How to Clean Bathroom Exhaust Fans

A dirty bathroom exhaust fan will do its job poorly. One way to check the fan's performance is to hold a tissue up to its grille while it is running. If the tissue flutters, it indicates that the fan is struggling and needs to be cleaned. But, if the tissue hugs the grille, you can put off deep cleaning for another day.

  • Screwdriver
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Rag or dishcloth
  • Vacuum cleaner with nozzle hose
  • Stiff paintbrush
Disengage the circuit breaker that goes to the fan.

Turn the switch off to the exhaust fan.

Remove the grille from the exhaust fan. Depending on the fan style, this may involve unscrewing screws.

Wash the grille in warm, soapy water, using liquid dish detergent.

Rinse and dry the grille.

Vacuum the fan blades, using the hose nozzle of the vacuum cleaner.

Wipe the blades off with a damp cloth.

Remove dirt or dust from the motor by brushing with a stiff paintbrush.

Reassemble the exhaust fan and turn the circuit breaker back on.

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