Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney

A good kitchen chimney will only work as good as it did when you first bought it, with proper maintenance and cleaning. Here are a few fool-proof and easy ways you can clean chimney filters at home.

A kitchen chimney plays a very important role in the kitchen. It helps you get rid of all the excess smoke and steam that comes up in the kitchen. Indian cooking uses a lot of oil and spices which lead to a lot of smoke and odors being released. A good kitchen chimney can keep these unwanted odors out of the kitchen and home.

A dirty, greasy chimney ruins the look of their entire kitchen. It is also extremely unhygienic. This is also unsafe as the grease deposits in the filters could become a fire hazard. A lot of the new kitchen chimneys come with interesting features such as an auto-clean function. However, these do tend to be a little more expensive.

How frequently should a chimney be cleaned?

In most cases, kitchen chimneys do not need very frequent cleaning. However, Indian cooking involves a lot of oil and spices. This leads to faster dirtying of the filters necessitating more frequent cleaning.

It is advisable to clean your filters at least once every month. The frequency also depends on how often you cook and use the chimney. If you cook more than 2 times a day then the chimney would require frequent cleaning. If you cook less often then the cleaning can wait another couple of weeks. The grease build-up makes the filters a fire hazard and so waiting any longer to clean the filter would be a risky task.

 Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney
Chimney Cleaning: Indian cooking involves a lot of oil and spices, which leads to frequent dirtying chimney filter

Easy Ways to Clean Chimney Filters at Home

Almost all chimneys have removable filters. These filters can easily be cleaned right at home with items that you’ll most likely already have.

Chimney Cleaning: Option 1 | With Baking soda, Vinegar and Salt

All this method requires are a few kitchen ingredients and a scrubbing brush or a spare toothbrush. Place the filters in buckets or large vessels along with some hot boiling water. Take care of your hands during this, you do not want to get burnt.

 Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney
Chimney Cleaning: A combination of baking soda+salt+vinegar+hot water can get rid of greasy stains.

To this water, add about 3 tablespoons of baking soda and salt along with about a cup or two full of vinegar. Let the filters sit in the water for about 2-3 hours. After this take the filters out and scrub the deposited grease and stains off with the help of the brush. Rinse the filters off with some more water, dry them with a soft cloth and attach them back in the chimney.

Chimney Cleaning: Option 2 | With Dishwashing Liquid

Quite similar to the previous method, place the filters in a bucket full of hot water. Add some dishwashing liquid to this water before placing the filters in it. Let the filters sit in this liquid for about 2-3 hours. Then, with the help of a scrubbing brush scrub off all the grease and grime. If there are stains that are too tough that won’t come off easily, then you can always add some more dishwashing liquid right on to the stain and scrub it off.

Chimney Cleaning: Option 3 | With Detergent and Water

This could be the simplest and most effective way for you to clean the filters. Place a large-mouthed vessel on the stove, fill it with water and let the filter sit in it. Let the water begin boiling, add a couple of spoons of detergent to it. The heat and the detergent will help you get rid of the tough stains easily. Use a brush to scrub the filters if necessary.

 Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney
Chimney Cleaning: Powdered detergent works very well.

You can even completely avoid the detergent if the stains are not too tough.

Chimney Cleaning: Option 4 | With Caustic Soda

Caustic soda can also help you clean up your chimney filter. Place the filters in an empty tub. Put caustic soda on top of the filters. Pour hot water over the filters. Remember to stay a little away from the tub as the caustic soda will release fumes. Also, remember to handle the caustic soda with gloves since it is a strong chemical. Let the filter soak in the mix for two to three hours. Scrub the filter if needed and rinse it well with water.

Chimney Cleaning: Option 5 | With Paint Thinner

Not everyone would have a bottle of paint thinner at home. But if you do, it could come in handy when you want to clean out your chimney filters. This is a simple method. Just apply paint thinner all over the stains with the help of a brush. Let this sit for an hour or two. Then with a scrubbing brush, begin to scrub the grease off. Add more thinner on tough spots. This method would require you to spend a little bit of your energy but it is effective enough. using a thinner leaves an uncomfortable odor around the house. This option is only advisable if none of the other options are doable for you. Also, make sure kids and those with respiratory issues are not around when thinner is used.

While all the options mentioned above work really well, option number three works the best with minimal effort required from you. All you need to do is place the filter in the vessel and let the heat, water and detergent do their jobs.

Types of Filters

Most of the kitchen chimneys have one of the two types of filter attached in it – a baffle filter or a mesh filter. A mesh filter is made of a multiple layers of stainless steel or aluminum mesh. These filters trap the dirt and grease in the smoke. Over time, the entire filter can get clogged due to grease and dirt build-up. This is why mesh filters need regular cleaning. These filters also tend to be a little more difficult to clean due to the many tiny nooks and corners that need to be reached.

 Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney
Filters in a kitchen chimney trap the dirt and grease in the smoke

A baffle filter has panels with multiple curves fitted in it. These curves make the smoke curve around to move out but the grease and dust will not be able to do the same. All of it gets deposited on these panels. This filter does not need cleaning as often as a mesh filter would but requires cleaning nonetheless.

Most chimneys are fitted with mesh filters. These might be cheaper but the filter can easily get clogged. Even so, the chimneys fitted with mesh or baffle filters are the ones best suited for an Indian kitchen. A charcoal filter fitted chimney works very well but the filter needs to be replaced every six months which can be a cumbersome task, not to mention the cost of these filters would also be an added expense.

Cons of Dirty Chimneys

A dirty chimney makes the entire kitchen look awful. It isn’t just an eyesore but it also is unhygienic and unsafe. The build-up of grease can drip onto the stovetop or into your food. The grease is also a fire hazard. Also the grime and grease can cause clogging of the filters, making the chimney completely ineffective. This ineffectiveness of the chimney can lead to a deposit of grease and dirt around the stove.

How do Auto-Clean Chimneys Work?

Most modern chimneys come with an auto-clean technology that do not require your intervention in cleaning the filters. These are effective and work at the touch of a button. Auto-clean kitchen chimneys are equipped with a non-stick aluminum turbine blowers. When fumes passes through this, due to centrifugal force, oil and grease is forced to move towards the blower wall. This then gets deposited in an oil collector. This collector bowl is very easy to remove and clean.

The bowl can be cleaned out once a month, or less frequently depending on how much the chimney is used. The biggest advantage of an auto-clean chimney is that the filter stays clean at all times and so performance of the chimney is never hampered.

 Chimney Cleaning: Best Ways To Get The Grime Off Your Greasy Chimney
Cleaning Kitchen Chimney: Most modern chimneys come with an auto-clean technology

Although auto-clean chimneys are known to be a little more expensive, there are a number of good chimneys available online at reasonable prices. Also, don’t forget to check out our top picks for the best chimneys available online and the features to look for when buying them.

Getting your Chimney Professionally Cleaned

There are many professional chimney cleaning services available. These are professional cleaner who will come to your doorstep and provide a deep cleaning service of your entire chimney. While many might suggest going for professionals every time, it would be easier for you and your pocket to get this type of cleaning done occasionally. It would be better to opt for professional cleaning only once every six months to ensure the proper functioning of the chimney. These services range from Rs. 400-1000 depending on the service provider and also the chimney type.

A professional cleaning, while seems easier for you, is unnecessary when you can clean the filters on your own so easily. Professional cleaning should be sought only when you want a deep cleaning service done. We hope this article helps you keep you kitchen chimney running and efficient for many years to come.

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Comments

  1. I didn’t know I could do this right at home! Thank you!!

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