Everything you need to know about cooker hood filters
What is a Cooker Hood Filter?
Cooker hood filters are found on the bottom side of your cooker hood. They are designed to filter out all those particles and debris that are naturally released when cooking.
They can be made from a range of different materials like ceramic, fleece, carbon or charcoal. Cooker hood filters are important for the health of your cooker hood as the released grease would otherwise build up inside the hood.
In order to save yourself mechanical and financial headaches in the future, there are a couple of different types of cooker hood filters to familiarise yourself with:
What are the Different Types of Cooker Hood Filters?
A grease filter is attached to every extractor hood and is 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 and create a fire hazard.
Mesh filters are typically an alternative to grease filters. They are essentially the same, though, they work as the cover for the cooker hood as well as the grease filter. Like grease filters, they will need to be cleaned every so often to keep at top performance.
If your kitchen has a recirculation cooker hood, then your cooker hood will use a charcoal filter to extract grease from the air. 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.
How to Clean Cooker Hood Filters
You'll typically only need to clean the grease filter and the mesh filters,as charcoal filters will just need replacing.
It’s easy to forget about the grease or mesh filter of your cooker hood as it’s out of sight and out of mind working tirelessly underneath the cooker hood. In order to prolong the lifespan of your cooker hood filter, you should look to clean it every 4-8 weeks.
That’s because if your cooker hood 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 at taking grease out of the air and preventing lingering odours, meaning that regular cleaning and replacing cooker hood filters is essential.
If your filter is made from fabric, you won’t be able to properly clean it so you will need a replacement cooker hood filter 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.
How To Clean a Cooker Hood Filter by Hand
These instructions apply to cooker hood grease filters that are either metal or ceramic. You will need:
Degreasing washing up liquid
Carefully remove your cooker hood’s filter. This should be very easy to do. The instructions that come with your cooker hood will have directions on how to safely remove the filter.
Fill your sink with hot or boiling water and add three tablespoons of baking soda and a healthy squirt of washing-up liquid.
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, then replace the filters in the cooker hood.
Can Cooker Hood Grease 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 need 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 Should You Replace a Cooker Hood Filter
A recirculation filter should be replaced every 3 or 4 months. Do consult the manual of your cooker hood for the best advice on when to change your cooker hood filter, and check to see if 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.
Need help? Try our cooker hood help pages: