Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stove Hood Filter Cleaner (say that 10 times fast)

We have moved 9 times in the last 12 years.   All but one of those moves were into rentals. I have decided that the cleaning check list is universal and I have become really good at knowing what to clean and when to clean it in the weeks before a move. 

The one that has always baffled me is the filter above the stove.  I have always just scrubbed it with Dawn soap and called it good, but I could always tell that it wasn't doing a very thorough job.

When I saw a post about cleaning your filters using an easy and effective way the clean freak in me became all giddy and I tried it that day. 

Cleaning Stove Hood Filter
Haul out your biggest pot, fill it with water and bring it to a boil.  Then add 1/2 cup of baking soda very slowly because it will fizz. Submerge your filter into the pot.

I grabbed my biggest pot, filled it with water, waited for it to boil then poured in the baking soda.  It did indeed fizz but not as much as I was expecting. I then wrestled the filter out of it's little home (you think it would have just slid out since it was covered in so much grease) and went to put it into the pot.

Hmmmm that's a problem. I didn't realize my filter was super sized.

Lets pause here so I can give you a brief description of me. I tend to have a dual personality (I am female).  When confronted with a situation in a calm way then I can act calmly and my reaction will be 'ready aim....aim....aim....aim.... fire.'  However I am not quick on my feet.  When I am confronted with a situation in an even slightly stressful way I tend to have a reaction of 'ready, fire, aim.' I don't think things all the way through and the results always create more work and hassle and sometimes money.

Want proof of this?  Look at this beautiful photo.  It is a long story but this is a perfect example of what happens when I don't stop to think things all the way through.  If you want the full story of this mishap then see below.*

I tell you all this so you will understand why I did what I did next.  So there I was, with a pot of boiling water with baking soda and a stove filter that would not fit.  Here was my thought process;

Oh shoot!
Ok I need something big.... something big (as I am turning circles in the kitchen looking around)
Hey the sink is big enough
(and I poured the hot water into the sink and put the filter in.)

Now lets stop here and take a poll:  How many of you see the flaw in this action?  How many of you are thinking "Whats the big deal? It will be an easier clean up"

If you chose the first question then I commend you for thinking clearly.  If you chose the second then you have my empathy.

As I looked at my sink and saw the grease slowly rising from the filter it occurred to me that all that grease had to go somewhere and I really didn't want it to go down my drain.

What was my solution to this dilemma you ask?  Once the filter was clean I pulled it out of the sink and I threw a whole bucket of ice into the greasy water to try and freeze the grease into a solid.  Surprisingly, it worked.  Using a strainer I was able to get a lot of the grease chunks out.  I followed it up with a lot of DIY Drano.  It's been three months since this little adventure and my sink drain is still running just fine. (phew)

But back to the filter.  I let it soak for about 10 minutes then gave it a good rinse.

The Verdict: It worked really well and I was amazed at how much grease came out.  In the future I plan on using a casserole dish to soak the filter in. 

My mom once told me that I am a person who "gets the results I wanted, I just get there in a very creative way." This was definitely one of those moments.  

*A few years back I posted on my personal blog about how I broke that light fixture.  For your reading pleasure I have posted it below. But as a quick background, during this post I was 5 months pregnant with our first child and we had had our rescue dog for 6 months and we were still in the training process.

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to hide under your covers? I had one of those recently. It started with my husband slamming his 4 fingers in the car door. We are both shocked that he didn't break anything but his fingers are very bruised and swollen and he probably wont' be able to use that hand for awhile. 
On my way home from work my car decided to up and die. Fortunately it wasn't a busy road so I was able to coast to the side and after several tries I got the car to start again. having your car die in traffic is never a fun activity.
My husband was working till midnight that day and I had a huge 'to do' list I was wanting to accomplish that evening. As soon as I got home everyone I know decided to take that moment to call me. Normally it would have been fun to sit and chat with all of them but my dog decided to grab everything in site and chew it so I was doing my best to run after him while carrying on a conversation.
Finally, 2 hours after getting home from work I was able to start my list. I headed outside to work in the yard a bit and brought my dog with me. Looking around the back side of the house I decided the best place to hook the end of Bud's 20 ft leash was the back porch light fixture because it's bolted to the house. Oh boy was I wrong! Bud got a smell of something and took off at a full on sprint ripping that light right out of its place. So now I have a spastic dog trying to get at whatever he smelled and a light fixture hanging from wires..... great!
Fuming, I locked Bud in the house and started a sad attempt to fix the light. I headed to the garage to find a wrench and my Houdini dog some how maneuvered right through my legs and ran off across the field by our house,  I swear I heard him yelling "freeeedoooooom!!!!"
I went and found his leash and a toy and started the chase. Bud got distracted by something on the ground so I took that moment to sprint through the field with my flip flops.... hello pot hole. Fortunately I only tripped a little and kept going. As I got closer I heard a squeak near Bud and wondered what he had. I yelled his name and he looked up at me with a baby rabbit in his mouth.... oh boy! 
I yelled, he dropped the rabbit, rabbit made a dash, Bud pounced on the rabbit and I pounced on Bud. I got the leash on him and with super human strength wrestled him away from the rabbit. I then decide that I needed to get the rabbit back to his den so it's mom can take care of him. So as I'm pushing Bud away with my right hand and leg I somehow manage to scoop the rabbit up in my shirt without touching it so my scent doesn't get on it (although looking back I'm sure that did nothing since it was in my shirt and my shirt has my scent on it) 
If any of my neighbors had looked out their window at this point they would have seen a crazy lady in her sweats in the middle of the field with a spastic dog trying to tackle her down and her shirt half way up exposing her pregnant belly.
I managed to get the rabbit back to it's den only to see that it's no longer moving, poor thing. I finally got back to the house and remembered that I had exposed wires outside and it was about to rain. Not knowing anything about wires I did the best that I could with rope and called it a night. It was a horrible terrible no good very bad day.


  1. confession:
    I had no idea i should be cleaning my filters under my microwave.. I did this today and wanted to jump and click my heels! I couldn't believe how easy it was!

  2. I'm surprised that the bucket of ice really froze the grease on your sink. It's also great news that your drain has been functioning well and hasn't caused you any worries. That is because you have been keen in keeping it clean. Good work!

    Milani Plumbing, Drainage & Heating

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