How to Care for a Custom Range Hood

June 08, 2023 8 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 like those at  Moderncopper. 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. Test the cleaning solution on a small hidden area to ensure it doesn't damage the finish.
  4. Apply a cleaning solution to the surface.
  5. Clean the surface with a kitchen towel, and ensure the solution does not dry on the fume hood.
  6. Always clean from the bottom of the hood upwards.
  7. 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. You will need a simple vinegar solution for this and can check how to make one here. To regain the shiny look 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. Test the vinegar solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t discolor or damage the surface.
  3. Apply the vinegar solution to a dust cloth and start rubbing the hood's exterior.
  4. Ensure you spread the vinegar solution evenly over the polished exterior surface.
  5. Wipe down any excess solution.
  6. Allow it to settle and dry.
  7. 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:

Materials:

  • 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

Proper care of custom range hoods is important because neglecting to care for your range hood can lead to decreased efficiency. It can lead to an increased risk of damage or malfunction which often will require expensive repairs. Therefore, it is essential to understand the importance of proper care for your range hood. Some of the notable ones are:

  1. Regular maintenance of a custom range hood helps to extend its lifespan. Grease, dirt, and dust can accumulate on the surface of the range hood and this can cause corrosion. This leads to the deterioration of the range hood’s quality over time. You can prevent this from happening with proper care which keeps your range hood in good condition for longer.
  2.  By wiping down the exterior regularly, you can prevent the accumulation of grease and dust. If not cleaned these particles can find their way into the fillers and quickly clog them up. A blocked range hood will have restricted airflow. It can’t efficiently capture smoke, grease, and cooking odors. This will allow the pollutants to remain in the kitchen or spread to other areas of your home.
  3. A custom range hood that is not adequately maintained can be prone to damage and malfunction. This can result in costly repairs or even result in the need to get a replacement hood. Proper care and regular maintenance can prevent rust and other damage which ensures that it functions correctly.
  4. Custom range hoods tend to accumulate grease and oil on their filters, grease traps, and ductwork. Accumulated grease and oily particles can start a fire or even damage the internal components. This is especially true with an oven hood or custom hoods over gas stoves. Regular cleaning of the ductwork can help prevent the buildup of these impurities.

Tips for regular maintenance

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

  1. Clean the exterior hood regularly because it tends to collect a lot of grease and dirt. This affects the range hood’s performance and forms odd colors on your unique custom range hood surface. Regular hood cleaning with warm soapy water or with a degreaser solution can prevent odd and unnatural patina from forming.
  2. Regularly clean the range hood insert and internal parts because they can easily accumulate grease and dust. This includes blowers (fans) and motors. Failure to do this can cause motor failure and reduce performance. Regular cleaning of the blower wheel and fan blade can keep the range hood in good condition. This can be done often with a damp cloth or a mild cleaning solution.
  3. Clean the ductwork because this is where grease, dust, and other debris often collect. if left unattended, this can reduce the range hood’s performance and can pose a fire hazard. Regular cleaning with a duct cleaning brush or a vacuum with a long hose attachment can prevent this buildup.
  4. Replace the filters because they collect grease and other particles and clog up frequently. This can affect the range hood’s performance and is often not a fire hazard. Replace the filters every six months to 1 year based on how you use your range hood.
  5. Regularly inspect the range hood and ductwork for any signs of damage or leaks. Replace or repair any damaged parts immediately. This prevents further damage and saves you larger repair costs down the line.
  6. Hire a professional for major maintenance and repairs because hiring a professional for more complex tasks is always advisable. A professional can ensure that the range hood is in good working condition. They can identify any potential issues that must be addressed that you might have missed.

Final Thoughts

Providing adequate maintenance and care for your custom range hood is very important. A regular maintenance schedule is advisable to streamline the process for you. This will ensure your range hood works optimally and reduce the cost you spend on repairs in the long run. Ensure you always check the owner’s manual for specific cleaning and maintenance recommendations. A poorly maintained range hood is a fire and health hazard.