Remove Tough Grease Stains From Your Range Hood With This Unexpected Pantry Ingredient

No matter how clean you try to keep your kitchen when you're cooking, there are always unavoidable messes. One common and often inevitable mess occurs when grease splashes up on your stove's range hood when frying. Believe it or not, the very thing that caused the mess can be the same thing that you can use to make it go away. You can use vegetable oil to remove grease stains and clean your kitchen hood.

It's no surprise that this area in your kitchen needs a deep clean now and then. After all, your range hood bears the brunt of every meal cooked on the stovetop. Over time, it will succumb to the greasy onslaught, leaving behind a bevy of splattered stains and caked-on grime. That grimy and oily sludge seems like it won't ever go away. Often your first impulse may be to just wash it with soap and water and a good sponge, but all that really does is move the grime around. If you reach for a wire brush or steel wool, you can leave unsightly and permanent scratches on your range hood. To remove it for good, you need to fight fire with fire.

How cooking oil works against grease on your range hood

When it comes to cleaning a greasy range hood, harsh chemicals can be effective but also abrasive and leave behind residue. Yet vegetable oil lends a gentler and more effective approach. Range hood grease is a combination of fats and oils mixed with everyday dust that clings stubbornly to surfaces and forms lasting grime. However, the fatty acids in vegetable oil coax the grease to loosen its grip on the stuck-on grime. It then creates an overlay of sorts around the grease to help remove it from the range hood surface. This gentle approach leaves your range hood gleaming without the harsh side effects.

To begin, you'll need a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel and vegetable or olive oil. Add a few drops of oil and get started by massaging the greasy stains in a circular motion. Make sure to rub the range hood in the same direction as the grain in the stuck-on grease. For stubborn spots, apply a couple of more drops of oil directly onto the cloth and repeat. For extra protection, buff the surface with a dry cloth to bring out the shine.

Ways to prevent grimy build-up on your range hood

The best course of action is to prevent grease and grime from building up in the first place. Cleaning up your oven and the area around it after using it is one of the best ways to clean your kitchen. After each cooking session, take a minute while everything's cooling to wipe down the hood with a damp cloth. This quick swipe catches splatters before they harden, necessitating less frequent deep cleans. For tougher stains, dampen your cloth with soapy water and work with the grain of the surface. No need for scrubbing or abrasives — gentle pressure is enough.

Remember to change the filters regularly, which is also a good way to make your range hood last. These grease magnets collect the bulk of the mess and can sometimes be cleaned with a soak in hot, soapy water or a run through the dishwasher, but check the manual first.

Some of the preventative measures start when you're cooking. You can also consider lighter cooking methods when possible. Steaming, poaching, and even simmering produce less mess than deep-frying or stir-fries, giving your hood a break. You can also invest in a grease-catcher for your pans — a splatter screen uses a fine metal mesh to catch any flying oil before it has a chance to mar your countertop or range hood.