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How to Clean Bathroom Vent Fans

Every once in a while I finally get around to cleaning the totally neglected spots in my house. Most recently, it was all the bathroom exhaust fans. It was seriously a job that needed to be done. In fact, I’m pretty sure it had never been done in the 14 years that this house has existed. But it’s not as hard as you might think.

You’ll need a chair or a ladder, depending on how high your ceilings are and how tall you are. I’m short, and we have high ceilings. I definitely needed a ladder. Your vent covers may be different than mine, but most of them can be removed the same way. Pull down on the plastic cover, and then pinch the wire braces on each side. This will let the hooks come out of the slots in the actual fan piece.

As a warning, they will be dirty, and gross, and there will be dead bugs in the cover (I even found a dead bee in one!) I vacuumed up the dead flies before taking this picture. So yeah, vacuum the cover first, then rinse it in the bathtub.

To clean it, you can use pretty much whatever cleaner you have around. The important thing is that you have some kind of brush that can get into all the little slats. I cleaned a couple with OxyClean laundry spray, a couple with my steam cleaner, and then a couple just with shampoo squirted on the scrub brush. Like I said, you can use pretty much anything!

When it’s all been scrubbed clean, rinse with hot water and dry with a towel.

Then climb back up the ladder with a small toothbrush (kid size was perfect) and the vacuum hose. Brush the dust/lint out of the actual fan while catching it with the vacuum hose. Vacuum around the edges to catch any spider webs too. Remember to keep the fan TURNED OFF while you are working on it.

Then it’s time to put the cover back on. Just do the reverse of whatever you did to take it off. On mine, the hooks went back into the fan, and then I pushed straight up on the cover and it snapped back into place.

So much better right! Have I inspired you to go clean the bathroom vent fans in your house now? Leave me a before and after on my Facebook page and I’ll give you virtual high fives 🙂

More cleaning tips:



If you need a jump start to your spring cleaning plan, check out this printable kit from the Dating Divas The kit is totally customizable (and has detailed instructions on how to make edits before you print.) You’ll find chore charts, cleaning lists, ways to get the whole family involved.

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