Ok, the filters on our stove hood were getting pretty grody (there's a word from the '80's! But if you've never heard it before, don't worry: it means just like it sounds). Not sure why they've suddenly become more nasty now, but it may have to do with the fact that I'm cooking more on the cast iron; that skillet gets hot, and I think it tends to throw lots more oil droplets in the air, which the hood fan picks up and sucks through the filters.
But the filters are basically a tangled mess of wire mesh. It's not really scrubbable. So how do you clean them?
I pulled them off the stove hood. I decided to start by giving them a warm, soapy soak (which was a good idea), after which I'd just throw them in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes.
Public Service Announcement: Never, never, never do this.
I knew I'd made a mistake when I opened up the dishwasher and started putting things away.
Everything in the dishwasher was covered with a microscopically thin layer of a really hideous gritty substance. Everything felt oily and rough to the touch.
The filters themselves were much better than they had been, but they still felt hideous too--not as bad as before, but not pleasant. They're not dripping oil anymore, which is good, so I put them back on the stove hood; but I don't think anyone would mistake them for being clean.
But everything else in the dishwasher had to go back in for another round. And even then, the silverware came out less-than-sparkling, and less than clean-feeling to the touch. I suspect it will take a few more cycles of use/rinse/dishwashing for everything to get back to its normal level of cleanliness.
To reiterate: do not wash your stove hood filters in your dishwasher with all your other dishes. If you must use your dishwasher on them, put them in there by themselves.
This has been a Public Service Announcement, and a pretty disgusting one at that. (But not as disgusting as my recent poop-themed post....)