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  • Shawn Anderson

How to Clean the Kitchen Exhaust System Efficiently?

Updated: Jul 2

Maintaining a clean kitchen exhaust system is essential for a safe and healthy cooking environment. Over time, grease, smoke, and grime can accumulate, reducing the efficiency of your exhaust system and increasing the risk of fire hazards. Here’s a comprehensive guide to efficiently clean your kitchen exhaust system in 10 detailed steps.


 1. Gather Your Supplies


Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:


  • Dish soap

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Hot water

  • Soft-bristle brush or scrub pad

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Bucket or large container


Having these items ready will streamline the cleaning process and ensure you don't need to stop midway to gather more supplies.


2. Ensure Safety First


Safety is paramount. Turn off the power to the exhaust system to prevent any electrical accidents. Carefully remove any detachable parts, such as filters, to prepare them for cleaning.


Before beginning the cleaning process, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Start by turning off the power to the exhaust system to prevent any electrical accidents. Ensure the kitchen is well-ventilated by opening windows or using fans to disperse any fumes from cleaning agents. Wear protective gear, such as rubber gloves, to shield your hands from harsh chemicals, and consider safety glasses to protect your eyes from splashes. If you need to reach high areas, use a stable, non-slip ladder and ensure it is positioned securely on a flat surface. By following these precautions, you can clean your kitchen exhaust system safely and effectively.


3. Remove and Soak Filters


To efficiently clean your kitchen exhaust system, start by removing the filters and soaking them in a mixture of hot water, dish soap, and baking soda. This step helps to loosen grease and grime that have accumulated on the filters over time. By soaking the filters for 15-20 minutes, you make the cleaning process easier and more effective. Once soaked, use a soft-bristle brush or scrub pad to gently scrub the filters, ensuring that all grease and debris are removed. Rinse the filters thoroughly with hot water and allow them to air dry completely before reattaching them to the exhaust system. This thorough cleaning ensures optimal performance and safety of your kitchen exhaust system.


Soak Filter

4. Scrub the Filters

After soaking the filters to loosen grease and grime, it's time to roll up your sleeves and give them a thorough scrub. Using a soft-bristle brush or scrub pad, gently scrub the filters to remove any remaining residue. Pay attention to corners and crevices where grease tends to accumulate. By scrubbing the filters diligently, you ensure they are free from all debris, allowing for optimal airflow and efficiency in your kitchen exhaust system.


5. Rinse and Dry Filters


After scrubbing the filters to remove grease and grime, the next step is to thoroughly rinse them with hot water. This rinsing process helps to remove any remaining soap and baking soda residue, ensuring the filters are clean and free from debris. Once rinsed, it's essential to allow the filters to air dry completely before reattaching them to the exhaust system. Proper drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth, maintaining the cleanliness and efficiency of your kitchen exhaust system.


6. Clean the Exhaust Fan Blades


Carefully remove the fan cover and blades if possible. Wipe down the blades and the fan housing using a microfiber cloth dampened with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, or a soapy water solution. For stubborn grease spots, a bit of dish soap can help.


Efficiently cleaning the exhaust fan blades is crucial for maintaining a clean kitchen exhaust system. Follow these steps:


  • Disconnect Power: Turn off the power to the exhaust fan to ensure safety.

  • Remove Fan Cover: Take off the fan cover to access the blades.

  • Soak Blades: Soak the blades in warm, soapy water to loosen grease.

  • Scrub Blades: Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the blades clean.

  • Rinse and Dry: Rinse the blades thoroughly and dry them completely.

  • Clean Fan Housing: Wipe down the fan housing to remove dust and dirt.


Regular maintenance is key to keeping your exhaust fan blades clean and your kitchen air fresh.


Fan Blades

7. Clean the Exhaust Hood


The hood also accumulates grease and grime. Use a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water to wipe down the interior and exterior surfaces of the hood. Pay special attention to areas with visible grease buildup.


8. Rinse and Polish the Hood

After cleaning, wipe the hood again with a clean, damp cloth to remove any soap residue. For stainless steel hoods, use a mixture of vinegar and water or a stainless steel cleaner to give it a polished finish, ensuring it looks clean and shiny.


9. Reassemble the Components


Once all parts are clean and dry, reassemble the exhaust system. Ensure that the fan cover, blades, and filters are securely in place. Reconnect the power to the exhaust system and check that it is functioning properly.


10. Regular Maintenance


To keep your kitchen exhaust system running efficiently:


  • Monthly: Clean or replace the filters to prevent excessive buildup.

  • Weekly: Wipe down the hood and accessible parts of the exhaust system to maintain cleanliness.

  • Annually: Schedule a professional inspection and deep cleaning to ensure the entire system, including ductwork, is in optimal condition.


Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your exhaust system but also ensures a healthier cooking environment. By following these 10 comprehensive steps, you can maintain a clean and efficient kitchen exhaust system, enhancing both air quality and safety in your kitchen.

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