How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

How to clean a bathroom exhaust fan.

Bathroom exhaust fans serve a highly important function, which is removing humid air from the bathroom, thereby helping prevent the growth of mold and other types of fungi. And although it doesn’t require cleaning nearly as often as the shower or toilet, it does need a clean once every 3 to 6 months. Here, we will show you how to do just that.

Topics Covered

  • What you will need
  • How to clean a bathroom exhaust fan
  • Conclusion

How to clean the bathroom exhaust fan

What you will need

A small stepladder, a vacuum cleaner, a screwdriver, a cloth (preferably a microfiber cloth), and a small bucket with warm soapy water.

Step 1: Turn off the power supply

Turn off the power to the bathroom at the breaker switch. It’s an essential step since we will be working with water and an electrical motor. Test to make sure that the power is cut by turning the exhaust fan on. If nothing happens, then you’re good to go.

Step 2: Remove the cover

Place the stepladder underneath the exhaust fan so that you can reach it, and then remove the cover with a screwdriver. Just be careful not to stand directly beneath the exhaust fan when removing the cover, because it’s most probably very dusty. Also, be sure to put the screws somewhere safe so you won’t lose them.

Step 3: Clean the cover

The cover, depending on how much dust it has gathered, may need to be vacuumed. Once the excess dust has been removed, soak the cover by leaving it inside the bucket of warm, soapy water.

Step 4: Clean the fan blades

While the cover is soaking, gently remove the motor unit and fan from the vent. Wipe any dust off from the blades and motor with a damp cloth, but be careful not to get the motor unit wet.

Step 5: Clean the vent

Attach a crevice or brush attachment onto the vacuum machine and vacuum the inside of the vent. Stick it in as far as it will go, and be sure to clean the brackets too.

Step 6: Reassemble

Reattach the blade and motor unit to the vent. Dry the cover thoroughly and screw it back into place. Ensure that everything is dry – especially the motor unit.

Step 7: Test

After everything has been cleaned and reconnected, put the bathroom circuit breaker back up and test the exhaust fan. If you hear any rattling sounds that weren’t there before you started cleaning, then something is most probably loose. If this is the case, you may have to open it up again and check that everything is securely in place.


Cleaning a bathroom exhaust fan is necessary once every 3 to 6 months, and it’s not too hard to do as you can see. Also, by keeping it clean, it will function as it should for longer, thereby extending its lifespan. Luckily, the whole process should take no longer than 15 minutes.

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