How To Clean Kitchen Chimney? Step-by-Step

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: August 31, 2023

man cleaning chimney at home
Man cleaning chimney at home

The heart of our homes, the kitchen, is also a place where there’s a lot of action! From simmering stews to frying fish, it sees it all. Those who relish oily and spicy food especially know the aftermath. Over time, the kitchen chimney, that hardworking device overhead, accumulates layers of oil, grease, and grime. If you’ve been wondering how to clean kitchen chimney or seeking a detailed guide on cleaning chimney filters, you’re in the right place.

1 Understanding Your Kitchen Chimney

Kitchen chimneys or chimney hoods are crucial for venting out smoke and odors. Depending on your cooking habits and the type of chimney, your maintenance routine may vary.

Types of Chimney Filters

  • Mesh Filters: Common in many homes, they can clog if not cleaned regularly due to the mesh’s fine structure.
  • Baffle Filters: Popular in households where oily and spicy food is frequently cooked. Baffle filter-type chimneys are designed to redirect the vapor and leave behind grease.
  • Charcoal Filters: Mainly for odour absorption. These cannot be cleaned and need replacement.

2 How to clean Chimney Filter

Mesh and Baffle Filter Type Chimneys

  • Dishwashing Liquid: Take a big tub filled with warm water. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Completely immerse the filters into this solution. After soaking for a while, use a non-abrasive scrubber to clean the filters.
  • Baking Soda: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water to create a thick paste. Apply this on the filters and let it sit for a few minutes. Afterwards, scrub gently.
  • Vinegar: Dunk a paper towel into the vinegar solution and wipe down the filters. Vinegar is particularly effective at breaking down grease.
  • Caustic Soda: Fill a plastic bucket or metal tub with hot boiling water. Add some caustic soda (but remember never to touch caustic soda with bare hands). Let the filters sit in this solution for about half an hour, then scrub them clean.

Charcoal Filters

Unfortunately, charcoal filters cannot be cleaned. If they become clogged, they need replacement.

3 Cleaning the Chimney Hood and Exterior

For the chimney hood and chimney exterior:

  1. Take a paper towel dunked in a vinegar solution or a moist cloth with dishwashing liquid and wipe all the surfaces clean.
  2. For stubborn grease spots, a solution of equal parts vinegar and baking soda can be helpful.
  3. For extremely stubborn spots, consider organic solvents like nail polish remover or even paint thinner. But use these sparingly and in well-ventilated spaces.
  4. Finally, clean the chimney with plain water and then wipe it down with a microfiber cloth to bring back the shine.

4 Why Cleaning Your Kitchen Chimney is Important

Over time, the chimney filters trap oil and grease from the cooking vapours. A greasy kitchen chimney can become less efficient and may even pose a fire risk. Regular cleaning ensures optimum functionality and longevity of your appliance.

5 Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Kitchen Chimney

Prepare Your Workspace

Start by ensuring all the surfaces around the chimney are clean. Place paper towels or old newspapers to catch any falling debris.

Remove the Filters

a man removing a filter from cooker hood for cleaning or service
A man removing a filter from cooker hood for cleaning or service

Switch off your kitchen chimney. Depending on whether you have mesh, baffle, or charcoal filters, your cleaning method will vary. For our guide, let’s focus on the most common ones: mesh and baffle filters.

Cleaning with Baking Soda and Dishwashing Liquid

eco friendly chimney cleaning products and dishwashing detergents in the modern kitchen
Eco-friendly chimney cleaning products and dishwashing detergents in the modern kitchen

For this method, you’ll need:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2 cups of dishwashing liquid
  • Hot boiling water
  1. In a big tub or plastic bucket, mix the dishwashing liquid with hot water. Then, add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda to create a thick paste. If you’re wondering why dishwashing liquid firstly apply, it’s because it’s a good cleaning agent to remove grease.
  2. Dip your chimney filters into this solution, ensuring they’re completely immersed. For baffle filter-type chimneys and mesh ones, let the filters sit in this mixture for about 1-2 hours.
  3. Afterwards, use a non-abrasive scrubber to gently clean chimney filters. If there are stubborn grease spots, you can reapply the baking soda paste and scrub again. Once done, rinse the filters with plain water and let them dry.

The Vinegar Solution Method

using natural distilled white vinegar in spray bottle to remove stain from chimneys
Using natural distilled white vinegar in spray bottle to remove stain from chimneys

For those who love a good home remedy, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of vinegar
  • Warm water
  1. In a metal or steel container, mix the vinegar with warm water. Soak the filters for 1-2 hours. The vinegar-soaked filters will have an easier time releasing all the grease. After the soaking time, use a soft scrubber to clean off any residue.

Caustic Soda for Deep Cleaning

caustic soda in bottle for cleaning chimney
caustic soda in bottle for cleaning chimney

For extremely greasy kitchen chimney filters, caustic soda can be an effective agent. However, a word of caution: Always wear gloves, as caustic soda can cause chemical burns. Never touch caustic soda with bare hands.

In a big tub, add hot boiling water and sprinkle caustic soda. Once it starts fizzing, immerse your filters. Keep them in for about half an hour, then scrub and rinse thoroughly.

6 Cleaning the Chimney Exterior

The exterior of the chimney hood, often adorned with oil stains, needs attention too. A solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid should do the trick. Dip a paper towel or a moist cloth in the solution and wipe down all the surfaces. For tougher stains, a paper towel dunked in nail polish remover or organic solvents like paint thinner can help. Again, ensure your kitchen chimney is switched off during this process.

7 Special Mention: Auto Clean Chimney

Those with auto-clean chimneys might think the task ends with the push of a button. While these chimneys are indeed easier to maintain, the collection chamber should be cleaned regularly. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all the components.

8 Maintenance Tips

  • Regular cleaning is a boon. The more frequently you clean, the less time-consuming the task will be.
  • If your chimney has lights, ensure they are off and cool before cleaning.
  • Always dry the filters completely before reinstalling them.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaning agents or hard scrubbers which can damage the chimney filters.

9 Wrapping Up

In conclusion, cleaning kitchen chimneys might seem daunting, especially when faced with layers of accumulated oil and grime. However, with the right materials like baking soda, vinegar solution, or even caustic soda, and a bit of patience, you can have your chimney hood sparkling like new. Regular cleaning ensures longevity and efficient functioning, making every meal you cook a bit more delightful! So, the next time someone wonders about how to clean a kitchen chimney, you’ll have all the answers and more.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: August 31, 2023
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