House Hacking Project: Clean your Range Vent
As the title says: what is that smell??? After using some olive oil to cook with earlier in the week, an odor slowly built up and was noticeable in a short time. At first I wiped down the stove top, and cleaned the granite around it. Relief! A few hours went by, and it was as if nothing changed. The cleaning regimine spread steadily outwards, until the whole kitchen was cleaned again. But was it?
Everything was cleaned, except for the range hood. Upon pulling the screens down, it was evident that the odor was coming from them. 🙁
Into the dishwasher the filters go! Dirty side down, we have heard that the dishwasher is a great way to clean these, so it is worth a shot. This is one household chore that is easily overlooked.
We set the dishwasher for the full monty: soak, hi temp wash, hi temp rinse and dry.
Lysol is an amazing odor killer. We want to spray inside the fan housing, and also have the fans suck vapors into the exhaust system. A few minutes spraying and wiping again…
The hood in question, with the vents removed. There are no noticeable droplets inside, buy a film of oil is present. Time to get rid of that.
The dishwasher method was disappointing to say the least. Gross! It appears that the oil didn’t budge at all. To the backyard with the BBQ cleaner…
A 30 minute soak after a thorough scrub in the sink. Not much happened in this stage either :/ The next step is high temperature pressure washing, which will require a favor to be called in.
Steam cleaning with a pressure washer finally worked, after four times soaking in my favorite cleaner. With the water temperature at 195F and pressure in the 1500 psi range, I thought cutting through this oil would be a bit quicker. I am astounded by the ability of this oil vapor to adhere to this mesh. But what if you can’t access a pressure washer?
Fortunately, replacement screens are available. The manufacturer labeled on the screen led me to a website for a local company, but then led to the main seller’s site. So much for completing a quick project in the kitchen. The effort is well worth it, having cleaned and sterilized vents represents both health and fire safety issues in one fell swoop.