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How to Care for a Custom Range Hood

June 08, 2023 7 min read

Custom range hoods are often stylish kitchen appliances with the crucial task of maintaining the air quality in the kitchen. It is easy to overlook cleaning range hoods, although they are often the first defense against dangerous particles in the kitchen air.

Custom range hoods are more challenging to clean than standard stainless steel hoods, which can be wiped or dusted and are dishwasher friendly. Most custom range hoods' internal and exterior parts require different cleaning instructions and tools.

So how do you care for your custom range hood? Well, this article covers all the nitty-gritty of how to clean one and the tools required, coupled with several maintenance tips.

Let's dive in

How To Clean the Exterior Hood

Custom range hoods are made with various materials that have different exterior finishes. The list is endless, from wood with wax and polished finishes to metals with painted surfaces. We will divide the exterior cleaning section into how to clean waxed, sprayed/painted, and polished finishes

The required tools and materials needed to help clean your range hoods are:

            Tools                                                             Materials:

Gloves                                                            Baking Soda

Dust brush (with soft bristles)                       Hot boiling water

Scrubbing brush or sponge                            Vinegar solution (mixed with olive oil)

Multiple kitchen towels (non-abrasive)           Detergents/Soap

Microfiber cloth                                               Wax/ Lacquer

Paper towels                                                  Degreaser

Flashlight                                                       Cleaning solution/ Soapy water

Tongs                                                             Acetone

 How to clean wax or oil finishes

How to clean wax or oil finishes

Wax is a nice finish, especially on wood, as it protects from elements and scratches. To clean a waxed or oiled surface:

  1. Dust the external surface with your dust cloth.
  2. Dampen the cloth with soapy water and clean marks or stains.
  3. Allow the surface to dry.
  4. Apply a fresh coat of spray-on wax on any scratched or frayed area
  5. Buff with a dry lint-free cloth and allow the wax to dry.

How to clean sprayed or painted finishes

Custom range hoods most common exterior finish is sprayed or painted because they require minor maintenance. To clean a sprayed or painted exterior:

  1. Dust the fume hood with your dust brush to remove all debris and contaminants.
  2. Use the scrubbing brush or sponge to wash the surface.
  3. Apply a cleaning solution to the surface.
  4. Clean the surface with a kitchen towel, and ensure the solution does not dry on the fume hood.
  5. Always clean from the bottom of the hood upwards.
  6. Rinse the surface with soapy water and clean again.

Ammoniated cleaning solutions soften water-based paints and make them more susceptible to damage, so avoid them.

How to clean polished finishes

When cleaning a polished surface, the goal is to let it regain its natural luster and shine. To accomplish that on the exterior of your custom range hood, you will have to follow these steps:

  1. Wipe down the surface of the range hood to remove any dust or particles.
  2. Apply the vinegar solution to a dust cloth and start rubbing the hood's exterior.
  3. Ensure you spread the vinegar solution evenly over the polished exterior surface.
  4. Wipe down any excess solution.
  5. Allow it to settle and dry.
  6. Buff with a dry kitchen cloth.

How to Care for The Interior of a Custom Range Hood

The interior of a custom range hood has all the electrical and mechanical components that enable it to clear the kitchen air. These parts are hidden from view and often require loosening some screws to access them. Before cleaning the inside, the range hood should always be turned off and unplugged from the power source.

For optimal range hood performance, these components must be frequently cleaned and maintained, as shown below:


  • Dish soap or degreaser
  • Warm water
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Paper towel
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Lint-free rag
  • Baking soda or vinegar
  • Duct cleaning brush or vacuum with long hose attachment
  • Ductwork cleaning solution
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Dust mask
  • Screwdriver

How to clean the filters

How you take care of your range hood filter will depend greatly on what kind of filter it is. Follow the procedure below for a mesh or stainless steel baffle filter.

Step-by-step process:

  1. Turn off the range hood and disconnect the power source.
  2. Remove the filters from the hood. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific filter removal steps.
  3. Soak the filters in warm water mixed with dish soap or degreaser for 10-15 minutes. Add a tablespoon of baking soda or vinegar to the warm water for more stubborn grease buildup.
  4. Using a scrub brush or sponge, gently scrub the filters to remove any remaining grease or dirt.
  5. Rinse the filters with warm water to remove any soap or cleaning solution.
  6. Let the filters dry completely before reinstalling them into the hood. You can use a towel or rag to dry them off.

How to clean the range hood insert (blowers, lighting, and motors)

​The range hood insert is a crucial component of any custom range hood, comprising the blowers, lighting, and motors. This part of the range hood should not be sprayed with any liquid cleaning solution.

Step-by-step process:

  1. Turn off the range hood and disconnect the power source.
  2. Remove the filters and any removable parts from the range hood insert. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific removal steps.
  3. Using a scrub brush or sponge, gently scrub the range hood insert to remove grease or dirt. If the buildup is stubborn, mix dish soap or degreaser with warm water and use the solution to clean the insert. Add a tablespoon of baking soda or vinegar to the solution for more stubborn buildup.
  4. Wipe down the insert with a clean towel or rag to remove any soap or cleaning solution.
  5. Clean any lighting fixtures with a soft damp cloth. Avoid using too much water or liquid, which can damage the electrical components.
  6. Let the range hood insert dry entirely before reassembling any removable parts and filters.

Cleaning the ductwork

Cleaning the ductwork is an essential part of maintaining a custom range hood. Over time, the ductwork can accumulate grease, dust, and other debris that can affect the range hood's performance and even pose a fire hazard.

Step-by-step process:

  1. Turn off the range hood and disconnect the power source.
  2. Locate the ductwork that connects the range hood to the exterior vent. The ductwork may be visible in the attic, basement, or crawlspace.
  3. Use a screwdriver to disconnect the ductwork from the range hood and the exterior vent. Be sure to support the ductwork to prevent it from falling or disconnecting completely.
  4. Wear gloves, protective eyewear, and a dust mask to protect yourself from dust and debris.
  5. Use a duct cleaning brush or vacuum with a long hose attachment to clean the inside of the ductwork.
  6. Apply ductwork cleaning solution as needed to remove stubborn buildup.
  7. Reconnect the ductwork to the range hood and exterior vent.
  8. Turn on the range hood and test the airflow to ensure it functions correctly.

Why Proper Care of Custom Range Hoods is Important

Your custom range hood requires proper care and maintenance. Neglecting to care for your range hood can lead to decreased efficiency, increased risk of damage or malfunction, and expensive repairs. Therefore, it is essential to understand the importance of proper care for your range hood. Some of the notable ones are:

  1. Extended lifespan
    Regular maintenance of a custom range hood helps to extend its lifespan. The accumulation of grease, dirt, and dust on the surface of the range hood can cause corrosion, leading to the deterioration of the range hood's quality over time. You can prevent this from happening with proper care and keep your range hood in good condition for longer.
  2. Efficient venting
    By cleaning the filters and wiping down the exterior regularly, you can prevent the accumulation of grease and dust, which can clog the filters and reduce the airflow. A blocked range hood will have restricted airflow and can't efficiently capture smoke, grease, and cooking odors. This will allow the pollutants to remain in the kitchen and spread to other areas of your home.
  3. Prevents costly repairs
    A custom range hood that is not adequately maintained can be prone to damage and malfunction. This can result in costly repairs or even replacement. Proper care and regular maintenance can prevent corrosion, rust, and other damage that can lead to expensive repairs or replacement and ensure that it functions correctly.
  4. Reduced fire risk
    Custom range hoods tend to accumulate grease and oil in their filters, grease traps, and ductwork. Accumulated grease and oily particles can start a fire and damage the internal components, especially with an oven hood or custom hoods over gas stoves. Regular cleaning of the ductwork can help prevent the buildup of these impurities, reducing the risk of fire and ensuring that the range hood functions correctly.

Tips for regular maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your custom range hood in good working condition and longevity. Here are some tips for regular maintenance of your range hood:

  1. Clean the exterior hood and filters regularly: The exterior hood and filters collect a lot of grease and dirt, affecting the range hood's performance. Regular hood cleaning with warm soapy water or a degreaser solution can prevent odd and unnatural patina forming and improve airflow.
  2. Clean the range hood insert (blowers, lighting, and motors): The range hood insert can accumulate grease and dust, affecting the fan's performance and causing motor failure. Regular cleaning of the blower wheel, fan blades, lighting fixtures, and motors with a damp cloth or a mild cleaning solution can keep the range hood in good condition.
  3. Clean the ductwork: The ductwork can accumulate grease, dust, and other debris, which can reduce the range hood's performance and pose a fire hazard. Regular cleaning with a duct cleaning brush or vacuum with a long hose attachment can prevent buildup and improve airflow.
  4. Replace the filters: The range hood filters collect grease and other particles, which can affect the range hood's performance and pose a fire hazard. Replace the filters every six months to 1 year, depending on usage.
  5. Check for damage and leaks: Regularly inspect the range hood and ductwork for any signs of damage or leaks. Replace or repair any damaged parts immediately to prevent further damage or potential fire hazards.
  6. Hire a professional for maintenance and repairs: While the homeowner can do some maintenance tasks, hiring a professional for more complex tasks or repairs is always best. A professional can ensure that the range hood is in good working condition and identify any potential issues that must be addressed.

Final Thoughts

Providing adequate maintenance and care for your custom range hood will increase its durability and ensure it works optimally. Ensure you always check the owner's manual for specific cleaning and maintenance recommendations for your custom range hood. A poorly maintained range hood is a fire and health hazard, and a regular maintenance schedule is advisable.