How to Clean a Restaurant Grease Filter

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Clean a Restaurant Grease Filter
Grease filters over open flame indoor grills accumulate the most grease. (hamburgers image by berean from

Cleaning grease filters on a regular basis prevents grease fires and allows the restaurant's range hood to evacuate smoke more efficiently. Removable stainless steel grease filters are designed to be quickly washed in a restaurant dishwasher so they are not left to build up thick layers of grease. Grease filters that are not dishwasher-safe will not be damaged when grease is softened with hot steam and wiped away. Run a safe and clean restaurant kitchen by properly cleaning the range hood grease filters.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Range hood instructions or owner's manual (optional)
  • Multi-purpose degreaser
  • Deep stainless steel sink
  • Commercial dishwasher (optional)
  • Plastic dishwasher rack
  • Steam cleaner
  • Kitchen towel

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  1. 1

    Cover your hands with thick rubber gloves before unlatching and sliding the grease filter out of the range hood. Most grease filters are held in place by latching clips that must be moved out of the way.

  2. 2

    Lower the grease filter into a sink full of hot diluted degreaser and allow it to soak for a couple hours or overnight. Dilute the multipurpose degreaser according to the manufacturer's directions on the package.

  3. 3

    Review the owner's manual for the range hood to find out if the filters are dishwasher-safe or must be cleaned more gently with steam. Dishwasher-safe filters may also need a steam cleaning to get them completely clear of grease residue.

  4. 4

    Drain the sink and rinse the filter with cold water. Position the dishwasher-safe filters in the upright position in a plastic dishwashing rack.

  5. 5

    Run the commercial dishwasher through a clean and rinse cycle and remove the grease filters to examine the effectiveness of the cleaning.

  6. 6

    Blast the remaining grease with a powerful jet of hot steam to release it from the filter. Wipe away grease from the filter while it is still hot and moist using a soft cloth.

  7. 7

    Return the cleaned grease filter to the range hood and safely latch it into position.

Tips and warnings

  • The more often you clean grease filters, the faster and easier it will be. As layers of grease are baked onto the filter, they become increasingly difficult to remove with a simple soak and cycle through the dishwasher.
  • Grease that passes the filter into the range hood may accumulate and cause a potential fire hazard. The range hood vents can be steamed and wiped down with a soft cloth in a similar fashion to the filters.

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