When I recently shared how I easily clean the glass in my oven door, I asked all of you what were some other problem cleaning areas in your kitchens. While I certainly received a variety of questions and comments, one in particular kept coming up, again and again. A large number of you wanted to know how to easily and effectively clean those pesky vent screens in your range hood.
Range hoods are different from kitchen to kitchen, without a doubt, but I do think that most of them have those mesh vent screens in common. Whether you have a plain range hood or your vent system is, like mine, in the bottom of your microwave, if it has removable mesh screens, the cleaning process is the same. And even better? It’s super simple!
The bottom of my over-the-range microwave has a light in the center and a vent covered by a mesh screen on both front corners. The screens have a small loop “handle” at the front which is used to slide them out of the vent track. I wish I had thought of this post BEFORE I had cleaned mine and taken some “before” pictures, so you could have seen the brown, greasy sludge that builds up in them. My point is, don’t be discouraged if you’ve never cleaned them or they seem to be beyond hope. This method is a sure cure for your vent screen blues and they’ll be shiny and doing their job, again, in no time.
Once I remove the range hood vent screens, I fill a dish pan or large baking pan, (something big enough to lay the screens flat in) with half a gallon of really hot water. Then I dissolve 2 Tablespoons of dishwasher detergent in the water. I’m not talking about the liquid that you use to hand-wash dishes. I buy the least expensive store brand dishwasher detergent that Walmart offers. It has always done a fabulous, spot-free job on our dishes and costs less than $3 a box. That is the same detergent I use for this job.
Dishwasher detergent is designed to break down grease and loosening and lifting off stains and stuck on food. That makes it perfect for this job. Submerge your vent screens into the hot, soapy water and allow them to sit and soak for about 30 minutes. You should be able to lift them out of the solution, hold them under hot running water and give them a good rinse, to see glimmering, squeaky clean, grease-free screens. It’s that easy! Slide them back into place and you’re ready to fry up a greasy storm! 🙂 Plus, you can use the same solution to clean the underside of your microwave or range-hood, by soaking a wash cloth in it, wringing out the cloth and wiping them down. Use that inexpensive grease-cutter to its maximum potential!