A kitchen exhaust fan is a device that expels the air trapped inside the kitchen. The kitchen is a special room in the house. It is the source of our food. All the cooking inside a kitchen can lead to a lot of heat and smoke. The oil splashes when you drop something in it and a lot of smoke erupts when the pressure cooker’s whistle blows.
Now you might be wondering, “What’s the point of telling me this?” Now we ask you another question, have you ever noticed the shelves and area around your stove getting sticky and dirty? If your answer is yes, then we are here to tell you that those sticky and greasy situations arise when all sorts of substances that evolve from cooking land on the shelves. So this is reason number one of why you should install an exhaust fan.
So that it expels all those particles outside instead of letting them settle in your kitchen. It will also protect you from germs indirectly then because those sticky areas convert into a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. The third concept is of respiratory problems. We hardly ever realize this but while cooking, substances of the size of particulate matter are released into the atmosphere which causes breathing problems.
If you have ever worked with burning red chilli in a kitchen, you know what we are talking about. The fumes that erupt make it difficult to breathe not only in the kitchen but in the whole house. The last advantage is that the exhaust fan takes care of all the harsh odours that would have otherwise not left your kitchen for a long time.
What causes the exhaust fan to get dirty?
We just talked about the multiple particles that are produced during cooking. They land in the area near the stove and make it sticky. When the exhaust fan will work with them, they will land on the exhaust fan’s blades, making them sticky.
Add soot produced from smoke on top of that and you get a dirty, sticky and black exhaust fan. The materials that get stuck on it need exceptional cleaning methods.
How to clean detachable fans
There are many kinds of exhaust fans. Plastic, metal, detachable, fixed, etc. it is good if your exhaust fan can be removed from the wall for cleaning purposes as it makes cleaning much easier. There are a number of methods that you may use to clean a detachable fan.
Take a pot full of boiling water and add 2 cups of detergent into it. Let it boil for 1 minute or so and add the exhaust fan into the boiling water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove and scrub with a nice brush. Be careful with the boiling water and do not directly touch it as you might suffer burns. Click here to check on amazon
Using caustic soda
This one seems quite effective for most people. Take a bucket full of hot water. By hot, we mean boiling hot water just out of the stove. Add 200 g of caustic soda to it. Then immerse the exhaust fan into it and let it sit for an hour. When you remove it, the gunk should have been gone. If not, you may add more quantity of caustic soda and let it sit longer. A little scrubbing should do the work for you.
This method will require a little more effort but will give you shining results. You will need lots of newspapers, dusting cloths and kerosene oil. Spread the newspapers properly on the working space. Evenly spread kerosene oil on the equipment and let it sit for 1 minute. Then start scrubbing nicely. Now dip a cloth in the oil and wipe away the gunk on it. You will need multiple cloths and many scrubbing sessions but it will leave your fan squeaky clean.
How to clean the mesh filter?
Some exhaust fans come with mesh filters. You may use any of the methods prescribed above to clean a mesh filter.
You may dip it in a boiling detergent solution or caustic soda. You may use kerosene oil. But another option is to dip it in vinegar for about an hour and then scrub away the dirt.
To clean a mesh filter, you should use a toothbrush especially because a cloth or scrubbing device will not be able to get into the narrow mesh.
How to clean a fixed exhaust fan?
The first advice that you need to follow is to surround the area around the fan with newspaper or any other protective material in case the cleaning solutions drip on to the walls around.
Start with mixing one teaspoon of caustic soda in one glass of hot water and spread it evenly using a toothbrush on the fan. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The next step is to scrub. Eventually, depending on the feasibility, either wash properly or wipe thoroughly with a good dusting cloth. Caustic soda should not be touched. If you touch it, it will cause a chemical reaction and your skin will get harmed. If you want to use dish soap, just take a cup of dish soap and add an equal amount of water. Mix well and spread evenly on the fan with the help of a toothbrush. You may let it sit overnight even. Keep applying the solution if it slips, or just increase the concentration of dish soap to make it in the form of a paste. Using a toothbrush, scrub the fan properly. According to feasibility, wash or wipe the fan properly.
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It is always best to consult with the manufacturer or the manual guide before you jump into the cleaning process. The paint from the plastic fan can be erodible if you are using harsh cleaning materials. Similarly, the metal fan you think is very robust could have a feeble metal polish which could erode with even the slightest scrubbing. So always know what you are working with.