How To Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

To get rid of the excess moisture after you take a shower in the bathroom, there is no alternative to a working exhaust fan. You have to keep it running for almost 20 minutes each time you take a shower so that no mold and mildew can form.

But if you don’t clean it at a regular interval, the working capacity will keep diminishing day by day. The fan motor and the grill cover will have huge specks of dust over time. The bathroom mirror will start to get foggy again. So, housing the motor every six months or at least once in a year is very important.

A clean exhaust fan is no less important than any other bathroom fixtures inside your bathroom. If you don’t keep it clean the excess moisture will destroy the bathroom wall along with other fixtures.

How To Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

So, we can all agree that your bathroom fan needs to be cleaned at a regular interval, right? Now the question arises, How? Well, it’s an electrical instrument and the cleaning mechanism is a little bit different than other bathroom fixtures. 

If you are not comfortable dealing with electrical equipment, please don’t. Hire a professional to do the job. But if you are confident, you are welcome. In this in-depth guide, you will learn how to do it yourself.

Turn off the switch of the fan. To be extra safe, you can turn off the switch of the circuit breaker. 

How To Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

Expert Tips: This job will require to remove the fan cover and the motor fan as well. When you first remove the fan cover, take a picture. Before you remove any screws to remove the motor, take pictures as well. This will help you if you forget to put them back when the cleaning is done.

Tools & Materials Needed

To keep the bath fan running efficiently year after year, it needs to be cleaning. To do so, you need some tools and items. You need to have everything at your hand to avoid frustration. Make sure to have the following:

  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments.
  • Scrubbing brush.
  • Ladder/step stool.
  • Screwdriver. 
  • Dish soap.
  • Water

Cleaning The Vent Cover

It’s time to expose the fan now. To do so, gently pull down the vent cover. You will find metal mounting wires on each side. Squeeze them to slide them out of their slots. Great! Now you have completely removed the vent cover from the fan housing. 

Let’s clean the vent cover now. It’s really simple. You do have dish soap, right? Alright, fill the bathroom sink with a few drops of that soap and warm water to create a blend of soapy water. Let the cover soak in the soapy water for 3 to 5 minutes. 

Then use a dish brush or a piece of clean cloth to scrub the cover gently. This should remove all the grime, dust, and dirt from the cover. Allow the fan to air dry and move on to clean the fan itself!

FYI: Even if you notice there are no visible specks of dust and dirt on the vent cover, clean it anyway. When you notice steamy bathroom after you take a shower, leave no chances untouched!

Cleaning the Exhaust Fan

The safe way to get rid of the dust from the exhaust fan itself is to use a vacuum. Again, make sure there is no electricity to the fan. If necessary, switch off the circuit breaker of the entire bathroom.

Using the vacuum extension wand and attachments, you can start removing the dust from the fan. However, to clean the motor components and the fan housing, you will be needing crevice attachment and bristle brush dusting attachment. The crevice attachment is great to dust off the hard to reach areas.

You must exercise extra caution here. Try not to damage any parts! An only light touch is recommended while performing vacuum cleaning. You can’t clean the grime with vacuum though. Use a damp cloth instead.

After you vacuum clean the dust from the fan, clean the remaining dirt from the fan components and housing using a damp cloth. If you know what you are doing and comfortably confident with machinery parts, disassemble the fan further for extra deep cleaning. 

For better cleaning, remove all the visible screws to remove the motor from the fan housing. Clean the blades of the motor using the damp cloth for deep cleaning. And you are done cleaning your bathroom extractor fan!

Reassemble The Fan!

This is the last step of our entire journey. Now we have to put together the clean fan and vent cover. If you removed the motor from the fan, put it back first and screw it. When you reassembled properly, switch on the circuit breaker and see whether everything is working they are supposed to do.


Don’t blame your extractor fan when you notice it is not doing its job properly. Like everything, it might need a nudge. And by that, I mean a little bit of cleaning. You don’t see how the clouds of dust are killing it slowly but it is happening. Don’t wait for the fan to stop working. Do the cleaning at a regular interval to keep your bathroom odor free and moisture-free.

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