How to clean your extractor fan
Most people like to keep their kitchen clean, but many of us forget about the extractor fan over the top of the hob. This area of the kitchen doesn’t often get as much cleaning attention that it deserves, and a build-up of grease can cover it even if you remember clean the hob after each use. Your kitchen extractor fan might not be something that you even realise needs to be cleaned. However, the more grease and grime that is allowed to build up on it over time, the bigger an effect it will have on the fan’s performance.
A dirty filter means that the extractor fan has to be run at a higher setting to achieve the expected results and this increases the energy consumption and noise. Therefore, the grease filter in a cooker hood must be cleaned regularly (approx once a month) and replaced every 12 months. The number one rule when cleaning cooker hoods is not to let the grease build up too much in the first place. Even if you only wipe it with a cloth and a bit of degreaser when you’re cleaning the hob it will go a long way in stopping grease in its tracks.
Some cooker hoods have disposable, changeable filters which are easy to just throw away and replace, saving you a lot of cleaning. If your cooker hood is equipped with metal filters you can clean them to their original shine by popping them in the dishwasher. If the filters are stainless-steel this method is fine. If they are aluminium, be careful, they can be damaged or discoloured by dishwasher detergent.
Replacing your filter Remove the cover. These usually have catches which can be pushed down or small screws which can easily be removed.
You can buy a replacement filter from most appliance shops or online. You will need to make a note of the make and model number of the appliances to ensure you buy the correct filter.
Table of Contents
How to Clean Extractor Hood
Before you get started, make sure that you have unplugged the extractor fan at the mains. It’s best to do this job when the hob has not been used for a while. Cleaning the extractor fan right after cooking food means that the grease might still be hot, causing a hazard.
Some cooker hoods have grease filters that are made of paper. These are designed to be easily replaced to deal with the grease build-up. You can usually buy them in supermarkets and homeware stores and cut them to the correct size. A paper filter will need to be replaced if it is saturated with grease. You can usually tell when this has happened when the pattern on the filter has a reddish tint. Most paper filters will last from three to twelve months depending on the amount and type of food cooked on the hob.
Aluminium Mesh Filters:
Most cooker hoods have at least one aluminium plate that acts as a grease filter. They are usually spring-loaded and easy to remove for cleaning. You can easily clean a light build-up of grease on an aluminium mesh cooker hood by washing it in the sink with hot water and washing up liquid. Make sure that it is rinsed thoroughly afterwards and pat it dry. If the build-up of grease and grime is more serious, you can use a degreaser or put the metal filter in the dishwasher.
Cleaning the Fan Blades and Sponge Filters:
While your filter is soaking in hot water or being put through the dishwasher, you can wipe the fan blades with a damp cloth that’s been soaked in washing up liquid or cleaning solution and then wrung out. It’s important to make sure that you avoid getting the fan blades too wet, and that they are completely dry before you replace them. If your extractor fan has sponge filters, these can usually be washed, but will typically need switching out for a new one after a few washes.
How to Clean Extractor Hood Stainless Steel Exterior:
The majority of modern cooker hoods have a stainless steel exterior, which can get sticky from grease-build up. The best thing to do is clean it on a regular basis using a wipe or stainless steel cleaner to prevent the building up of grease. If there is a lot of grime, you may want to use a degreaser. A soft cloth is the best option as scouring sponges can damage the surface.
To get rid of tough grease, you can make a paste using one part white vinegar and one part bicarbonate of soda. Use a sponge or cloth to scrub with the paste in a linear cleaning motion, following the direction of the grain of the metal.
Changing the Carbon Odour Filter:
If your cooker hood recirculates rather than venting outside, it will be fitted with a carbon odour filter. While these are not possible to clean, if you feel that it is no longer doing an effective job at removing odours from your kitchen when cooking, you can replace it. You will usually be able to get replacements directly from the manufacturer. You will usually need to change this filter once every three to twelve months.
Most cooker hoods will include lights that are designed to illuminate your cooking area. But since they are located right above the cooking surface, they are likely to get dirty from grease and food splashes. To clean the lightbulb casing, first, remove the plastic or glass cover and allow it to soak for a while in hot soapy water. If you are dealing with stubborn grease on the lightbulb casing, you can use a scraper to carefully remove the build-up.
If your extractor fan has a serious build-up of grease and grime or you are unsure that you will be able to do this cleaning job safely, it’s a wise idea to call in professional cleaners who can help. If you are a tenant or landlord, professional extractor fan cleaning can be included in most beginning and end of tenancy cleaning services offered by professional companies. At Greater London Properties, we can arrange for a professional to clean the extractor fan before renting your property out.
Hopefully this article has provided enough information on ‘How to clean your extractor fan’.