Stainless steel cookware complements a modern kitchen, giving it a high-end look. However, its attractive appearance requires some maintenance.
With grease, food, smoke, and fingers coming into contact with it regularly, a stainless-steel cooker hood can soon become covered in unsightly marks.
Cleaning stainless steel isn’t quite so simple as grabbing your all-purpose cleaner and getting to work. This type of metal needs to be cleaned with specific products and techniques to avoid damaging its surface.
But don’t worry, we’re here to provide all the information you need! In this article, we outline how to clean a stainless steel cooker hood, looking at which products to use, which to avoid and how to restore it to its natural sheen.
Products to Use and Which to Avoid
When cleaning a stainless steel cooker hood, you can’t just pick up any old cleaner and start scrubbing, there are some products that are better for this material and some to completely stay away from.
The worst products for stainless steel
Bleach or bleach-based products
Never apply bleach to your stainless-steel appliances as you may end up with brown marks. These aren’t stains, but corrosion that happens because bleach attacks the metals in the stainless steel.
It’s not all bad news though, if you have bleached your stainless-steel cookware, it can be saved. But it’s best to avoid it in the first place!
Abrasive cleaning tools
Just as important: never use an abrasive scrubber, such as metal scouring pads or brushes with metal bristles, to clean stainless steel. These can cause small scratches on the surface and even leave behind metallic fibres that can rust.
The best products for stainless steel
Look online and you’ll find tonnes of options for cleaning products that have been specially formulated to clean stainless steel. These products are a good bet because they shouldn’t contain any ingredients that could damage a stainless-steel surface.
Play it safe
You can actually use a product that’s already in your kitchen to clean stainless steel: dish soap. It’s gentle enough to not erode or mark stainless steel.
Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are also products you can use which you may already have on hand. You can either dilute one of the two with water or mix them together for more stubborn stains.
Sponges, cloths, and toothbrushes
You can use a soft sponge-like the one you use to clean your dishes, or you can use a soft rag or microfibre cloth. For the interior of the hood, you can use a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies.
How to Clean Your Stainless-Steel Cooker Hood
Now you know which products to arm yourself with, you can get down to the actual cleaning. The inside and outside of the cooker hood will require different products and techniques.
Cleaning the outside of the hood
Around the outside of your stainless-steel cooker hood, you’ll be looking at stains such as grease from spitting frying pans, or fingerprints from touching the control buttons.
- Grab your chosen cleaning product and apply it directly to the greasy stains;
- Remove the grease using a soft sponge by wiping it in the direction of the grain. That means wiping in a linear motion, not circles;
- Go back in with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess product and prevent a streaky residue;
- If you are looking for a super-shiny finish you can apply a clear oil such as mineral, baby, or olive oil to the surface. However, some people find that this ends up attracting more fingerprints over time.
Cleaning the inside of the hood
As well as keeping the outside of your cooker hood clean and shiny, the inside needs some care too. The interior of the cooker hood can get grimy quickly since it’s extracting smoke and getting splashed with grease.
There are several different parts inside a cooker hood, but the first thing you should do when cleaning the interior turns the oven off for safety reasons.
The next step will be to either refer to the instruction manual or check online for specific instructions for your cooker as you don’t want to damage it.
Some cookers are fitted with removable mesh filters which keep grease out of the inner workings of the cooker. The grease can build up and needs to be cleaned regularly. Simply remove the filters and wash them in hot water using dish soap and a sponge.
For more stubborn stains, you can try a toothbrush or it may be possible to put the filters in the dishwasher. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before doing so.
Alternatively, some overhead cooker hoods are fitter with a paper filter to trap grease. These do not need to be cleaned but do need to be replaced regularly.
Carbon or charcoal filters
These are found in cookers that don’t have outdoor ventilation and they are there to neutralise odours. They also can’t be cleaned and will need to be replaced if you think they are no longer working correctly.
The inside of the cooker hood
You don’t need to dismantle the whole cooker hood to clean it but you can give the interior a wipe down when you remove the grease filters. Use dish soap and a soft brush to remove any grime and then wipe the excess off with a clean, dry cloth.
You may also find that this area can become dusty. In this case, wipe it down with a dry microfibre cloth without any product on it.
Keeping Stainless-Steel Clean
One of the best ways to keep your stainless-steel cooker hood clean is to not let it get too dirty, to begin with.
This may seem impossible given that you have food and hot oil near it, but there are a few tips that can help you reduce greasy smears.
- Get a frying pan with a lid. Much of the grease on your cooker hood probably comes from oil that escapes your frying pan. You can keep it contained by putting a lid on the pan when frying your food.
- Wash your hands before touching the hood. It can be tempting to just switch it all off after cooking but if you have some stray dirt or grease on your fingers, it will end up marking the stainless steel.
- Clean regularly. It’s better to tackle small spots rather than big, greasy stains so be sure to give your cooker a wipe down at least once a week with a microfibre cloth.
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