How to clean and replace a microwave filter

A stainless steel, over-the-range microwave.

How long has it been since you cleaned your microwave filters? Most over-the-range microwaves have a grease filter, as well as a charcoal filter that helps reduce odours – but in order to do its job it needs to be changed on a regular basis. Our guide will show you how to keep both styles of Whirlpool microwave filters clean, fresh and in tip-top shape.

How to clean the charcoal filter for your Whirlpool® microwave  

The charcoal filter for your microwave should be changed every 6 months. Your microwave’s charcoal filter is usually found near the top of your over-the-range microwave. Use your user guide or owner’s manual to confirm the location of the filter before you begin.

An over-the-range microwave above a working stovetop.
  1. Disconnect your microwave’s power or make sure that the microwave is turned off.

  2. Locate the screws that hold your microwave’s top vent panel in place. 

  3. Using a Phillip’s head screwdriver, remove these screws and set them aside in a safe place.

  4. Carefully remove the vent panel by tilting the top part down and gently lifting the panel away.

  5. Locate your microwave charcoal filter. It is usually situated in the middle, but use your owner’s manual to confirm its location.

  6. Remove the old charcoal microwave filter and dispose of it properly.

  7. Replace the old charcoal filter with a new one. (Shop Whirlpool brand genuine parts) When you replace the filter, make sure it is properly positioned and secure.

  8. Replace the vent panel, then tighten in place with the original screws.

How to clean your Whirlpool® microwave’s grease filter

Your over-the-range microwave comes equipped with grease filters that help purify the air while you cook. While these filters are reusable, they need to be cleaned on a monthly basis to ensure that they maintain peak performance.

  1. Locate the microwave grease filter. It should be underneath your over-the-range microwave, above the stovetop. 

  2. Remove the filter from its housing. The filter should slide or pop out easily – no tools required. If you’re not sure how to remove the grease filter, consult your owner’s manual.

  3. Place the microwave grease filter in a sink or basin full of hot, soapy water. If your filter is exceptionally dirty, pour in about ¼ cup of baking soda.

  4. Make sure the filter is completely submerged. Let it soak for at least 10 minutes, or longer if necessary.

  5. Once the microwave filter is done soaking, use a dish brush or household scrub brush to clean it more thoroughly. Use gentle pressure and take care not to bend the filter or filter frame.

  6. Once you’re done cleaning the filter, rinse it thoroughly in hot water.

  7. Let your microwave filter air dry, or pat it dry with a paper towel or soft, clean cloth.

  8. Once the filter is completely dry, you can slide or pop it back into place.

Maintaining your over-the-range microwave can help it function efficiently for years to come. Need to replace your current microwave? Check out our microwave guide to determine which size and style of microwave is best for your home.