filter

cleaning-stove

Today’s post is going to AMAZE you….and at the same time probably GROSS YOU OUT a little. You’ve been forewarned.

I didn’t start out my day with the intention of grappling with this particularly onerous task…but as is often the case with me, one thing led to another and there I was, off on one of my cleaning tangents. Of course the RESULTS made it all worthwhile…but not before I asked myself (several times)….how did I get myself into this???

Cleaning The Greasy Stove Vent Filter

Well, it all started with a burnt out light bulb.  I was making a grilled cheese sandwich for my youngest on the stove when POOF!…the light above the stove went out. Since I have this thing about needing to SEE what it is I’m cooking…I had to put the cheese sandwich on hold while I went in search of a new bulb.

As I was changing the bulb I unfortunately noticed the condition of the UNDERSIDE of the hood above my stove. OY!!!  Kinda wish I hadn’t done that. You see normally all I see is THIS SIDE of the stove hood, which I manage to keep pretty clean. Looks nice doesn’t it? Well don’t let that fool you…underneath lurks a beast!

cleaning the greasy stove vent filter

A beast in the form of the OVEN VENT FILTER! I must have looked at that thing a hundred times and not even thought twice about how dirty it must be….until today that is.  This blogging stuff is getting to me!  And of course once something gets in my head…as the hubster will attest…you might as well forget it. It’s all over. There’s no use in even TRYING to get it out.  It’s there to stay until *I* decide it goes.

So slight change of plans for the afternoon. I finished the grilled cheese sandwich and went to consult with my friend Google. It didn’t take long for me to find an incredibly helpful and informative website called The Manly Housekeeper where the (manly) Mark did a post about this very subject just 12 short days ago! How weird is that?

I immediately decided the idea had merit…so I was off and running with it. Little did I know what I was getting myself in to.

Mark’s “How-To” on cleaning greasy oven vent filters is simple.  Haul out your biggest pot, fill it with water and bring it to a boil.  Then add 1/2 cup of BAKING SODA….VERY SLOWLY! Literally, you have to add it about a tablespoon at a time because it IMMEDIATELY fizzes up quite alarmingly! (The fizz goes right away.) Then take your caked-with-grease filter and submerge it in the pot. (Well, 1/2 of it anyway.)

 

cleaning the greasy stove vent filter

For the first few minutes I watched in fascination as the boiling water went to work on the grease. You could see it just melting off. But my fascination soon turned to disgust (bordering on horror!) as I continue to watch my filter “cook” in the water. I think the pictures tell the story…

 

cleaning the greasy stove vent filter

Don’t worry, this came clean easily with some Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Oh. My. Goodness. I couldn’t believe how much grease just kept bubbling up to the surface! I finally decided that I should empty this pot o’ sludge…and give the vent another treatment with a clean pot of water and more baking soda. So I took out the vent, and dumped the grease slick out in the backyard (I wasn’t ABOUT to dump it down my sink!). When I got back in I decided to try rinsing the vent with really hot water out of the tap before boiling it again, but it turned out that’s all it took to get the rest of the grease out. I kept rinsing until the water ran clear….and that was that.

 

Before and After pics:

Cleaning Vent Filter

 

After letting the vent dry for the rest of the day propped up on top of the stove…I returned it to it’s “home” tonight and had to admit it was a pretty great feeling knowing it was now a GREASE-FREE zone.  All-in-all it really was a simple fix…one that could have been a lot worse had it involved hand-to-hand combat with the grease. Come to think of it…the only time my hands touched grease was taking the filter out in the first place. Thanks Manly Mark! I owe you one! :-)

 

 


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Comments

  1. Sandi K. says

    I have 2 of these in my vent hood (actually a microwave), so I get double the pleasure! Thank you so much for this tip! I have soaked them in Dawn power scrubber, I have sprayed heavy duty de-greaser on them, I have thrown them away and ordered new ones (only to have them back in the same condition in no time). NEVER thought of boiling them!?! Can't wait to see if I can finally get those things clean! Thanks so much!!

  2. Anonymous says

    Thank you so much for another great tip. I have been enjoying your site for a few weeks now, ever since my daughter sent me a link. I had to thank you today because I just added "clean the hood filter" to my to-do list yesterday. I'm not dreading as much now!

    You're doing a great job! Thank you!!!

    Terri

  3. Gumbo Lily says

    Great tip!
    Just wanted you to know that lately when I come to your blog, I get a warning from Trend (virus/spyware protection) that says you are a dangerous site. You don't look dangerous to me — except you might be dangerous on grease and grime!

    Jody

  4. Jill Nystul says

    Jody…thank you for letting me know. My site is hosted by Blogger.com, which is owned by Google so I doubt there is a problem…but I will look into it and see if there is some weird code problem going on. thanks for the heads up!

    • says

      . I put mine in the dish washer and it comes up really well. I also spray sticky range hoods with “preen “of all things. Leave a few minutes and the grease just wipes off so easily. Great on BBQ as well.

      • Tammy DeMaria Karnik says

        Thank you! I was wondering how to get the “rest” of the underside clean! I’ve tried Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which do work, but completely fall apart before I finish the job. Great Tip #2!

  5. Karen says

    I just found your blog last week! It's awesome thanks so much! :-) I always just throw my filter through my dishwasher about once a month. (Do this to the filter from the bathroom as well.) It works great!!

  6. Anonymous says

    I, too, am a new follower. I can't believe I'm saying this but I can't wait to try this. I did the dryer maintenance you posted & am amazed that my dryer is running so much more efficiently now. I've told all my friends, lol.

  7. The Manly Housekeeper says

    I'm glad the filter tip worked for you! Isn't it gross to see all the grease collect on the edge of the pot? I've tried a bunch of different cleaning methods (spraying with degreaser, washing with ammonia and Dawn dish soap, washing in the dishwasher) and boiling with baking soda is by far the best.

  8. ladybrettashley says

    we cleaned ours with a bucket of water with borax in it – no boiling, though we did let it sit overnight (and only half the filter fit at a time, so you have to do it twice, as here).

  9. Anonymous says

    Powdered dishwasher soap works wonders on any burnt pans, gummed up filters, and oven racks. Fill up pan with hot water and let dishwasher soap disolve on burnt area. Or fill up sink with boiling hot water, put gummed up filter in and sprinkle dishwasher soap on filter. Oven racks can go in the bathtub with an old towel underneath racks, add hot water, and sprinkle on dishwasher soap.

  10. Anonymous says

    I have a suggestion to make this even easier: use your metal broiler pan so you can lay the whole thing flat. Or a metal roaster will work too if it's big enough and stove top safe. Most are. Great idea though. I have run mine through the dishwasher and while they get cleaner, they aren't CLEAN. Which is what I want.

  11. Tina says

    HOLY COW!!! I am amazed at the way this worked! However, I did not have a large enough pot, so it boiled over… and over! It was a really fun science experiment though! The filter is clean, but when I went to take it out… GROSS, the whole underside of my range hood was… black! It’s supposed to be white! (I'm 5'10" so I don't see the underside very often!) Well, obviously this was meant to be a stove cleaning day! I used your baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste, applied it with a green scrubby sponge, and then wiped the grime off like warm butter. I have never been able to get my range hood clean! Yahoo!! Thanks so much for the great tips!
    Tina

  12. blkenigma888 says

    I've been looking at all sorts of stuff on your blog and I'm blown away! I don't follow very many people, but I'm following you every which way possible! I've been dabbling in a few homemade things and I gotta say I'm excited about doing the homemade shout and the homemade lysol wipes (Those things are so spendy but amazing!) Anyway, thanks for all the tips!
    Alyssa
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com

  13. KK says

    I'll have to follow ^Tina's lead and make the paste for under my range hood, but that filter is now sparkling, and I was appalled at how yucky the water got. What really surprised me was how easily all the gunk came off when I washed the pot.

    • JAS7 says

      I never saw anyone reply to this and Im sure many new housewives or newly married wonder the same thing. There is nothing wrong with the vents other than being dirty. In todays world it makes more sense to clean it then if every household was throwing it away and it ending up in the landfills…just better for the environment..

  14. ~ Grace ~ says

    I have to say a HUGE thank you to your post here. We moved into a new (to us) home where the previous owners cooked a LOT with grease! I am not kidding… there was residue on the ceiling and cabinets and of course these vents were so bad they were no longer "venting". I tried chemicals and lots of elbow grease, I have gotten them cleaner but never like new like this… until now!!! THANKS!

  15. Cheryl says

    This really works! I am a canteen supervisor at a Wellness Centre and this is EXACTLY how I clean my deep fryers! The only thing I do differently, when I fill my deep fryer with water, I also add vinegar before bringing it to a boil…then I add the baking soda and let it boil for about 10 minutes. The built up grease and dirt fall right off the sides of the fryer! I also do my overhead fans at the same time, just stick them in the deep fryer….a great way to clean up in little time!

  16. Ruth says

    The answer to my prayers, I have been asking everyone how do you clean these filters and the best I was told was ammonia. I read these instructions went straight out and put the pot on and was AMAZED it took less than a minute each end and I have a like new filter. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  17. Ashley Mae says

    Did this today and cannot believe how amazing it is! Although, I didn’t have a pot big enough to get all the way to the half way on my filter so in the middle is a stripe of grease still, lol. I will have to invest in a bigger pot and do it again. I noticed when I was taking the filter down that it says next to it to clean it once a month… when did that get there? I tried a cleaning method for the inside of my microwave today also that was amazing so I feel super accomplished right now :)

  18. Mama T says

    I just did this Saturday! How weird is that?

    I soaked mine in just a tiny bit of Phosphate Free TSP (left over from a painting job) and some hot water, and then gave it a thorough scrub/rinse. I think I will try this next time, because I hate using chemicals if I can avoid them.

  19. Nicole says

    Hi Juliee
    Just did this with mine. I did not have a pot big enough to put my vent covers in so I did mine in my sink. I filled half my sink with really hot water then boiled some on the stove and added the baking soda to the water then pored it over the vent covers and the covers came out great! Thanks for all the great tips.

  20. Brenda says

    Just tried this and it worked like a charm! My pot wasn’t big enough to submerge the entire vent so I had to do one half at a time and even then the middle wasn’t going under the water. I just used a soup ladle to pour boiling water over that part and that worked just fine. I took the pot and the vent outside and hosed them both down. The vent looks great! I’m leaving it outside to dry out. Thank you for posting this!!

  21. Kat K says

    I just tried this and it got most of the grease out. I even tried doing it twice. However, my filters are still extremely greasy along with my hands after scrubbing the filters because this didn’t work. Any tips on how to get this to become a little more powerful?

  22. Jodie says

    Oh my goodness! I just tried this & I can’t believe how clean it is. I only have an exhaust fan above my stove and not a rangehood and it is literally the most disgusting thing I have seen. I’ve only been in my place 3 years & my sister & I scrubbed it to within an inch of it’s life when I moved in and didn’t even get it half as clean as this solution has made it, it looks brand new! I had the same problem as one of the posters where the previous tenants cooked with a lot of grease so there was a film over the ceiling, the walls and on & under the cupboards. While my vent was ‘cooking’ I added some boiling water & baking soda to a bowl and used that to wipe down everything – worked a treat! It just freaks me out how many different chemical cleaners I have tried since moving in and this was all it needed – genius!!

  23. Heather J says

    I think this would work wonderfully with my a/c filter also – I have an electronic air cleaner but the vents that go beside these look just like this – gonna try it on both!

  24. BEB says

    Thank you so much for this. I rent where I live and I swear my vent hadn’t been cleaned in years (I mean like in 10 years if not more) I had tried everything even CLR!! and nothing ever helped but I did this and it done the job. I had been working on it for about 3 months now and nothing. Thank you so much!

  25. says

    Mentioned on your washing machine post that I featured it on my post about Pinterest inspired cleaning tips – also featured this one for cleaning stove top vents. I actually had to do mine in the sink because they wouldn’t fit in any of my pots and was thankful for some of your readers comments that helped lead me to that method! But I also linked here for those who were interested in trying the boiling method. Thanks!
    http://chrystal-lewis.blogspot.com/2012/07/see-it-pin-it-do-it-deep-cleaning.html

  26. Rachel says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was going crazy trying to scrub the screen. Added bonus: the steam from the boiling water loosened up the grease in the hood itself. Yes!

  27. meredith says

    i live in an apt and i dont think under the oven hood was ever cleaned before i moved in. i know i havent touched the filter (ive been here 2 years, yuck!). if it wasnt midnight, id be boiling water right now! will do this first thing in the morning!

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