Beautiful and extremely useful, extractor hoods need specific but simple care to operate in optimal conditions. These appliances that free the kitchen environment from smoke and bad odors need constant maintenance, that’s why we prepared a 4-step program to guide you in this chore.
However, before you begin cleaning your kitchen extractor hood, we recommend you take a look at the user manual to verify exactly what parts can you clean with different products and detergents -either commercial or homemade- and also, any recommendations that the manufacturer makes in this regard.
It’s worth mentioning that constant maintenance is the key to extending the useful life of our appliances. In the case of the extractor hood, this advice is twice as important because its effectiveness will begin to decrease if you let the fat and waste accumulate in the filter.
Having said that, let’s get down to business.
4 steps to leave your extractor hood clean as brand new
Step 1. Unplug the appliance
This must be the first step whenever you clean appliances with electrical components. By doing so you’ll be able not only to take advantage and clean the cable (something many of us forget) but also check its condition.
Step 2. Locate and remove the metal filter
If you don’t know where exactly the filter is, check the user manual. The manufacturer will tell you the correct way to remove it. These grease filters are rectangular and resemble a metal mesh with hitch levers. They are usually located at the bottom of the extractor hood.
Once you find the filter, remove it carefully. If you haven’t cleaned the filter in quite some time, you may need to apply some force to get it out. But don’t worry, you can pass a butter knife around the edge of the filter, and it’ll come out smoothly.
Step 3. Wash the filter
As a rule, most brands manufacture filters that can be easily washed in the dishwasher. If so, we advise you to choose a long or high-temperature cycle so that your filter is fully clean.
To find out if the grease filter of your extractor hood can be washed in the dishwasher you should once again check the user manual of the appliance.
In case it cannot be washed in the dishwasher, we advise you to do it with a mixture of hot water, baking soda and degreasing soap, following this procedure:
- Prepare a flat container (a deep tray or even the bowl of your sink).
- Put the filter in that container and fill it with very hot water. For effective cleaning, the filter must be fully immersed in the water. Be careful to avoid burning your fingers.
- Once the filter is in the hot water, first add baking soda and then the degreasing soap (or dishwashing detergent) over the filter and let it soak for 25 minutes. This combination of ingredients is a non-toxic cleaning solution that disintegrates fat quickly and effectively.
- Once the water is cold check the filter to determine if it needs an additional cleaning session. In that case, repeat the procedure but only leave it for 15 minutes in the mix. If after that time there’s still some fat left you can remove it with a soft-bristled brush or a non-abrasive sponge since the dirt will come out easily after soaking in this mixture.
- When the filter is clean let it dry well (1 hour outdoors is enough) and then, after the rest of the extractor hood’s system is clean, put everything back in place making sure it’s well adjusted.
Step #4. Clean the rest of the extractor hood
Once the filter is cleaned the rest is a piece of cake. You can use the same cleaning mixture mentioned above to remove grease from the rest of the extractor hood, that is the fan blades inside the unit and all the exterior of the appliance.
As a final recommendation, we remind you of the need to do the maintenance of the grease filter frequently, especially if you cook constantly. Regular cleaning will make your extractor hood work more efficiently and significantly reduce the risks that fat accumulation constitutes to the health and safety of your kitchen.