Cleaning Range Hoods
Many ranges have separate or built-in range hoods above their cooking surfaces. Range hoods are usually vented to the outside and remove grease, steam, and cooking odors from the kitchen. Some hoods do not have outside vents and rely on replaceable charcoal filters to clean smoke and odors from the air. Both vented and nonvented hoods have fans to draw air and smoke from the cooking area, and both need to be cleaned to keep them free from buildup and working effectively.
- Wipe the exterior and interior of the range hood regularly. When you need to give it a thorough scrub, use a solution of hot water, dishwashing detergent, and ammonia to cut the grease; wear rubber gloves.
- Remove the filter cover, and wash it in soapy hot water. Allow it to dry completely before replacing. Wipe the blades of the fan with an ammonia solution.
- Clean metal mesh filters when they are dirty, and replace the filters on nonvented range hoods every six to nine months or as often as the manufacturer recommends.
- Avoid washing charcoal filters; washing will reduce their effectiveness.
Ovens -- the focus of our next section -- require as much work to clean as range hoods. While there are many oven cleaning products available for purchase, there are some tricks to the trade.