How to Clean a Whirlpool Microwave Filter: Simple Steps

Maintaining a clean Whirlpool range microwave filter is essential for the appliance to function efficiently and to ensure the air quality in your kitchen remains fresh. Over time, grease and food particles accumulate on the microwave's filters, which can cause odors and reduce the effectiveness of the venting system. 


Regular cleaning of these filters not only prolongs the life of the microwave but also supports optimal performance. Whether through routine rinsing or a more thorough wash, keeping these filters clean prevents the build-up of residue and maintains the appliance's functionality. Add filter cleaning to your regular kitchen cleaning schedule and never worry about grease or grime build up.


Cleaning a Whirlpool microwave filter is straightforward and requires a few common household supplies. The filters are designed to be easily removable, which simplifies the task. 


Appropriate cleaning methods vary depending on the type of filter—some can be washed with soap and water, while others, like charcoal filters, need replacement at regular intervals. This ensures that the microwave recirculates clean air and effectively removes smoke and odors during cooking.


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Understanding Microwave Filters

microwave filter cleaning

Microwave filters are crucial in maintaining kitchen air quality and appliance efficiency. They exist to trap grease, odors, and other particulates from the cooking area.

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Types of Microwave Filters

Grease filters are common in over-the-range microwaves. They consist of metal mesh that traps grease particles generated during cooking. Regularly cleaning these filters is essential to prevent clogs and maintain proper airflow.


Charcoal filters are used to manage odors. These are composed of activated carbon and are designed to absorb smoke and odors from the kitchen air. While grease filters can often be cleaned and reused, charcoal filters must be replaced periodically as they cannot be washed. Keeping a 2-pack of filters on hand is best to make regular replacement a breeze.

Importance of Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of the microwave grease filter is vital for optimal appliance performance and kitchen hygiene. When a grease filter becomes clogged, it cannot efficiently trap grease, leading to a build-up within the microwave and kitchen. This residue can create fire hazards and diminish the air quality. 

Additionally, if a charcoal filter is not replaced as needed, it will fail to effectively remove odors, resulting in unpleasant smells in the kitchen air. Regular maintenance ensures both filters function effectively to keep the cooking environment clean and safe.

Cleaning Process for Whirlpool Microwave Filters

Regular cleaning of your Whirlpool microwave filters is essential to keep your appliance functioning efficiently and maintain clean air circulation. Accumulating grease and debris on the filters can hinder performance and lead to unpleasant odors during cooking.

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Preparation and Safety

Before cleaning, ensure the microwave is turned off and unplugged to prevent electrical hazards. Check your model's manual, as access to the filter can vary; some are located behind the vent panel on top of the microwave, while others may be accessible from the front or side, possibly in microwave combo units or those above side refrigerators. Prepare a workspace with hot water, dish soap, and a paper towel or cloth.

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Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

  1. Remove the Dirty Filter:

    • Gently take out the old filter. Models with easier access typically have a vent panel that pops off or slides out.
  2. Clean the Filter:

    • For a stainless steel grease filter, soak it in hot water mixed with dish soap to break down grime.
    • For replacement charcoal filters, do not wash them; instead, replace them with a new charcoal filter when they can no longer effectively neutralize odors.
    • Use a soft brush to scrub the grease filter gently if the debris is stubborn.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly:

    • After scrubbing, rinse the filter with hot water to remove all soap residues.

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Drying and Reinstallation

  • Dry the Filter:
    • Allow the filter to dry completely. It can be patted down with a paper towel or left to air dry.
  • Install the New or Cleaned Filter:
    • For new filter installation or after cleaning, ensure the filter is totally dry before sliding or snapping it back into place.
    • Close the vent panel securely to complete the reinstallation for a new look and restored functionality.

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