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How To Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan

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Cleaning your bathroom extractor fan is a crucial task that often gets overlooked. Regular cleaning not only ensures that your fan works efficiently, but also extends its lifespan and helps maintain a healthier bathroom environment. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of cleaning a bathroom extractor fan, from the tools you need to the steps you should follow.


To clean a bathroom extractor fan, first turn off the power and remove the fan cover. Clean the cover with warm soapy water and a cloth or sponge. Vacuum the fan blades and housing, then wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth. Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the fan and turn the power back on. It’s recommended to clean your bathroom extractor fan every six months if used daily, or once a year if not used regularly.

Why Clean Your Bathroom Extractor Fan?

A bathroom extractor fan serves the vital function of removing excess moisture and unpleasant odors from your bathroom. However, over time, dust and grime can accumulate on the fan, which can reduce its efficiency and even pose a potential fire hazard.

There are several signs that your bathroom extractor fan may need cleaning:

  • Visible dust and grime on the fan cover or blades
  • Noisy operation
  • Reduced airflow

A clean fan not only operates more efficiently but also helps prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, contributing to a healthier bathroom environment.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

To clean your bathroom extractor fan, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

  • Vacuum with dusting brush and crevice tool attachment
  • Screwdriver
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Compressed air (optional)
  • Soft-bristled brush or paintbrush
  • Stepladder

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Bathroom Extractor Fan

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Safety first! Before you start, ensure that the fan is turned off and powered down at the circuit breaker. If your fan is plugged into a wall outlet, unplug it.

Step 2: Remove the Fan Cover

Use a screwdriver to gently remove the fan cover. Some fan covers are held in place by clips or screws, so be careful not to damage them during removal.

Step 3: Clean the Fan Cover

Fill a sink or bucket with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Soak the fan cover in the soapy water for a few minutes, then scrub it with a cloth or sponge. If your fan cover has a light, do not submerge it in water. Instead, vacuum off the dust and wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

Step 4: Vacuum the Fan

Use a vacuum with a dusting brush and crevice tool attachment to remove dust and debris from the fan blades and housing. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fan.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Fan

Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the fan blades and housing. For hard-to-reach areas, use a soft-bristled brush or paintbrush.

Step 6: Reassemble the Fan

Once all components are clean and dry, reassemble the fan and turn the power back on.

How Often Should You Clean Your Bathroom Extractor Fan?

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use your bathroom. For bathrooms that are used daily, a thorough cleaning every six months is recommended. If your bathroom is not used regularly, cleaning the fan once a year should suffice.


Cleaning your bathroom extractor fan is an essential maintenance task that can improve the efficiency of the fan, prolong its lifespan, and contribute to a healthier bathroom environment. With the right tools and a bit of time, you can easily clean your bathroom extractor fan and ensure it continues to operate at peak performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of screwdriver do I need to remove the fan cover?

The type of screwdriver needed depends on the screws used in your fan cover. Most commonly, a flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver is required.

Can I use any type of soap to clean the fan cover?

Yes, any mild dish soap should be suitable for cleaning the fan cover. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they could damage the cover.

What if my fan is making noise even after cleaning?

If your fan continues to make noise after cleaning, it could indicate a mechanical issue. You may need to consider repairing or replacing the fan.

Can I use a hairdryer to dry the parts of the fan?

Yes, you can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. However, make sure to use it on a cool setting to avoid damaging the fan parts.

What should I do if I can’t reach my bathroom extractor fan?

If you can’t reach your bathroom extractor fan, consider using a stepladder or hiring a professional cleaner for safety reasons.

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