How to Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan

pulling off vent to bathroom extractor fan
What You'll Need
Step ladder
Window cleaner
Two buckets
Cloths or sponges
Anti-fungal spray
Warm water
Masking tape

Extractor fans, also commonly referred to as exhaust fans, are usually installed in the ceiling to provide ventilation, especially in bathrooms that do not have windows. If you don't have one, you may consider installing one to allow heat and humidity to escape the bathroom when a hot shower is running, or to get rid of unpleasant odors. To keep your bathroom extractor fan working properly and to possibly reduce noise, clean it regularly with this guide.

Step 1 - Turn off the Electricity

Turn off the electricity to your fan before cleaning it. Find your main electrical panel, circuit breaker, or fuse box, and turn off the circuit or remove the fuse that powers your bathroom.

Warning: You should not continue to the following steps before turning off the bathroom fan’s electricity. Without turning it off, you could be electrocuted.

Step 2 - Remove the Cover

Most bathroom extractor fans come equipped with a casing or cover. Remove this first, using a step ladder if it’s high up. If you have to overreach your arms, it’s best to use a ladder.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws, holding the unit housing while you remove the cover. Pull down the cover carefully, and put it in a bucket or a safe place. Then, take the screws and place them on a piece of masking tape. Fold the tape over to create a pocket for the screws so that you don’t lose them, and place them in the same bucket or area you placed the cover.

Step 3 - Locate the Exhaust-Fan Blade

If you look up into the extractor fan, you should see the fan blade. Slide the fan blade assembly out completely. If the fan blade is held down with additional tabs or retainers, remove them first and also put them onto a piece of masking tape and into the same bucket so that you don’t lose these pieces.

Step 4 - Clean the Vent Cover

In another bucket, mix a solution of warm water and soap. Submerge the vent cover inside the bucket and, using a gentle cloth, rag, or sponge, wash the vent cover so that all debris is cleaned off.

Pull out the vent cover from the soapy water solution, and rinse it with some warm water. Allow it to air dry on a paper towel or soft cloth.

Step 5 - Clean the Fan Blades

Using a cloth made for window cleaning and a spray or two of window cleaner, clean the fan blades. If need be, use an anti-fungal solution to remove any growth from the blades. Make sure that the window cleaner is completely wiped clean from the blades and that the two cleaners do not react together. Then, let dry completely.

Step 6 - Re-Install the Unit

Re-install the unit in its original position with the screws and any clips you removed earlier.

Step 7 – Turn on Electricity

As long as all parts have been re-installed and dried completely, you can turn the electricity to the unit back on.