When was the last time you peeked underneath your stove's hood and checked out the exhaust fan filters? If it's been awhile or you've, um, never done this, let me warn you: it's not going to be pretty. The purpose of a range hood filter is to collect grease, so if it's doing its job correctly, it's going to look and feel, well, greasy.
Over time, the the filter may become so blocked with grease and ickiness that it loses its effectiveness, which is why it's important to clean these filters periodically.
Thankfully, cleaning them isn't hard at all!
This tutorial shows how to clean the filter in your sink with just boiling water, baking soda, and a good de-greasing dish soap. (I prefer Dawn.) Some hood filters can actually be washed in the dishwasher, but depending on how long it's been since you've cleaned yours, I wouldn't recommend that without at least cleaning them this way first. (You don't want too much grease to end up in your dishwasher!)
So, let's de-grease those filters now, shall we?
What You Need
Very hot or boiling water
Degreasing dish soap (Dawn works very well)
Non-abrasive scrub brush
Paper towels or dish cloth
Remove the filters from the hood: Most filters should easily slide or pop out of the underside of the hood. Mine had a metal loop I could grab to push the filter up and slide it out.
Fill a sink or bucket with boiling water: The hotter the water, the more effective. Depending on how hot you can get the water from your tap, that might be good enough. For me, I boiled water in my electric tea kettle, and poured that into the sink.
Pour in baking soda and dish soap: Pour a good squirt of de-greasing dish soap and 1/4 cup baking soda into the hot water. Swish around with a brush (not your hand because it's too hot!) until the water is nice and soapy.
Put greasy filters in water: Submerge your greasy exhaust fan filters into the water. Make sure they're completely covered.
Let them soak: Allow the filters to soak for 10 minutes.
Scrub the filters: After soaking, take a non-abrasive scrub brush and scrub the filters. Add more dish soap to your brush if required while you scrub.
Rinse and dry: Rinse the filters thoroughly in hot water and dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Replace the filters and repeat as needed: Put the filters back into the hood, and repeat as needed! Cleaning the filters once a month is a good maintenance strategy.