How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Clean your bathroom exhaust fan in as little as five minutes following this tutorial.

Exhaust fans are a vital part of any full bathroom. These fans filter humid air and excess moisture from the room, helping to prevent mold growth on the ceiling and shower walls.

But on occasion, you need to clean your bathroom exhaust fan to free it from dust and keep it running well. Here’s how.


Supplies Needed to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

  • Vacuum with a brush and hose attachment
  • Towel
  • Microfiber Cloth

How to Clean a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Clean a Bathroom Exhaust FanView in gallery

After gathering your supplies, follow these steps to remove built-up dust and contaminants.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power at the Circuit Breaker

Locate the exhaust fan’s power source on your circuit breaker and flip the switch off. To avoid the risk of shock, never clean an exhaust fan with power going to it.

Step 2: Remove the Exhaust Fan Cover

To remove your bathroom exhaust fan’s cover, place one hand on each side of the cover and pull. The spring clips will become visible. Pinch them together to release the cover.

Note: Some bathroom exhaust fans with built-in lights have a cord you must disconnect after releasing the spring clips.

Process to clean the bathroom exhaustView in gallery

Step 3: Remove Dust from the Cover

Lay a towel on your bathroom counter and place the vent cover on it. Next, use your vacuum with the brush attachment to remove dirt. Then, flip the cover over and repeat on the other side.

After vacuuming, dampen your microfiber cloth and wipe off any remaining dust and residue. Dry with a towel.

Step 4: Vacuum Inside the Fan

Use your vacuum and brush attachment to suction dust inside the fan. Switch to a smaller crevice attachment tool if necessary.

Step 5: Replace the Cover

After the vent cover is dry, put it back in place.

To put the cover back, pinch the spring clips, slide them in their holes, and then release the clips so they lock. If your vent cover has a light with a cord, reattach it before inserting the second clip. Then, push the cover back in place. 

With the exhaust fan and vent cover clean, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.


Bathroom Fan Maintenance: How Often to Clean It

Clean your bathroom fan every six months or when you notice considerable dust on the cover. To keep the fan from accumulating too much dirt, dust it during your bathroom cleaning routine. 

To clean the fan without removing the cover, use a feather duster or dry cloth to wipe it.

You can also look for the following signs that your bathroom exhaust fan is clogged:

  • The exhaust fan is spreading dust in the shower
  • There’s mold or mildew on the ceiling or shower walls
  • Your ceiling paint is starting to peel
  • The exhaust fan has no suction power