For a bathroom extractor fan to be effective, it needs to be clean. One of the hardest working bathroom fittings, keeping your bathroom ventilation system clear ensures greater efficiency. This will help your bathroom maintain balanced humidity levels while encouraging healthy airflow in this space. 
From time to time, our bathroom extractors fans will need some TLC of their own! Yet, this is a simple DIY task that can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Here, The Bathroom Showroom highlights the importance of cleaning your bathroom extractor fan, showing you how to get the job done step by step.

Why Is It Important to Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan?

A bathroom extractor fan works hard to remove excess moisture from the bathroom. This results in avoiding any potential build-up of mould and mildew. However, as a bathroom fan is run typically several times each day, it’s understandable it will encounter build-up of debris.
This means the fan will start to become clogged and blocked and with each use fail to perform to the best of its capability. Over time, this paves the way for mould and mildew to start developing in the bathroom as the fan struggles to remove excess moisture from the air. 
A bathroom fan that is never cleaned will eventually simply stop doing anything, though it’ll still be using electricity! And, worst case scenario, an extremely dirty bathroom fan could pose a potential fire hazard as the motor might overheat.

What Are the Benefits of Cleaning a Bathroom Extractor Fan?

There are two fantastic reasons to ensure your bathroom extractor fan is cleaned regularly. The most obvious one is to increase its efficiency when clearing this room. By drying out the bathroom quicker and fully, a good working extractor fan can help protect those dream bathrooms, ensuring a stunning and healthy-looking space. 
This will also mean bathroom fixtures and fittings last longer because they aren't exposed to prolonged moisture build-up. Also, walls and floors are protected as a dried-out bathroom is less likely to struggle with condensation forming on the windows in the mornings. 
Yet also, and equally as important, is the increased reassurance of protecting users' health in this room. As a bathroom extractor fan can trap a great deal of air, it also traps dust and therefore allergens. Over time, if this air can't be vented correctly not only will this dust begin to stick to the fan but also to the room itself. 
You may also even notice a distinctly unpleasant smell in the room, like that of a blocked drain. This all makes for an unhealthy environment for everyone using the bathroom and an irritant to allergy sufferers too. 

How Often Should You Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan?

It’s good practice to clean your extractor fan at least every six months. A good thorough clean twice a year should be enough to keep your bathroom fan in tip-top working condition throughout the year. 
Yet, you may well notice that on visual inspection the fan appears to look clogged and grimy. Another tell-tale sign of a dirty extractor fan is when it begins to get really noisy. This is because the fan itself is struggling to operate correctly through all that filth. If this is the case, and you use your bathroom extractor fan several times a day, you could look at such clues as an indication of when to act upon cleaning it.

How to Clean a Bathroom Extractor Fan in Eight Easy Steps

Fortunately, this is an easy DIY task that should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes. It also doesn't require any expensive or complex tools. 
What you will need to clean a bathroom fan:
  • Warm, mild soapy water
  • A soft sponge
  • A soft microfiber cloth
  • A duster
  • A small screwdriver
  • A soft dry microfiber towel
  1. Before you start any work on your bathroom extractor fan, it’s crucial to switch off the power supply to it. This can be done at the circuit breaker or the switch. 
  2. Remove your extractor fan cover. How you do this will depend on the type of model that you have. Most extractor fans simply need unscrewing so you can slide or lift the cover off. Yet, there are some fans where you need to undo the spring clips to gain access. 
  3. Place the cover of the extractor fan into a container of soapy water, leaving it to soak while you get on with the next steps.
  4. Now you’re able to see inside the extractor fan, use your hands to pull out the visible gunk. If the extractor fan is thick with dirt, you can use a vacuum nozzle here, but do so gently so as to not damage the fan itself. Once you’ve got rid of the worst of the dirt, take a duster to the fan and dust around the unit.
  5. Then, using a soft cloth rinsed in some warm soapy water, get to work on cleaning out the extractor fan until it looks as good as new. 
  6. When you've finished with the damp cloth, use a towel and dry the fan area completely.
  7. Remove the fan cover from the soapy water container and, using a soft sponge, clean this off before drying it out completely.
  8. Fix the cover back onto your fan, then test the fan to ensure everything is back on correctly and the fan remains in good working order. Now you have a clean bathroom extractor fan that’s as good as new.
For further advice on how to keep your bathroom ventilated take a look at our dedicated blog post. 
If you’re considering a new bathroom extractor fan, book an appointment with The Bathroom Showroom. Experts in all things bathrooms, we can help turn your dream bathroom into a reality.