A charcoal filter works as an air filter in a microwave. It helps to keep your kitchen atmosphere good with fresh air without any smell or odor issues.
When you cook raw food in the microwave, the food releases some odors during the process. These odors go out of the microwave through its vent system but the charcoal filter keeps the odor and sends the fresh air out to your kitchen.
Most over-the-range microwaves come with a built-in charcoal filter located on top or front or back or anywhere on the body. You can refer the user manual of your microwave to find location of the charcoal filter.
Can I Clean My Microwave Charcoal Filter?
Yes, you can clean your microwave charcoal filter but not completely. Some experts recommend to clean a microwave charcoal filter with help of a can of compressed air but the manufacturers of microwaves suggest not to clean it.
The manufacturers recommend to check the charcoal filter of your microwave once a month and replace it every six months. For people with heavy use of the microwave, it is good to replace the charcoal filter every three months.
How Many Filters Does a Microwave Have?
Generally, a microwave has two filters called the grease filter and the charcoal filter. The grease filter and charcoal filter help to keep the microwave safe & hygienic as well as keep the air in your kitchen free from unpleasant odors.
[A] Grease Filter:
The grease filter is made of either stainless steel or aluminum mesh. The grease filter provides protection against grease particles and debris, it prevents them from entering the vent system of the microwave. You should wash & clean the grease filter of your microwave at least once a month.
[B] Charcoal Filter:
The charcoal filter is made of high quality microfiber or similar material. The charcoal filter prevents the unpleasant odors from entering your kitchen when it’s released from the microwave during the cooking process.
Some microwaves have two grease filters and one charcoal filter, while some microwaves don’t have a charcoal filter. The microwaves that are vented outside the house don’t require a charcoal filter. So, you should check the user manual to know how many filters your microwave has.
Can I Clean My Microwave Charcoal Filter with Compressed Air?
You should not clean your microwave charcoal filter with compressed air because it does not clean the filter properly and can damage it. You should not use a damaged charcoal filter in your microwave as it won’t be able to filter odors. So, the unpleasant odors will fill up your kitchen as you cook something in your microwave oven.
Can I Wash My Microwave Charcoal Filter with Water?
You should not wash your microwave charcoal filter with water because water will damage it. The charcoal filter contains charcoal pores that absorb the odor coming from the microwave to pass only fresh air out of it. The water damages the charcoal pores which will reduce the ability of charcoal filter to absorb the odor.
So, there is no point of cleaning your microwave charcoal filter with a can of compressed air or washing it with water as both methods damage the filter. Instead of doing this nuisance, you should simple replace your microwave charcoal filter time to time.
How to Replace a Microwave Charcoal Filter
You should clean your microwave filters regularly so that the microwave can work properly in the long run.
As I have said earlier, you can clean your microwave grease filter but not the charcoal filter. The charcoal filter is made of microfiber or similar material that can neither be cleaned with water nor with compressed air, so you have to replace it when it becomes too dirty.
The microwave charcoal filter is available at $5 or $6, so it won’t cost much to get a charcoal filter for your microwave.
Tools Needed for Microwave Charcoal Filter Replacement
In order to perform the microwave charcoal filter replacement process, you need some tools that are given below.
- A Screwdriver
- A Pair of Hand Gloves
When you have these two tools, you are ready to replace your microwave charcoal filter by yourself. You don’t need to be a microwave technician to replace a charcoal filter, it is so simple that any adult person can do it.
Steps to Replace a Microwave Charcoal Filter
At the time of replacing your microwave charcoal filter, you should have all required tools that I have suggested above. In addition, you must have a replacement charcoal filter that you want to fit in place of the existing charcoal filter in your microwave.
Here I provide the step-by-step procedure for a microwave charcoal filter replacement as follows.
Step-1: Unplug the Microwave from Wall Outlet
Your microwave runs on electricity, so it is very important to remove its power plug from the wall outlet before you begin the process. There is no electric current on the exterior body of the microwave but there is no need to take risk either. That’s why I recommend to unplug your microwave from the power outlet when you want to replace its charcoal filter.
Step-2: Wear Your Hand Gloves and Open the Vent Grille with the Screwdriver
You should wear the protective hand gloves so that your hands don’t get dirty during the process. Now, get the screwdriver in your hand and open the screws tightened on the vent grille of your microwave. It may have 2 to 4 screws that you need to open using the screwdriver.
Step-3: Remove the Vent Grille and Remove the Charcoal Filter
After opening all screws, remove the vent grille. Then you will see the charcoal filter, slide it a bit to remove it. Put the vent grille at a safe, clean place and throw the charcoal filter in dustbin.
Step-4: Clean the Surrounding Space with a Damp Cloth
You should clean the vent grille and the surrounding space of charcoal filter before installing the new filter. Using a damp cloth will help you remove all dirt & debris easily for proper cleaning.
Step-5: Install the New Charcoal Filter Properly
Now, get the replacement charcoal filter and install it by sliding a bit in its bracket on your microwave. Make sure that you install the new charcoal filter properly, only then it will absorb the odor and send the odorless air to your kitchen.
Step-6: Fit the Vent Grille and Tighten Its Screws
Finally, fit the vent grille back to its place on your microwave and tighten the screws with the help of the screwdriver. Thereafter remove the hand gloves and wash them to remove dirt & debris.
In this way, you can easily replace your microwave charcoal filter at home.
How Often Should I Replace My Microwave Charcoal Filter?
You should replace your microwave charcoal filter every six months. The period of 6 months for replacement of a microwave charcoal filter is for people having a limited use of the microwave.
If you use your microwave for cooking all meals everyday then you should replace your microwave charcoal filter every 3 months.
The period for replacement of charcoal filter in a microwave depends upon how much you use it and what kind of food you cook into it. If you cook Asian food then you may need to replace the charcoal filter in your microwave every 2 months.
Some microwaves come with a filter indicator light. Such a light blinks or shows red light to inform you that your microwave filters need cleaning and/or replacement. You can check the user manual to know if your microwave has this function or not.
Where Can I Get a Replacement Charcoal Filter for My Microwave?
You can get a replacement charcoal filter from Amazon and from the official website of your microwave brand. You can also visit the authorized store of the microwave or a local electronic store to buy a replacement charcoal filter for your microwave.
In order to find a suitable and compatible charcoal filter, you should remember your microwave brand and model number. These 2 details will help you find a perfect charcoal filter for your microwave oven.
FAQs about Microwave Charcoal Filter Cleaning/Replacement
The microwave charcoal filter needs to be replaced time to time. Here I provide some common questions about cleaning and replacing a microwave charcoal filter that will make the replacement task easier for you. So, read all FAQs and their answers carefully.
Q.1 Can a microwave charcoal filter be cleaned?
No, a microwave charcoal filter cannot be cleaned, if you try to clean it then it will get damaged. So, you have to replace it as soon as it gets dirty.
Q.2 How do you replace a charcoal microwave filter?
You can replace a charcoal microwave filter by opening the screws of vent grille, removing the old charcoal filter, installing the new charcoal filter and closing the vent grille back to its place.
Q.3 Why to replace a charcoal filter in a microwave?
You need to replace a charcoal filter in a microwave when it gets dirty. A clean charcoal filter absorbs unpleasant odors of the food so that your kitchen air stays fresh, a dirty charcoal filter cannot do it, therefore you need to replace it.
Q.4 Is a charcoal filter necessary in a microwave?
Yes, a charcoal filter necessary in a microwave that does not have a vent system set out of the house. It is often an over-the-range microwave that comes with a grease and a charcoal filter to catch grease & debris particles and keep your kitchen air fresh & odorless.
Summary: Clean Microwave Filters Regularly
Your microwave has a grease filter and a charcoal filter, both filters get dirty with usage. So, you must clean the grease filter with soapy water and replace the charcoal filter time to time. Your microwave will work properly only when it has clean filters.
I have explained the easiest way to replace a microwave charcoal filter in less than 10 minutes. I hope that my suggested step-by-step method has helped you to replace your microwave charcoal filter. Do share this post with your friends to help them clean and replace a microwave charcoal filter safely and easily.