How To Clean A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Does your bathroom mirror get foggy after you take a shower? If so, it might mean your bathroom exhaust fan isn’t doing its job! All that heat and humidity in the air isn’t good for your walls, and they make your bathroom the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. When your exhaust fan is working properly, it helps remove excess moisture and odors from the air. But just like anything else, it gets dirty and needs a good cleaning to help keep it running efficiently. Today I’m going to show you how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in ten minutes or less!

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

(By the way, this is also something you should clean if someone in your house has been sick…here are 9 other ways to disinfect your home after flu season!)

Most exhaust fans have a plastic cover that just snaps into place, so you shouldn’t need any tools for this job (other than a vacuum and a ladder or step stool). But it never hurts to be prepared, so make sure you know where a screwdriver is just in case you need to remove a few screws to get the cover off.

How To Clean A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

  • 10 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
  • 0 minutes (time spent waiting around)
  • 10 minutes (total project time)

Tools

Materials

  • soap
  • water

Our fan was SUPER dirty…probably because I haven’t ever cleaned it before, and I’m sure the previous owners didn’t either! Blech!

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

But even if there isn’t visible dust and dirt in the fan cover, your exhaust fan can always benefit from a cleaning, especially if you notice that your bathroom is getting steamy when you take a shower!

Instructions

Start by vacuuming any visible dust and dirt from the fan cover so that it doesn’t fall down onto your bathroom floor when you remove the cover.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

Grab the fan cover on either side and gently pull it down toward you. The cover is usually held in place with small metal springs that will allow it to come away from the ceiling about two inches, but won’t let it come off completely.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

Find the metal springs on either side of the cover and squeeze them together to allow the fan cover to come free from the ceiling. The cover should come right out with a gentle tug as you squeeze the springs together.

Rinse the cover in the tub or sink to remove any loose dust from the inside.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

Clean the cover using a scrub brush and warm soapy water.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

Rinse the cover and set it aside to dry.

Before you replace the cover, vacuum the motor housing and other interior parts of the fan that you can reach. Be careful with this part; there are live wires in there! It should be fine if you’re careful to not unplug any wires or knock them loose with the vacuum, but you can always go to your breaker box and turn off the power to the entire circuit if you want to be extra safe.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

Once everything is clean, all that’s left to do is put it back together! Squeeze the metal springs together and fit them back into the slots in the fan base. Then gently push the fan cover back up until it is flush against the ceiling again. And you’re done!

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

If you want to test your fan to make sure it’s working, turn the fan on, then grab a tissue or piece of toilet paper and hold it up near the fan. The fan should suck the paper up against the cover and hold it there.

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

I was amazed at how much better the fan worked after I cleaned it! Our bathroom was completely steam-free and the mirror had no fog on it whatsoever even after my husband and I both took showers the next morning! So, if your bathroom is feeling humid or your mirror gets foggy, you probably need to clean your bathroom exhaust fan so that it can start doing its job again!

Learn how to clean a bathroom exhaust fan in under ten minutes! No more wet walls and foggy mirrors after a shower!

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. stephanie samples says

    3 years ago

    Hi Jessi ! Thanks for making things easier than the other DIYs’. I’m a novice when it comes to things like cleaning making things. I’ve never been a DIYer and would like to learn. Unfortunately my printer is on the fritzt so I can’t print anything, but I’ll keep reading your coloumns on how to do things. BTW do you have any suggestion on how to clean watches? My wrist band needs cleaning. Again thank you for making things simpler. Don’t know if you’ll get this email,but was worth a shot. Sincerely Stephanie Samples

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      3 years ago

      I’m glad you’re liking the tutorials so far!

      Is your watch band leather or metal?

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