What is a Cooker Hood Filter?
Normally made from ceramic, fleece, carbon or charcoal, cooker hood filters are fairly self-explanatory in that they filter out all those particles and debris that are naturally released when cooking. This is important for the health of your cooker hood as the released grease would otherwise build up inside the hood and could cause you mechanical and financial headaches further down the line. There are a couple different types of filter to familiarise yourself with:
A grease filter is attached to every extractor hood and are usually made from a metal like aluminium or steel, although some can be ceramic or fabric. Stay on top of the cleaning to get the most out of your grease filter. If left too long it will affect your cooker hood’s performance.
If your cooker hood works on a recirculation basis, then your charcoal filter will be found above your grease filter. They take the air that has been filtered from grease and then purify it further before it’s pumped back into the room. Charcoal filters are not standardised either, so check that the manufacturer of your cooker hood is able to provide replacement recirculation filters.
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How to Clean Cooker Hood Filters
It’s very easy to forget about the grease filter of your cooker hood. Working tirelessly underneath the cooker hood, it’s fairly out of sight and out of mind. Cleaning it isn’t exactly a fun job, either, so it’s understandable that you might want to avoid it.
That’s because if your grease filter is doing its job correctly, it’s going to be quite greasy. If it’s left to collect too much grease, then it stops being effective and is ceasing to do the job it’s supposed to do. That means cleaning it is essential.
If your filter is made from fabric then you need to replace it when it becomes too greasy. Check your cooker hood manufacturer is able to supply you with replacement filters, otherwise you can buy universal fabric grease filters that can be cut down to size to fit your model.
Cleaning a Cooker Hood Filter by Hand
Bear in mind that these instructions are for grease filters that are either metal or ceramic. You will need:
- Degreasing washing up liquid
- Baking soda
- Hot water
- Brush (non-abrasive)
- Remove your filters. This should be very easy to do. They should just slide out, or be released with a small button.
- Fill your sink with hot or boiling water and add some baking soda and dish soap. Between 80 and 100 grams or three tablespoons of baking soda will do. A healthy squirt of your washing up liquid should also suffice.
- Put your filters into the sink and let them soak for at least ten minutes.
- Take your non-abrasive brush to the filters after they have soaked, taking care not to damage them.
- Rinse off your filters in hot water and then leave to air-dry, or wipe dry with a clean cloth.
For the best results on performance, you’ll want to clean your grease filter every 4 to 8 weeks.
Can Cooker Hood Filters Go in the Dishwasher?
You can clean them by hand, but you can also let your dishwasher do the hard work.
If you’re going to put cooker hood filters in the dishwasher, make sure there’s nothing else in there – especially not any other dirty items. This is because the leftover food may remain in the filter even after the wash programme is complete. Make sure you are washing them at a minimum of 65 degrees to dissolve the grease.
How to Replace a Cooker Hood Filter
Eventually your recirculation cooker hood filter will cease to do its job properly and will need replacing. As for your grease filters, you may never need to replace these if you keep on top of cleaning them.
Replacing your recirculation filter really is as simple as releasing the filter from the cooker hood. It should just slide out from its frame or housing and be easily replaced with the new one. Replacing a recirculation filter should be instinctive, but consult the manual if the process isn’t immediately obvious to you.
Universal cooker hood filters may need to be cut down to size. You’ll want a Stanley knife to do this and you’ll need to exercise caution. Figure out the size you need to cut your filter down to and cut carefully.
When to Replace a Cooker Hood Filter
A recirculation filter should be replaced every 3 or 4 months. Do consult with the manual of your cooker hood for the best advice on when to change your cooker hood filter, and check to see your manufacturer can provide you with recirculation filters.
As for grease filters, your metal or ceramic filters need to be cleaned every 4 to 8 weeks and you won’t need to physically replace them unless they break. If you’ve fallen way behind on keeping them clean or notice a dip in the performance of your cooker hood, the question of replacing your grease filters shouldn’t begin until at least a year of usage. If you can stay disciplined with cleaning your grease filter, you may never need to replace it.