The best way to clean the bathroom exhaust fan


It may be on the ceiling, but it still gets dirty.

Cleaning your bathroom may not be your favourite household task, but at least it’s fairly simple. In fact, you probably have some sort of well-honed routine: You put cleaner in the toilet to work while you clear the floor and countertops, vacuum the room, and give your toilet a final scrub (or something like that).

And while it’s good to do this regularly, you also need to deep clean your bathroom from time to time, tackling problem areas in the bath or shower, washing the floors and really getting into the little nooks and crannies that collect dust and dirt. But even in doing so, you may miss a crucial part of your bathroom: the exhaust fan. Here’s how to clean it.

Why you should clean your bathroom fan
Because its job is to move air, you’d think your bathroom fan would be self-cleaning, but alas, it is not. As well as removing smelly air, exhaust fans remove steam from hot showers and baths and any other excess moisture from the room, preventing (or at least reducing) the growth of mould and mildew.

But, like the rest of your home, bathroom fans tend to get dusty and dirty over time, which can block the cover grilles and prevent the fan from doing its important job. Cleaning your bathroom fan takes a little effort, but the good news is that you usually only have to do it once or twice a year (depending on the level of dust in your home).

How to clean your bathroom exhaust fan
The whole process should take no more than 20 minutes. Here’s what to do:

1- First of all, turn off the power to the fan at the electrical box. Then turn the fan back on when you return to the bathroom to make sure it doesn’t come on.

2- Make sure you have enough light. If your bathroom has a window, you can do this during the day. If your bathroom does not have a window, bring a torch or other battery-operated lighting device so you can see what you are doing.

3- Use a stepladder or sturdy ladder that allows you to comfortably reach the fan and remove the cover. If it is a relatively new model, it is likely that there are tension clips holding it in place and you only need to press it down to remove it. Older fans tend to use screws instead, so you’ll need a Phillips or flathead screwdriver to remove it.

4- Using a dry cloth or hoover, remove any dirt or dust build-up from the fan cover and place it in a tub of hot water and dish soap.
5- Climb back up the ladder and use a vacuum attachment (or a can of compressed air) to remove as much dirt and dust as possible from inside the fan, including the blades. If there is anything left that you cannot clean with the vacuum attachment, use a soft cloth to wipe it off.
6- Check the cover of your fan. Use a soft cloth (and a little elbow grease, if necessary) to remove any stuck-on dirt, then rinse the cover and let it dry completely.
7- Finally, reassemble (or screw on) the fan cover and turn the circuit breaker back on.