How to Clean Range Hood Duct

Range hoods play an important role in expelling smoke and greasy air, forming on its inside surfaces over time. It can feel heavy, requiring you to clean it to remove excessive grime for improved airflow. The good thing is that you can do it yourself since cleaning isn’t that challenging.

However, extensive range hoods that go all the way to the roof’s chimney require a lot of work to get them clean. Therefore, if you understand how to clean range hood duct, be ready for a busy and fun day cleaning by preparing extra tools, including ladders. Here’s how you can wash and remove dirt to get your range hood clean.

Tools and Materials You Require For Cleaning Your Range Hood

  • Screwdriver drill
  • Degreasing soap or detergent
  • Vinegar solution
  • Gloves
  • Hot water
  • Scrubbing material such as dishcloth or kitchen towel
  • A large basin

Cleaning Your Range Hood Duct

A home-scale range hood duct is usually smaller than commercial ducts that need large-scale cleaning by companies. However, there still are homes with bigger range hood ducts that extend to the chimney in the roof. This article will cover both roof and wall ducts and how you can clean both of them.

Step By Step Process on How to Clean Range Hood Duct

Step 1: Determine the amount of cleaning effort

Before deciding on cleaning your range hood duct, check if it’s necessary in the first place. A little grime or grease is okay, and it doesn’t have to take your time cleaning since it won’t affect the duct’s functioning. However, if the duct feels heavy with dirt, then prepare to tidy it up.

Only heavy dirt warrants cleaning, so don’t rush into preparing for it if you don’t know what’s underneath the duct. You can get clues about the amount of dirt present in your range hood duct by calculating the amount of time that has passed since the last cleaning. Or, the amounts of cooking you’ve been doing lately. If your cooking has been smoky over long periods with large amounts of greasy air, then it could be about the right time to schedule a cleaning.

Step 2: Prepare for the cleaning

baking soda

Preparations involve getting the right equipment and material for the cleaning. However, be sure to read through the directions and specifications your range hood manufacture suggests. Different companies use different materials and finishing that can’t be compatible with some cleaning procedures; therefore, be mindful of that.

The cleaning shouldn’t be time-consuming or hard, so your preparations should be light unless you’re dealing with ducts extending to the chimney in the roof. If so, then make detailed preparations with a sufficient amount of degreasing soaps, vinegar, hot water, and detergents.

When you’re ready for the cleaning, proceed to remove the range hood duct. For extensive vents, it can be a bit challenging and time-consuming.

Step 3: Remove the casing covering the duct

The casing covering the duct provides a protective shield and also hides it from view. It’s usually bolted or fastened to the wall by screws, depending on the model. Once you screw the nuts off, remove it by pulling it out to expose the duct.

The casing could also be full of grease or dirt and may require separate cleaning. Use the screwdriver to drive out the screws and place them in a safe place.

Step 4: Remove the duct system

how to clean range hood fan

If your duct system expels air through the wall, be sure to remove the end coming out on the outside. It’s usually fastened to the wall and is water-tight, so use the screwdriver to remove it. take out the screws attaching the duct to the vent opening of the range hood, and also, don’t forget to separate it from the adapter if your range hood uses one.

For ducts extending to the chimney on the roof, be sure to reach and remove them before pulling them for cleaning. Again, it can be challenging to remove them if you don’t understand how to do it alone, so involve a friend to lend you a hand.

Step 5: Soak in soapy water

pouring boiling water

Get a large dishwashing basin and mix hot boiling water and degreasing soap. Soak the duct in soapy water for about 15 to 20 minutes to remove dirt and loosen grime. The grime can also affect the soaking time since thicker and grimier surfaces take a long time to remove.

If possible, get another basin with hot soapy water and soak for two to three minutes before you begin scrubbing. Different techniques define how to clean range hood duct and the type of range hood duct plays an important role. Flexible and semi-rigid ones are easy to bend and simple to clean, while rigid ducts aren’t flexible and need a combination of skill and effort to clean.

Step 6: Scrub using a soft bristle brush

cleaning brush

Once the duct soaks, cleaning it by scrubbing it is easy. Start by scrubbing the inside, which is usually grimed and full of soot. Flexible ducts usually stretch, and cleaning should be simple. However, rigid ducts need a fitting brush to fit in the inside space.

Make back and forth movements while applying enough pressure to remove excessive grime and dirt using the soft bristle brush. Be wary of the hot water since it might burn you, so try cleaning when the temperature is okay on your skin. The diameter should be enough in both types of ducts to allow you to clean.

After you’re done scrubbing, rinse in clean, fresh water and allow the water to fall off. Then, spray vinegar on the duct and the casing to remove any traces of grime that might still be sticking around. Vinegar can break the binding forces in grime, so it’s a suitable option to completely wipe it off the surface.

Step 7: Leave the duct out to dry

cleaning process of range hood filter

Leave the duct and the casing to dry out in the sun. You can quickly dry by wiping excess moisture with soft dishcloths or microfiber cloths whose material doesn’t scratch the surface. Ensure that the duct completely dries off before you re-attach it back since wetness can hide bacteria when combined with grime.

It only takes a few minutes until it’s ready for reattachment. Once it’s dry, reassemble it back.

Step 8: Reassemble and fasten the chimney

Get a ladder or something strong you can step on if the range vent hole is too high. Get your screws and a screw driver drill and prepare to install the duct. Start by attaching the duct to the vent hole on the range hood and fastening the screws to hold it firm.

Push the other end through the other opening, go outside to the other side of the wall, and finish the duct installation. Attach the duct head to the duct and the wall before fastening the screws to hold it firm. Ensure that it’s water-tight and stable.

Go back inside to complete the installation by fixing the ducts covering. Be mindful of scratches that might scar the covering’s fine finishing if it extends by sliding into each other. To prevent scratching, cover it with paper that you can tape to stick it on before sliding the duct to open it.

Attach the duct to both ends, the range hood and ceiling, before screwing it to hold it firm. For ducts that extend to the chimney, you might need an extra hand to help you with the installation. The installation process is the same. The difference is that with chimney ducts, you have to get to the roof to attach the other end that releases hot greasy air to the outside.

Importance of Cleaning Your Range Hood Duct

how to clean range hood

While cleaning a range hood duct can be tiring, you must do it to improve its working. Since it takes out smoke and greasy air to the outside, it can be build up grease and soot over time which requires cleaning. However, do the cleaning if it feels necessary.

If it reaches a point that your range hood duct is heavy with grime, it becomes challenging to maintain clean air since its working ability reduces. Range hoods have a wide diameter which is an advantage to never clog even after long periods without cleaning. However, you’ll notice the air growing hotter and the air denser. It should be a sign that your range hood duct needs cleaning.

Here are the benefits of cleaning your range hood duct.

Maintaining comfortable kitchen temperatures

family kitchen

If you know how to clean range hood duct, it’ll improve its ability to expel hot air to the outside. It’s therefore important in maintaining comfortable temperatures in the kitchen and nearby rooms. Dirty and greasy range hood ducts have lower efficiency in removing hot and greasy air.

Improves air quality in the house

Since a clean range hood duct has higher efficiency in removing hot and greasy air, it helps improve the kitchen’s air quality. Also, because hot air moves fast, it can pollute nearby rooms, thus lowering the house’s air quality. It can be challenging to breathe if you lack air conditioning in place.

Minimizes running costs

How to Clean Range Hood Duct

Clean ducts have a better chance of removing polluted air to the outside due to improved airflow. Dirt and grime stop good airflow, making it challenging for the range hood to remove air. Reduced efficiency is forcing greasy air out increases power consumption and increases running costs.

To minimize the costs, cleaning the ducts to improve airflow can be worth it.

Prevents health issues

How to Clean Range Hood Duct

Cleaning your range hood duct improves efficiency in removing hot and contaminated air. This thorough cleaning removes particulates, including dust and smoke that can cause asthmas and allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do range hoods need cleaning?

Range hoods take long before they need cleaning again, and it’s not necessary to do it when there’s no excessive grime that’s build-up. Ideally, you can arrange for duct cleaning at least once every year. However, it also depends on your cooking and if you do it more often and produce excessive greasy air, clean it every six months.

How do you clean the outside hood of a duct?

Hot water and degreasing soap are enough to clean the outside of a range hood duct. Get a soft microfiber cloth, dip it in soapy water and wipe in small circular movements. If the surface is greasy, spray some vinegar and wipe out the grimy substances.

Does vinegar dissolve grease?

Vinegar can weaken forces holding grease particles, which makes it weak. It’s a good substitute for soap and hot water if they don’t fit well to the task.

How do you stop range hood duct condensation?

Use insulated ducting to reduce condensation in the range hood. Insulation cuts the contact with warm air around the duct from coming into contact with the cool vents, preventing condensation.

What type of range hood duct is easy to clean?

Flexible range hood ducts are stretchable and are easy to clean. You can move through their entire length when you un-stretch them, thus making them more accessible. Rigid range hood ducts are challenging to clean but don’t require frequent tidying up as long as you keep your range hood filters clean.


Cleaning your range hood duct improves its working ability to remove polluted air and maintain clean air in the kitchen. The procedure for cleaning range hood ducts is simple and only requires a little effort and a little of your time. However, do it only when you feel it’s necessary to improve how your range hood works.

Maintaining a clean range hood has many advantages. They include improved indoor air quality, the ability to maintain kitchen temperatures, and minimizing your range hood’s running costs.

It would help if you also kept your range hood filter clean and in good condition so that they work at their best. Clean range hood filters usually do all the cleaning work and expose your range hood duct to less greasy air, which reduces their cleaning frequency. We hope this step-by-step procedure on how to clean range hood duct will be helpful for you.

Leave a Comment