How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Cleaning the bathroom exhaust fan is something that should be done at least twice a year. It’s understandable having in mind the fact that the bathroom is a very steamy place, and the proper ventilation is a must if you want to avoid bathroom mould and water stains on your walls.

Fortunately, you don’t need special technical knowledge in order to clean the exhaust fans all by yourself. And cleaning this part of your house will seriously increase the airflow into the bathroom, which will make the whole system more efficient in venting the steam and the humidity from the room.

This will make the bathroom look healthier and be safer. The proper duct cleaning will also prevent dirt and dust from building up, which will make your cleaning routine a little easier. So here’s what you need and how to do it.


  • A screwdriver or a drill
  • A sponge
  • Clean towels
  • Soap
  • Kitchen or window cleaner
  • Water


1. Turn off the power

Before you start cleaning anything you should take care of the power. Just like most of the things in your home, the bathroom exhaust fan is connected to the electricity too, and if you try to remove it without turning off the electricity, there will be consequences. You can either turn off the power from the main circuit breaker or you can turn off the power to the entire house if you don’t know how to do the first thing. Although the bathroom’s power circuit should have a label on it, so it shouldn’t be hard. Just flip it to the “off” option and you can start with the technical part.

2. Remove the vent cover

Get the screwdriver or the drill, depending on your preferences, loosen the screws holding the outer vent cover to the wall, and remove it. Be careful, because nowadays they make these things from plastic and damaging them is quite easy. These systems have lighting fixtures installed in them, so you should look out for one of them too. Once the cover is removed, you should find the screws that hold the lighting unit, loosen them and hold the unit securely while you gently remove it from there. Once all these things are out, it’s time to locate the blade of the exhaust fan. There might be a few additional screws and attachments, which hold the blade in place, so you should look out for those too. Remove all these obstacles and slide out the fan blade. Now that the whole system is disassembled, you can proceed to the cleaning.


3. Clean the vent cover

Now pick up the vent cover and dip it in some soap and water solution. Let it soak in the solution for about 10 minutes and then take it out of the solution. Then wipe away all the dirt and build up on it with a sponge. Then you can wash it under running water, so all the cleaning solution can be removed from the surface. After you’re done, pick up a clean towel and dry the vent cover completely. Set it aside until you’re done with the other parts.

4. Clean the exhaust fan

The exhaust fan blade will need a little more to be cleaned than simple soap and water solution. The build up dirt on the blade is a lot bigger, so you’ll need to use something stronger to remove it. You can use a small amount of window cleaner or some mild kitchen cleaning detergent. It will help you remove dirt and mould from the blade without having to scrub it. And don’t forget to clean both sides of the blade with the solution.

5. Reinstall the system

Once all the parts are clean and mould free, it’s time to reassemble the system in a reverse order. First goes the exhaust fan blade, then the lighting fixture, and after that the vent cover. Make sure all the screws are installed in place before turning on the power and testing if the system works.

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