How to clean a kitchen chimney in no time (with 7 home remedies)


how to clean kitchen chimney

Most of us share a love-hate relationship with our kitchens. Don’t we?

We love making delicious food, but cannot stand the grease and heat. Well, that’s a necessary evil to eating delicious and nutritious food every day. Right?

Now, ordinary grease from slabs and tables can be removed easily- some soap and water do the trick.

But what about the grease in your chimneys?

If you are living in the 21st century, you must be having a chimney in your kitchen. (However if you are looking to join in the league of best kitchen chimney users then look at this post.)

That’s a basic requirement nowadays, or else it’s bidding goodbye to your painfully furnished kitchen!

While chimneys are quite useful, they are also problematic, especially because they need a lot of maintenance. Now, you can’t go about calling professionals each time your chimney gets too dirty to handle.

Here’s an idea – Why not clean it yourself?

Relax, it’s not impossible! A little common sense and a handful of tricks will get the job done in no time.

Note: If you looking for curated list of best kitchen chimneys in India then have look at this post.

The purpose of this article is to let you know how to clean a kitchen chimney in a few simple and easy steps.

What’s my chimney game?

Before you get to cleaning, you’ll have to know what kind of chimney you own. We say this because the cleaning process depends on the type of chimney.

  • So, if you own a baffle filter chimney, it means that the mesh lining of your chimney gets clogged because of all the oil and grease. Because of this, you need to clean the chimney every 8-10 days to keep it functioning properly.
  • On the other hand, if you own charcoal filters, you’re in bad luck, because charcoal filters cannot be cleaned and need to be replaced every 4-5 months.
  • The easiest to maintain is the duct tape chimney. All you need to do is scrub it down with some soap and a brush once a month and voila! It’s as good as new.
  • For a fabric grease filter, replacement is the only option; these filters work like a sponge, and therefore cannot be cleaned completely.

Why should I clean my chimney?

Good question.

Some people are of the opinion that chimney filters do not need to be cleaned. That is so not true. Sure, you might leave your filter dirty, but you will have to replace it now and then, and that won’t sit lightly in your pocket.

You should clean your chimney because:

  • It enhances the performance of the appliance.
  • The blower lives for longer, which is perfect.
  • Removes grease and smoke completely.
  • Subsequent cleanings get easier to do

How do I clean kitchen chimney?

The chimney in your kitchen is probably a baffle filter one because that’s the most commonly used in kitchens nowadays.

There are several different ways in which you can get your chimney looking nice and shiny.

And the best part?

You probably have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen cabinets, so you can get to work right now!

But I don’t have time!

We understand that in 2018, time is of the essence. You don’t want to cancel your beach party or an office meeting to spend an afternoon scrubbing your filters.

But, don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered.

This article covers some of the simple yet effective ways in which you can get your chimney filters cleaned in a jiffy. So you can accommodate your meeting and cleaning session all in one afternoon.

This article will give you some much-needed ideas on some methods you can use to clean your filters quickly and effectively.

Why should I not use detergent and soap to clean kitchen chimney?

Hold up there, tigress, we know how the thought of cleaning gets you grabbing for your detergent and soap. But sorry, they won’t work in this case.

Here’s why.

  • Firstly, the grease on your chimney is tougher than you think. Have you ever had to remove residue from a burnt pan? Well, removing grease from a chimney takes around 100 times that effort. Normal detergents and scrubbers wouldn’t help clean a screw on that mesh.
  • Secondly, the threaded mesh that goes into your chimney is delicate and made of pure aluminum. So, if you are too harsh with it, you may end up discoloring the metal. And nobody wants discolored metal on their chimneys.

However, mild dish soap can be used to clean the mesh, especially if your filters aren’t too dirty.

So, how do I do that, again?

Alright, there’s nothing to worry about.

Just remember some very easy steps every time you clean your chimney filters. All you have to do is:

  • Detach the filter from the hood. (yes, they can be removed)
  • Prepare the cleaning solution. You can either buy a cleaning liquid or prepare one at home yourself
  • Soak the filters in the liquid for an hour or two. Let all that grime dissolve.
  • Brush it with soft brush to get rid of all the dirt
  • Take it out of the solution and rinse it thoroughly
  • Leave it out to air dry.
  • Reattach it to the hood

You see? It’s that simple. Now that you know how to do this, you’re all set!!

How do I detach the filter?

That depends upon the model you use. But, firstly, make sure the appliance is turned off to avoid getting a nasty shock.

  • If you have any plastic or metal casing on your hood, remove it.
  • Take a look at the base of the hood to see how the filters are attached to the appliance.
  • If there are screws, keep a screwdriver ready.
  • In case of a T lock, it can be unlocked easily
  • A metal or plastic fastener can be a little difficult to manipulate, so here’s a video showing how you can do that (courtesy: Dengarden)

  • A latch will require you to press and raise to detach. Here’s the video for you to work with (courtesy: Dengarden)

 

https://youtu.be/ci7oW77cUnw

Most of the attachments are easy to operate, so you will have no trouble getting them unscrewed or unlocked easily.

But wait! What if I don’t want to buy a cleaner?

Then you don’t have to. There are alternatives that work just as well.

Alternatives?

Alternatives. Brace yourselves, because…

Here come the home remedies to clean your kitchen chimney!

We will be kickin’ it old school, and trying to get the grease off of our chimneys with some good old household ingredients. They are perfect if you’ve been wondering how to clean a chimney at home.

All these home remedies and the things you’ll need for each method are listed as follows

1. The baking soda method 1 to clean kitchen chimney:

This is best method to clean a kitchen chimney. Baking soda is available everywhere- if it’s not in your refrigerator, it’s definitely in the local grocery store. Use a little bit of this magic ingredient to get unimaginable results. There are two ways in which you can use baking soda for cleaning,

A combination of baking soda and dish soap does the trick in this method:

What you will need

  • 1/4th cup baking soda
  • Dish soap liquid
  • Soft bristled brush
  • A bucket of boiling water
  • Towels or cleaning cloth

Method

  • Remove the filters from the hoods
  • Take a bucket of very, very hot (ideally boiling) water, and add 1/4th cup baking soda and a good amount of dish soap to it
  • Stir well to get it mixed up
  • Submerge your filters in the water
  • Let them soak for 15-20 minutes
  • Take a brush and scrub the filters. At this point, you can add more dish soap to the mix if you so wish
  • Rinse the filters
  • Repeat the process if you aren’t happy with initial results
  • Let the filters dry completely
  • Attach the filters to the hood

This is probably the most effective way to clean your filters. This method comes in handy, especially if you stick to the rulebook and clean your filters every 8-10 days.

2. The baking soda method 2:

 This process uses baking soda with salt and vinegar. The perfect trio for cleanliness!

 What you will need

  • 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2-3 tablespoons of salt
  • 2-3 cups of vinegar
  • Hot water

Method

  • Take the bucket of water and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar to it
  • Mix the ingredients well
  • Remove the filters from the hoods
  • Soak the filters in the mixture for 1-2 hours
  • Brush them clean with a non-abrasive brush
  • Rinse them in water and let them dry completely before fitting them back into the hood

[su_highlight]TIP: to get better results, you can boil the filters in the solution, instead of soaking them in it. [/su_highlight]

3. Paint thinner method

If you don’t have any access to paint thinner, use nail polish remover. You will need quite a few bottles, though.

What you will need

  • Paint thinner or nail polish remover
  • A clean cloth
  • Water to rinse

Method

  • Remove the filters from the hoods
  • Take some thinner or remover on the cloth and apply it to the filters
  • Scrub them clean
  • Rinse them thoroughly in room temperature water
  • Let them dry in sunlight before re-attaching them

This one is a good and effective method because it gets the job done in only a few minutes. But the only problem is that most households don’t have paint thinner lying around the house, so the availability of the material becomes an issue.

4. Caustic soda

Now, this stuff is effective and DANGEROUS. So make sure you take proper precaution while using this. Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide should be used only to clean extremely stubborn stains that refuse to go away with ordinary detergents.

[su_highlight background=”#ff999e”]This is an extreme method, so if you have allergies or any respiratory problems- *DO NOT USE THIS METHOD*.[/su_highlight]

You will need

  • Sodium Hydroxide or caustic soda
  • Boiling water
  • Gloves
  • Protective clothing
  • Glasses

Method

  • Remove the filters from the hoods
  • Place it on a metal or glass tray. You should do this in your bathroom because the caustic soda can completely mess up your kitchen floors.
  • Sprinkle caustic soda over the filters
  • Pour boiling water over the filter
  • Let it rest for a while before rinsing it with cold water
  • Fit them into the hood once dry

This method leaves your filters sparkling clean. But you should keep certain methods in mind while cleaning your filter this way

  • Caustic soda is highly corrosive, so DO NOT handle it with your bare hands
  • Wear protective clothing. Don’t let the solution fall on your skin
  • Don’t inhale any of the fumes released during the process
  • Stay away from the water while your filter is being rinsed

Because of the level of danger involved, we would suggest against cleaning your filter using this method. However, if you are left without a choice, then please be very careful and follow the instructions diligently.

5. Using a degreaser

Many online websites sell degreasers that can clean your ovens and chimneys too. The only drawback to this method is that you have to scrub till you drop, but you do end up with clean filters.

You will need

  • Degreaser
  • Hot water
  • Nonabrasive brush for scrubbing

Method

  • Fill up a bucket with boiling water
  • Add the degreaser as per the grime you have on your chimney
  • Submerge the filter in the solution. (TIP: Do not touch the solution because the acid in it can burn your skin)
  • Let it soak for 30 to 60 minutes
  • Take it out of the solution and give both sides a good scrub.

This process requires a lot of hard work, buy it pays off well. And in the end, your clean filters are worth the pain.

6. Hot water and ammonia

This is an easier alternative for those who have remembered to clean their filters every month. To the ones who will be cleaning it for the first time- sorry, darlings, this is not going to work.

You will need:

  • Dish soap
  • Ammonia
  • Hot Water
  • Brush
  • A glass or metal tray

Method:

  • Fill the glass or metal tray with hot water
  • Add dish soap and some ammonia
  • Soak the filters in the solution for an hour
  • Take them out and brush them clean

If you don’t have access to the ammonia, you can skip it. Adding ammonia to the solution just makes the grime come off a little faster, and makes your job a little easier. But the process totally works even without ammonia.

7. Chuck it in the dishwasher

Many modern filters can be cleaned like your regular dishes- in a dishwasher. Check the product details to know if you can add the filter to the dishwasher. If you can, then just chuck it and forget it.

Again, this process will only work if you keep your filters relatively clean. An extremely greasy filter will not end up looking like new once you put it in the dishwasher. To clean that, you will have to use any one of the methods mentioned above.

Important note

You might want to speed up the drying process by using a blow dryer or something of that sort. Well, since the mesh is metallic, you shouldn’t bring anything electrical near it since that might lead to an unfortunate accident.

Instead, let the meshes dry organically. Give it time to dry out completely, because re-attaching a wet filter can create problems in your chimney later.

What if I don’t clean my chimney filters ever?

Well, that can put your life in potential danger. It’s not just about cleanliness- a dirty filter eats electricity like a ravenous pigeon, so your electric bills will be way higher than usual.

More importantly, a dirty hood is unhealthy and can cause fires in your home.

Health hazards? What health hazards?

If your filter is dirty, it is a breeding place for bacteria. Because it runs for long stretches, the filter stays warm, and the along with the dirt and oil trapped inside, the filters become the perfect breeding ground for pathogens and bacteria.

Plus, the accumulated grease may start to rot and may emit an unpleasant odor in the kitchen. That’s not desirable in a place where you prepare your meals.

Now think about this- your filters are the closest to the food you cook. The airborne bacteria can settle on your food and make you very, very sick.

So now it’s up to you- would you rather take an hour or two leaning your filters every week, or run the risk of contracting dangerous diseases?

Yeah, I get that. But how is it a fire hazard?

Of course, it is a fire hazard. In fact, it’s an accident waiting to happen. All that oil and grease right above an open flame is a call for danger.

In fact, sometimes flames have gotten so out of hand that they have caused the hood of the chimney to burst into flames as well.

Which brings us to our next suggestion- always clean around the filters as well.

When the oil from your cooking rises, not all of it passes through the filters. Some of it is deposited as residue on the hoods of the filter.

To get rid of that junk, just spray some degreaser on a napkin and wipe it down nicely. Check the bottle before spraying, because if it is a concentrated degreaser, you will need to dilute it with water before use.

Conclusion

This entire article is the answer to your pertinent question- “how to clean a chimney at Home?”

Throughout this article, we have strived to let you know how important it is to clean your chimney for a lot of hygienic, safety and practical reasons. Instead of doing away with your current chimney once it starts malfunctioning; consider giving it a good cleaning. It might start working fine again.

Also, unclean chimneys are the breeding grounds for diseases and bacteria. Nobody wants dirt sitting right atop their food.

Cleaning a chimney can be time-consuming if you aren’t aware of how you should go about it. In this article, we have taken special care to explain the entire process- from detaching the filters to drying them, before fitting them back in again.

Cleaning a chimney is inexpensive. You don’t need any expensive cleaners- simple ingredients in your kitchen will get your chimney looking as good as new.

Before selecting a cleaning process, check what kind of filter you have, because not every method works for different cleaners.

The home remedies mentioned in the article are a hundred percent effective. Also, they are super easy to do so that you won’t be confused in any way. Each home remedy has been listed in full detail- complete with the things you will need and the process you’ll have to follow.

Baking soda gives the best results. Both the methods are easy to do, require no more than an hour or two, and give fantastic results.

Once again, if you are using caustic soda, remember to wear your goggles, protective clothing, and gloves. The element is extremely corrosive, and even its fumes are toxic. So be careful while you are cleaning your filter in this method.

You should also be careful while using ammonia or baking soda because the solutions are slightly acidic and can irritate your skin.

Armed with this information, you can clean the chimney in your kitchen without any real effort at all. Remember that for extremely greasy filters, you may have to use more than one method. Patience is key here, so don’t lose your calm. You will get the results you want after the second try.

How to clean a kitchen chimney in no time (with 7 home remedies)
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