How To Clean Your Greasy Range Hood Filter

Clean your greasy range hood filter

{Welcome to “Save My Sanity Saturday” at One Good Thing By Jillee….where I attempt to avoid having a nervous breakdown by actually giving myself a day off from blogging once a week! So pull up a chair and sit back and enjoy an “oldie but goodie” from the One Good Thing By Jillee archives.}


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 filterWell, 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!


Clean your greasy range hood 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.)


Clean your greasy range hood 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…


Clean your greasy range hood 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:


Clean your greasy range hood 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! :-)




Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. ANNA says


    • CTY says

      Anna–if you sew you may want to try this. Remove the lace and the work on your stain without the rest of the skirt (to keep the skirt from bleeding into the lace more). Before reattaching the lace make sure the skirt is done bleeding. Vinegar should help set the die in the skirt, just don’t use vinegar on the lace or it could set the dye into the lace.

  2. Janet T says

    Yes, it’s Grease City up there! Will eventually try your technique, when I’ve recovered from the holiday season.
    However, I have an incredibly useful suggestion—you’ll wonder how you managed without one of these once you start using it to its full potential: an ELECTRIC KETTLE! I moved to England nearly 40 years ago, where seemingly everyone had one. After 30 years I finally got my own—no, not just for making a cup of Earl Grey tea! Taking only a couple of minutes to boil the maximum 1.7 litres, the kettle is a godsend for cooking things like pasta, potatoes, rice, soup, and big cleaning projects. Before getting an electric kettle, I could make my traditional spaghetti sauce from scratch in the time it took to boil the water in my big pot! You can buy them now in the States; compare them for speed of boiling, etc. as well as looks (I prefer a stainless steel one with a flat heating element in the bottom). Empty the kettle after each use to minimise hard water deposits. To remove water deposits, just fill with distilled vinegar (which you can reuse) and leave overnight, then rinse well. (Be sure to leave a note on it when you do this, otherwise you’ll get very interesting-tasting coffee the next morning!)

  3. Kanna says

    This is a great tip! I have just bought a new one twice instead of having to try and clean it. ugh! $30 bucks a pop… right now it is pretty scary I’m sure. I put it in the dishwasher and the grease wasn’t even budging. I am going to try this today! Thanks for all your great etc!!!

  4. jewls says

    Hello! Love all of your great tips! They are both helpful and effective! I was wondering if you have a tip for cleaning the stuck on, burnt on mess on my flat top stove? I’ve tried several cleaners and tried soaking the areas overnight. But nothing wipes it away. Any suggestions?Thanks!

  5. Rebecca says

    When I have stuck on messes on my cooktop, I use the following: sprinkle Barkeepers Friend in the cooktop and lightly spray Awesome Cleaner on top. Give it a scrub and let it sit for a few mins. It wipes clean in just a few mins!!

  6. CTY says

    I love all your posts about green cleaners (saving $$ green & saving the planet green).
    BTW how did you know that my filter was dirty?
    I must say between you and the FlyLady I don’t ever have to think about what to clean next; all I have to do is wait for the posts.

  7. chris says

    I know this is off the subject but, I need to ask the chemistry experts out there if I can use any of my leftover bar soap scraps in Jillee’s powdered laundry detergent. I have been making the detergent for months now and love it. I would like to gradually use up my excess soap. I would continue to use the nels naptha, too, of course. I use pink Dove bars and go through a lot of it so have a lot of slivers plus some other soap. Thanks.

    • Renae says

      You never have to have little soap bar slivers left over. When you get down to a sliver, just get the sliver and new bar of soap wet in the shower and stick them together (sort of sliding them back and forth over each other). They dry overnight into one bar. As you continue to use it it just continues to blend together and dry together each time. No more slivers to throw away (or save! :)

    • Tracy says

      Chris, most any kind of soap can be used for the dry soap powder but I would steer away from the Dove soap or any others that have moisturizers in it. Also the tip about joining leftover slivers of soap with a new bar doesn’t work well with Dove or other moisturizing soaps.

  8. Marie says

    Hot Pots! After Child #1 return from college one year, I snatched the hot pot and plugged it into the outlet in the laundry room to heat my “very hot water” for many of Jillee’s tips! Saves walking down a flight of steps with a pot of boiling water to make liquid laundry detergent! Love it & it’s never going back to college!

  9. says

    My husband had burnt something in my skillet which I didn’t know until I pulled it from the dishwasher which baked it on even more after it went through the drying cycle. I saw your easy way to clean the hood filter so I decided to try cleaning my burnt skillet by putting water in the skillet with some baking soda and let it come to a rolling boil. I let it boil for a few minutes and then took a spoon and began to stir the boiling water and to my surprise all of the burnt stuff in that skillet was coming off as I continued to stir. I let it boil a little longer and poured into my sink strainer and all of that burnt stuff poured into that stainer and to my surprise the skillet was clean with no burnt spots left. Baking soda is amazing stuff!

  10. Debbie silva says

    This is a fantastic idea. I have needed to clean my for awhile now but just was up to the big project. Problem. I have a large commercial type hood and have three filters that are to large to fit even half of screen in…..think, think, think…..a large turkey roasting pan and they lay flat. Perfect the baking soda and hot water just melt that grease right off. Yay! Job done. Feels great.

  11. Susan the farm quilter says

    Great tip I’ll be giving a go here at my daughter’s house in the morning! I don’t have one at home as I have no vent hood, just a fan in the ceiling (old farm house). However, I do have a little problem you can solve…as much as I love your emails in my mail box each day, somehow I am now getting two of them – I don’t know how I signed up again! I don’t know if you have to pay for each email you send out or not, but I just wanted to let you know. I hate having to put your email in the trash, even when I am saving the other email in my files to save forever!!

    • says

      Susan that is so strange! I wish I knew why that was happening. You could try unsubscribing to both of them and then signing up again and see if that works. And to put your mind at ease I don’t have to pay per email that is sent out ;)

  12. Kate says

    When I moved into my apartment, not only was the hood greasy and disgusting, but the wood cabinets above the hood were caked in grease. I have tried everything I can think of (short of taking them down, sanding them and refinishing them), and although they are better than when we first moved in, I can still feel the sticky grease when I rub my finger across the sides. Any advice on how to get caked grease off of wood cabinets?

  13. Brian Wellnitz says

    I read the filter cleaning story with some interest. Broan-NuTone is the leading manufacturer of range hoods in North America and we like easy cleaning tips. However in this case I noticed that the filter that was being cleaned was a non-duct disposal filter for use when the hood is re-circulating rather than being ducted to the outdoors. These types of filters use impregnated are not designed to be cleaned and I think the process would destroy the filters capabilities…these should always be replaced every 3 to 6 months. Perhaps this may be a good process for metal/mesh grease filters but we have not tested this. Regardless, I think a much simpler means of cleaning the metal/mesh filters is to simply pop it in your dishwasher…all Broan-Nutone range hood grease filters are dishwasher safe…I think most range hood metal/mesh grease filters are. Just thought you should know.

  14. shabadeux says

    This was awesomely easy! I used a bucket (my stock pot won’t hold my filters) and was amazed at the weapons grade nastiness that came out of those! Gross! They look great now!

  15. TheFilterGuy says

    I stumbled across this page on accident. From owning a filter business, i would say I am pretty qualified to say there is an easier way to do this. A) Hot water and dawn dish soap. That will clean anything greasy on your range and range hood. B) The filter being washed in this photo is indeed a disposable filter(which can not be washed) it is called a combo filter. You see the stuff in between the expanded metal is carbon. It is an activated material and only last for 3-6 months once opened to the air. As far as you standard aluminum mesh range hood filter it can indeed be cleaned. For the charcoal carbon or “combo” filter you can easily replace it for under $20. I hope this helps everyone!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *