How to Change and When to Clean the Filters of an Extractor Hood

Jul 29, 2023, 14:52pm

Cooker hood filters often include:

  • a grease filter or metal filter, which filters the steam and traps the grease present in the air sucked in;
  • an internal filter, which is superimposed on the first to finish filtering grease residues and absorbing odors.

There are several kinds of internal filters: the carbon filter and the foam filter are the best known.

The charcoal filter is mandatory for exhaust hoods by recycling, that is to say when the filtered air returns to the room where the hood is located. If you have an extractor hood or an external exhaust hood, that is to say the air is expelled outside, the carbon filter is recommended even if it is not mandatory. Ensuring the maintenance of the filters allows you to optimize the capacities of your hood.

Clean or change the filters in your extractor hood if:

  • the hood no longer sucks;
  • the hood filters are dirty (visual deposits, oily marks);
  • the extractor hood gives off a bad smell;
  • the hood motor makes noise.

The filters of an extractor hood are located on the lower part of the hood, facing the cooking space.

  • The grease filter rests on the hood fixing grid.
  • The filter or filters complementary to the grease filter, such as the charcoal filter or the foam filter, rest on the grease filter and are invisible from the outside.

The extractor hood, or range hood, is an invaluable asset in the kitchen, removing airborne grease, combustion products, fumes, smoke, heat, and steam from the air by evacuation and filtration. At the heart of this process are the extractor hood filters. To ensure that your range hood continues to function efficiently, it’s crucial to clean and, when necessary, replace these filters. This article will guide you through the process and timing of these essential tasks.

How to Change and When to Clean the Filters of an Extractor Hood

Types of Extractor Hood Filters

There are two main types of filters in an extractor hood: grease filters and charcoal filters.

  1. Grease Filters: These are present in all extractor hoods, capturing grease particles as the air is sucked through. They can be made from metal (aluminum or stainless steel) or fleece.
  2. Charcoal Filters: These are only used in recirculating extractor hoods. They absorb odors and smoke that can’t be vented outside. Unlike grease filters, charcoal filters cannot be cleaned and must be replaced periodically.

When and How to Clean Grease Filters

Over time, grease filters become saturated with fats. If not cleaned regularly, the extractor hood’s efficiency is reduced, and the risk of fire increases.

When: As a general rule, grease filters should be cleaned once a month. However, if you cook frequently, you may need to clean them more often.

How: Here’s how to clean metal and fleece grease filters:

Metal Filters:

  • Remove the filter from the hood. Most filters will slide or pop out of the underside of the hood. Check your appliance’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Soak the filter in a basin of hot water with a small amount of dish soap or baking soda. Allow it to soak for 10-15 minutes.
  • Scrub gently with a non-abrasive brush, then rinse thoroughly with hot water. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • Dry the filter completely before placing it back in the hood.

Fleece Filters:

  • Fleece filters are disposable and should be replaced rather than cleaned. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with a new one.

How to Change and When to Clean the Filters of an Extractor Hood

When and How to Change Charcoal Filters

Charcoal filters absorb odors that the grease filter can’t remove. Over time, they become saturated and must be replaced.

When: On average, charcoal filters should be replaced every 3-6 months, depending on the frequency of cooking and the type of foods being cooked.


  • Locate the charcoal filter. It is typically round and housed behind the grease filter.
  • Remove the old filter. Usually, it involves turning the filter counterclockwise until it releases.
  • Replace it with a new one. Secure the new filter by turning it clockwise until it clicks into place.

In conclusion, maintaining the filters in your extractor hood is a simple task that can greatly enhance the appliance’s effectiveness and safety. Regular cleaning of grease filters and timely replacement of charcoal filters will ensure your extractor hood continues to function at its best. Always remember to consult your appliance’s manual for specific instructions related to your model.