Every kitchen appliance requires proper maintenance and frequent cleaning to ensure longevity. A chimney is used in all households to relieve our kitchen from dust, oil, and dirt. A modern chimney has more benefits than conventional ones. But cleaning and maintaining them is boring and tedious.
Clogging is one of the unavoidable problems that we all face with our chimneys. This might lead to poor performance and damage. Cleaning a chimney consumes a lot of time. However, we guarantee you that by following the right procedure and tips present in this article, you will be able to complete the task faster than ever before.
Buying the best chimney is a lot of investment. There are some safety measures that you must consider before cleaning to ensure protection. Refer to the guide present later in the article to have a clear idea about precautions and safety.
Why Is A Kitchen Chimney Necessary These Days?
Indian cuisine holds tons of recipes that require a lot of oils and spices that might leave your kitchen messy. Kitchen chimneys help us in the following ways
1- Protects the Wall
Your kitchen walls will start looking dark and dusty after you fry or cook a dish that requires more oil.
The paint might also wear off due to the smoke and fumes that come from your stoves. Kitchen chimneys play a major role in this aspect. It sucks out all the grease, dirt, and smokes to make your wall look spotless and clean.
2- Purified air
The strong smell that comes from cooking spices and curries can have adverse effects on people with respiratory issues. A modern chimney purifies the air by sucking out the unwanted particles that might cause sneezing troubles. The filters present in the chimney trap the dust particles providing instant clean air.
3- Sophisticated look
If you are fascinated with modular kitchen, then a chimney is the best one to include in your wishlist. A modern chimney has an appealing look that adds a luxury feel to your kitchen.
4- Keeps your tiles safe.
Tiles and floors usually attract all the dust and dirt that comes from the smoke while cooking. These dust settle down and form dark patches in your tiles that are not appealing to see. It also becomes difficult to remove those patches. A chimney traps all the tiny particles to make your floor and tiles clean.
When Should You Clean Your Chimney?
With so many uses that a kitchen chimney provides, we should make sure that they are cleaned periodically for better performance and durability.
A chimney must be cleaned every 2-3 months. Though, it also depends on the workload. The grease that accumulates when you cook simple dishes is very less than those days when you cook for your guests that require more oil and spices.
The ideal period for cleaning your chimney is about 2-3 months.
However, some signs indicate that your chimney must be immediately cleaned. That includes foul odors, poor performance, black patches, and oily stains in the filter meshes.
When chimneys are left without maintenance, it will lower down the capacity of the motor and eventually block the holes of filters. A substance called creosote will accumulate in your chimneys that might lead to severe fire accidents.
This will lead to serious issues and might burn a hole in your pocket for repair expenditures. A dirty chimney also affects your respiratory health. So, do think two times before you procrastinate your cleaning routine.
Procedure To Clean Kitchen Chimney
Cleaning your chimney can become a tricky task especially when you don’t know the right way. Here is a detailed guide on the process of cleaning a chimney.
1- External parts
Cleaning the external parts of your chimney are very easy compared to the filters. They can be cleaned every week to give a glossy finish from outside.
To clean the exterior surfaces, paint thinner or a dishwasher liquid is more than enough. Follow the steps to get a clean and grease-free surface in just, a few minutes.
- Dilute a few drops of dishwashing liquid or paint thinned with water.
- Soak a piece of cotton cloth for 1 minute in the solution.
- Squeeze out excess water from the cloth
- Now, gently wipe throughout the surface of the chimney.
- Let it stay for a few minutes. This will enable the micelles to attract the oil particles from the surface.
- Take a clean cloth soaked in water to wipe out the solution from the surface. You can also wipe the surface with a dry cloth to speed up the process of drying.
- Make sure that the surface is completely dried before usage.
Filters play a major role in trapping all the dust particles. It is very appreciable if the filters are cleaned once a week. Cleaning the filter meshes require baking soda and vinegar that can be easily brought from your nearby essential stores.
- You will have to make a paste using baking soda and vinegar. Mix the soda with few drops of vinegar to get a fine paste.
- The vinegar will help to dissolve hard stains. The baking powder is a base that will easily neutralize with the acidic grease.
- Apply the paste throughout the filters. Make sure that the paste reaches all the corners of the mesh.
- Let it soak for 5 minutes. Wipe it with a dry or wet cloth.
- Make sure that the filters are completely dried before the next usage.
- You can also use a lemon gel or dishwashing liquid to clean the filters
3- Internal parts
Interior parts must be cleaned considering safety measures and precautions. It contains the motor that supervises the functioning of the chimney. Make sure that you don’t use water to clean any internal parts. This might lead to short circuits.
Cleaning the internal parts by experts is recommended. With the aid of a toothbrush and dry cloth, gently wipe the surface that is contaminated with dust and stains.
You can use household and easily available materials to ease the process of cleaning your chimney. Cleaning with a wet cloth doesn’t provide satisfactory results as these simple ingredients.
Have a look at some of the ingredients that you can easily buy from your nearby stores.
1- Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is commonly used in baking. It is also used majorly on mouthwashes and toothpaste. They are basic substances that bind with acidic particles like dust and grease to neutralize them. It becomes easier to clean the surface when baking soda is used.
Baking soda can be used only in the form of a paste. You can prepare a large by mixing the soda with a few drops of vinegar or water.
Whenever you use baking soda to clean the filters, make sure to let it stay for a few minutes to get wonderful results.
Note: Baking soda should not be used in large amounts. It might burn your skin when exposed. You can wear gloves to ensure protection.
Vinegar is a strong acidic substance that can easily remove tough stains. It kills bacteria and scrapes out hard-water deposits. Using vinegar to clean your chimney is an excellent alternative to expensive cleaning gels available in the markets.
Vinegar can be used separately in the stained areas for quick results. It can also be used as a paste with baking soda to clean your chimney periodically. Vinegar is mainly used to clean exterior surfaces and the filters. However, using vinegar causes a bad odor that takes a lot of time to disappear.
Lemon, like vinegar, is a strong acid that can be used as a great cleaning agent. It dissolves the toughest stains caused due to oil and smokes. Unlike vinegar, lemon leaves behind a soothing and refreshing aroma that no one could resist.
Add a few drops of lemon in hot water and soak a clean cotton cloth in it for 3 minutes. Squeeze the cloth to take out the excess water. Now, gently wipe throughout the exterior surfaces and filters. You will notice the stains disappearing after a few minutes. Wipe it thoroughly with a dry cloth. It is very simple to clean your chimney every month with lemon.
4- Hot Water
If you are the type of person who cleans your chimney very often, then hot water will do all the work.
Using other ingredients like lemon, baking soda, vinegar, paint thinners come into play only when the chimney is left uncleaned for so long. Hot water can do wonders to clean the external parts and the filters. Make sure you don’t use water to clean the internal parts.
Dip a clean cotton cloth in hot or warm water and squeeze out excess moisture. Now, wipe through the surface of the chimney and let it dry. The entire process will only take about 5-10 minutes. Spending such a small amount of time once in a while is very essential to ensure the long life of your appliances.
5- Caustic Soda
Caustic soda is a versatile alkali that is frequently used in industrial chimneys. However, they can be used in home chimneys as well. The high pH alkali removes the toughest stain that even baking soda and vinegar fail to.
It should be kept out of reach from kids. Sprinkle some caustic soda on the filters and pour a cup of boiling water on them. Leave it untouched for a few hours. Don’t touch caustic soda with bare hands. They are very concentrated and might cause severe burns.
It is not advisable to use this ingredient very often to clean the chimney. It will wear out the surface when used in excess.
6- Dishwashing Liquid
Never underestimate the power of a dishwashing liquid. Prefer using liquids that have lemon extracts in them. Dishwashing liquids provide quicker results than other ingredients. It is very gentle and easy to handle.
Dilute the liquid with water and pour it into the filters. Scrub them gently with a mild scrub to notice instant results. It can also be used to clean the exterior parts of the chimney. Let it stay for a few seconds. Wipe them with a wet cloth to remove the foam. The mechanism of cleaning includes micelles formation. The micelles formed when moved with water bonds to the oil stains. They attract the greases leaving behind a smooth and clean surface.
7- Paint Thinner
Paint thinner is a solvent that is used to clean oil and grease stains. Acetone or nail polish removers can also be used instead of paint thinners.
Using a paint thinner might consume more time compared to other alternatives. But the results obtained are quite reasonable.
Dip a piece of cotton into the solution and rub the areas in the filters that have stains. After rubbing, wash the area thoroughly with water.
Let it dry before the next usage.
Precautions while cleaning the kitchen chimney
The initial consideration to clean any kitchen appliance is safety and precautions. We have listed out some safety measures that everyone should follow.
- Never use caustic soda with bare hands. It will cause severe skin problems like burning and itching.
- Make sure that the chimney is turned off before cleaning. Water when comes in contact with the electricity will cause major accidents.
- Clean your chimney periodically. When left uncleaned for a longer period, it will lead to clogging and the accumulation of poisonous substances.
- Cover your stove or induction before cleaning the chimney. The first particles might fall and clog the holes in the stove.
- Completely dry all the components after cleaning to prevent shocks and damage to circuits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) Which is better – Manual or auto cleaning chimney?
Using an auto cleaning chimney will reduce the stress of cleaning them periodically to a great extent. However, auto cleaning chimneys are more expensive. People prefer using a manual chimney to clean thoroughly.
Auto-cleaning chimneys sometimes fail to remove tougher oil stains.
Q2) How easy is it to maintain auto-clean chimneys?
Auto clean chimneys come with a single button that removes are all the dust when pressed. It automatically cleanses the filters periodically. You can remove the parts to clean thoroughly once in 6 months.
Q3) Can cold water be used to clean chimneys?
There is no harm in using cold water. But the results are not as good as in using hot water. You can use cold water to file out the ingredients after cleaning. It is advised to use hot water to get instant results.
Every kitchen appliance that we use requires proper care and maintenance. All we need is a bit of patience and consistency. Make sure you clean your chimney periodically according to the workload it has.
Follow the procedure and ingredients that suit you. Never skip the safety measures that are needed to be followed before cleaning. Whether you purchase a manual or auto clean chimney, you will have to clean them once in a while. When something worse like a fire accident or electric shock occurs, seek medical and professional help immediately.
It is good to replace your filters every year to get fresh and clean air.