Cleaning an extractor hood, how do you do it?

Updated on 24 Jul 2023
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It is often one of the dirtier things in the kitchen – the cooker hood. Not only can the exhaust pipe be full of all kinds of grease and filth from cooking, cobwebs, dust and even pests can migrate in from outside. Sometimes you can smell a foul odour in the kitchen and not know where it’s coming from for weeks. Now you know – it’s the cooker hood. So it’s a good idea to regularly open and clean the exhaust duct and the cooker hood itself.

A step-by-step plan for cleaning the extractor

It is much cheaper to do a major cleaning yourself than to call someone to do it. Some people already worry about having to come up with a new extractor. Don’t worry. I will explain to you in this blog how you can easily and inexpensively do this process all by yourself in a few steps.

Step 1 – carefully remove the grilles

Most modern extractor hoods come with a snap system where you can easily remove the grilles. It should be very easy in theory, so don’t try to force anything with force. Just then you can accidentally break something. It is usually these grids that contain the most dirt, grease and grime, so put some newspapers on the cooker first to avoid a dirty kitchen. Some grids can go in the dishwasher, others you can just clean with baking soda, vinegar or even cola.

Step 2 – wash the filters

Some extractors have filters that can get quite dirty over time. It is a good idea to unclick these filters as well and clean them. You do this by soaking them in warm water with degreaser for half an hour. You can also get a special cooker hood filter degreaser. I don’t recommend scrubbing heavily on these filters to avoid damaging them, but just rinsing them with lukewarm water will do.

Step 3 – clean the inside

Now that the grilles have been removed, you can easily clean your extractor inside. Use soapy water and a microfibre cloth to do this. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to see where you are washing and I recommend you be careful with the little motor. It is better not to get the engine work wet. You may just scrub the rest of the inside and when you are done, make sure you dry it all off.

Step 4 – clean the drain pipe

The drain pipe, as I mentioned above, is one of the places where you can encounter the most dirt, filth, dust and even pests. Cockroaches, ants and spiders can make a nice home here. If you are very handy, you can of course dismantle the drainpipe and wash it off, but there is another way. Put on a pan with 2 litres of water to which you add vinegar or lemon juice. Then put the extractor on its strongest setting and leave it like that for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5 – do the outside at the same time

Once you have cleaned the grates, the inside of the hood and also the exhaust pipe as best you can, you had better do the outside of the hood right away too. Now is the right time because your cooker (with the newspapers on it) is dirty anyway. Note that a stainless steel (SS) hood has a different way of cleaning than simple plastic.

Step 6 – get cooking!

Once you’ve finished the cleaning process, it’s time to put everything back together. Clean the cooker thoroughly before you continue cooking.

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