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How to Clean Your Stovetop's Vent Hood

by Morgan Spencer

Your stovetop likely sees a lot of use. From daily dinners to the occasional Sunday brunch, it’s fair to say your stovetop may need a good cleaning now and again. This is especially true with your stovetop’s vent hood. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry! We have you covered with all the details regarding why you should clean your vent hood as well as how to do it.

Why You Should Clean Your Stovetop Vent Hood

The purpose of your stovetop vent hood is to remove smoke and cooking fumes from your kitchen. When your vent hood is in use, this appliance feature draws the smoke and fumes out of the house. This is vital for safety reasons as well as to keep the air fresh and clean within your home. However, a stovetop vent hood only works well if it’s cleaned on a periodic basis. A clogged and dirty vent hood won’t do the job it’s supposed to do and may do more harm than good.

dirty and clean vent grate next to each other

How Often You Should Clean Your Vent Hood

So, how often should you clean your vent hood? Well, the answer depends on a few factors. First, the type of vent hood will determine how often this item should be cleaned. For example, if you have a microwave vent combo, this type of appliance feature should be cleaned every month. On the other hand, if you have a hood vent, you should clean this part every one to three months, depending on how often you use your stove. This brings us to the next factor to consider with regard to how often you should clean your vent hood. Stovetops that get used more often should be cleaned more regularly. Also, if you notice your vent hood looks dirty and is not working as efficiently as it should, it’s time to give it a good cleaning.

Steps to Clean the Vent Hood

When the time comes to clean your stove’s vent hood, you can follow a few easy steps to do so. However, the steps may vary depending on the type of vent hood you’re cleaning, so it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Here’s how to clean your vent hood, depending on type:

Microwave Vent Combos

image of microwave hood vent over stove

If you have a microwave vent combo, where the vent is on the underneath side of the microwave and above your stove, here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Unplug the microwave or shut off the circuit breaker that provides power to the unit.
  • Step 2: Remove the vent. It may need to be unscrewed first.
  • Step 3: Soak the vent in hot water and dish soap.
  • Step 4: Soak the vent for a few minutes then scrub to remove any dirt, grime, or stains.
  • Step 5: Allow the vent to dry completely before returning it to its spot.

Repeat these steps every month or on an as-needed basis.

Hood Vents

someone reaching up to turn on a sleek black hood vent

If you want to clean your stovetop hood vent, follow these steps for an easy cleaning method:

  • Step 1: Unplug the stovetop hood vent unit or shut off the circuit breaker that connects it prior to cleaning.
  • Step 2: Wipe down the outside of the hood vent with a warm water and dish soap combination.
  • Step 3: Remove the filter and let it soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes.
  • Step 4: Rinse the filter using a sink sprayer, if you have one, or just use your faucet.
  • Step 5: Shake excess water off the filter and allow it to dry completely before reinstalling it.

Repeat this process every month if you use your stovetop on a frequent basis or every three months if your stovetop doesn’t see much use. You can wipe down the exterior of the vent hood on an as-needed basis.

Downdraft Ventilation

someone reaching to turn on sleek black downdraft ventilation unit

Downdraft ventilation systems for stovetop cooking have a removable grease filter that may need some cleaning attention now and again. Here’s how to keep your downdraft ventilation system in good working order:

  • Step 1: Turn off your downdraft ventilation system controls and unplug the unit or turn off the corresponding circuit breaker before starting to clean.
  • Step 2: Remove the grease filter and soak it in warm soapy water.
  • Step 3: Rinse off the filter and allow it to dry completely before reinstalling it in the unit.
  • Step 4: Clean the ventilation chamber with a damp sponge dipped in warm soapy water.
  • Step 5: Allow all parts to dry completely before reinstalling and using the system.

You should clean your downdraft ventilation system every month.

It’s important to make sure your vent hood is clean and ready to use. However, even with all the heavy duty cleaning in the world, it may not be enough if it’s time to buy a new hood vent. If you’re ready to upgrade to a new model, shop our online catalog at D Boy Maytag Home Appliance Center or stop by today to explore the options!