It's time to give this important kitchen fixture a little TLC.

By Dakota Kim
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The range hood is the workhorse of your kitchen that, for the most part, goes uncredited. Loud though it may be, this important fixture sucks unpleasant smoke, steam, and even heat from your kitchen (and oftentimes your adjacent living room and dining room).

Not only does the powerful suction fan do its job removing strong fumes, but the hood even adds a bit of extra lighting to stovetop projects. So give this hard worker some extra love at least twice a year to keep it clean and functioning.

Here are the simple steps to help your range hood look shiny and new:

Clean the Outside

First, clean the outside of your hood. Remove the filters for maximum access. Choose your dish soap — Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid is our tough-on-grease pick — and make a solution of warm water and dish soap. Spray your solution onto the hood and use a microfiber cleaning cloth like The Chemical Guys Microfiber Towel to wipe it down, so you don't scratch your stainless steel.

Tackle the Inside

If the stains on the inside of your hood are those heavy sticky ones that look like they come from years of deep frying, you're going to need to take serious action. You can spray the inside of the hood with a basic degreaser, like Method Heavy Duty Degreaser, Citra Solv or Krud Kutter, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you wipe it down with a sponge. If a sponge won't work, employ a stiff bristled scrubbing brush. Still not working? Apply a bit of mineral oil to the stain, which has natural cleaning agent d-limonene. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and scrub again.

Clean the Filters

Grab some tough rubber gloves, because now you're going to get down and dirty. Your opponent: sticky, greasy filters.

First, choose your dunking station. You're going to subject those filters to 15 to 30 minutes of solid soaking. Your sink, if it's wide enough, is a fine option, as is a deep and wide bucket, or even your bathtub.

Fill your container of choice with water that's as hot as you can get it, even to the point of just-boiled. Now comes your choice of degreasers: dish soap and baking soda may work for less difficult stains, while OxiClean may be a better option if there's more grease.

Remove your filter while wearing gloves, looking for a metal loop that helps you pull the filter off. Submerge your filters in the hot water/degreaser solution, and let them sit for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how sticky the stains are.

Check your filters to see if some grease has been loosened, which is a good sign they're ready for some scrubbing. Grab your most serious, I-mean-business brush, like the OXO Heavy Duty Scrub Brush. For tiny stains that aren't coming out with your scrubbing brushes, try using the OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush Set, which is specifically created to get into small crevices.

If those stubborn grease stains just won't give you a break, you may want to spray the filters with degreasing agent like we used on the inside of the hood, such as Method Heavy Duty Degreaser, Citra Solv or Krud Kutter. Or make a paste of baking soda and water to aid your scrubbing.

Rinse your filters well and dry them with a soft, non-scratching microfiber cloth. Give them sufficient time to completely air dry, and for your last step, make sure to admire your handiwork before replacing your gleaming clean filters.

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