🕑 5 minutes read

How and why you need to clean a bathroom extractor fan?

Condensation in a bathroom is caused by insufficient airflow and heat. If the airflow isn’t sufficient, then condensation will show on the windows, tiled walls, mirrors, bathroom furniture such as the cistern above the WC, exposed pipes and the glass screen of the shower enclosure.

Droplets appear on these cold surfaces when warm, damp air comes into contact with them. If you dry damp, wet clothing regularly indoors by hanging them over radiators, it’s a sure way of assisting the build-up of condensation and, over time, mould! Living in a flat or apartment without access to the outside when drying clothing will cause condensation and mould if clothing is dried in this way! Condensation must be managed!

OK, we now know the cause; let’s see what can be done to manage the condensation and prevent it from forming.

A sparkling clean, fresh bathroom looks fresh, and you feel it. To keep your bathroom feeling and to look fresh, a decent extractor fan will help to remove condensation and keep your bathroom looking and feeling fresher and cleaner for longer!

If you don’t have an extractor fan in the bathroom, then cleaning/wiping down after a shower will always be a chore! You may already have an extractor fan installed, but when was the last time you gave it a thorough clean? Extractor fans (a decent one) will remove moisture and any airborne particles such as dust and cotton fibres, etc.

Post shower or bath, and you towel dry, you will be surprised at the number of cotton particles that become airborne; not all are visible. They all get (well, most of them) hoovered up by the exhaust fan.

An extractor fan’s sole purpose is to keep your bathroom environment clean and free from condensation. In principle, it’s like a vacuum cleaner, sucking out (or up) any unwelcome condensation or airborne particles in the bathroom.

Hang on, though; not all of the debris will get fully extracted; some will remain at the rear of the extractor in and around the motor and the fan’s blades. Which, over time, can affect the fan’s performance! Therefore, cleaning  and general maintenance are essential!

Why you need to clean your bathroom extractor fan?

Dust, dirt or mould spores not effectively extracted will accumulate and reduce the fan’s performance. 

In this ‘Serviceteam Guide’, we explore how to clean your bathroom extractor fan to maintain its performance.

clean your bathroom extractor fan

Cleaning an extractor fan: Complete Guide

Step 1: Turn off the power.

Safety first: Turn off the power and remove the fuse from the fuse board or neutralise the circuit breaker for added safety. Most bathroom extractor fan models have a switch behind the cover; if found, isolate it!

Step 2: Place protective sheets.

Place some old sheets or newspapers just below the fan to catch all the dirt, dust and debris.

Step 3: Remove the fan cover.

Most extractor fans have plastic covers held in place by screws or spring clips. Remove the screws or pinch together the spring clips and remove the cover. Now you can see how much dust, dirt, fluff, etc., has accumulated since its installation or last clean!

Remove the fan cover

Step 4: Clean the fan.

Now you can see just how much debris hasn’t been exhausted. It probably covers the majority of the electric motor, wiring and cowling. Vacuum out the dust before the next step. An old toothbrush will help to remove any stubborn grime or dust.

Once the dust has been completely removed and with a damp soapy J Cloth (avoiding contact with any wiring and electrical contacts) and wipe clean the inside of the cowling, carefully wiping around the electric motor to remove any debris clogged in the motor’s extraction grill.

Do not slop any water over the fan – remember electricity and water are NOT good bedfellows; use water sparingly. You can use a small brush and warm, soapy water to clean both sides. Scrape the fan blades to remove any persistent grime.

Step 5: Clean the fan-housing.

While you wait for the extractor fan to dry, clean the fan-housing/cowling. The next step may require some elbow grease, depending on how much dirt has accumulated. Use protective clothing, gloves etc, when using any chemicals for cleaning purposes.

Clean the rest of the extractor fan-housing with a brush and a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid water coming into contact with the fan motor.

Step 6: Clean the fan blades.

Cleaning the blades determines the fan’s efficiency (assuming the motor is still functioning correctly). If the blade unit can be removed easily, all is well and good, as it can be immersed in warm soapy water and scrubbed clean. If removal is more complicated, then clean it in situ. A microfiber cloth or scourer sponge used vigorously frees the blades of any stubborn grime!

Step 7: A drying down period.

The cleaning is now done, and you’re satisfied that the cowling, cover and blades are nice and clean, leave them to ‘air’ dry (thoroughly) before restoring the power. Using a dry cloth or hair dryer helps. If using a hair dryer, adopt all the necessary safety precautions to ensure your personal safety and that of others – keep away from any standing water!

Step 8: Assemble the fan.

Once everything is completely dry, the next step is to put everything together. Make sure everything is in place.

Clean the fan-housing

Step 9: Test your extractor fan.

Once everything is back in place, ensure everything is running smoothly – restore the power, turn it on, and ensure the blades aren’t catching on the fan casing. Take a piece of toilet tissue approximately 100mm x 100mm and place it on the extractor grill; it should stay in position by the sucking power of the exhaust, which indicates the fan is working as it should. If a similar test had been performed before cleaning, you could gauge the improvement.

Thumbs up, job well done!

Cleaning your bathroom extractor fan takes approximately 10 minutes prep and 15 minutes cleaning time. Now it’s clear there’s less chance of mould, moisture, odours etc., at least until the next clean.   

Need help with extractor fan cleaning or replacement?

The primary role of bathroom or kitchen extractor fans is to circulate air in the room and absorb and remove moisture, preventing it from accumulating. An extractor fan draws thousands of cubic feet of air per annum through it, a fair amount for a domestic property?

Due to its working environment, issues will develop over time, so periodic maintenance/cleaning is recommended. Although, if you’re into DIY, it’s fairly simple; if not, get professional help from a serviceteam engineer, who will ascertain if it’s time for a heavy-duty clean or it’s time to replace it.

Replacing or cleaning, whatever is needed serviceteam is only a call away. You can sit back and relax, knowing your service is in safe hands when we’re on our way! 

If you need help with extractor fan cleaning or replacement, you can book this service 24/7 Serviceteam engineer or contact a team member who will give recommendations as to the best solution. Serviceteam extractor fan cleaning/replacement engineers will remove the worry and take the strain!