Home » Tips for Cleaning the Exhaust Fan: Kitchen & Bathroom

Tips for Cleaning the Exhaust Fan: Kitchen & Bathroom

Learn how to clean the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. | SHW Blog

Home exhaust fans can accrue a lot of dust and grime. When this area of your home is not routinely cleaned, it can make a surprising difference to the home’s air circulation and may also act as a fire risk.

Select Home Warranty offers coverage on home systems and appliances. It is important for homeowners to be mindful of this seemingly small area of the home that undergoes heavy use.

Do you have questions about home warranty coverage? Call us today: 860-288-4791

Do bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans need to be cleaned?

Yes, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are at risk of overheating if not cleaned routinely.

As the motor in your exhaust fan spins and accrues dust, it becomes more difficult to circulate, which can lead the motor to overheat and burn out. Kitchens are especially at risk from this due to the oils used in cooking that can get trapped in your exhaust fan. If lint and dust is trapped in the exhaust fan while the motor overheats, it could start a fire.

What is the easiest way to clean an exhaust fan?

Cleaning your exhaust fan will take a bit of work, but with the right tools and enough routine cleanings, it should become very easy. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Brush, such as a cleaning brush or toothbrush
  • Tub, such as your bathtub or a deep pan
  • Dishwashing detergent

1. Gather supplies. Start by wearing gloves and a mask. Exhaust fans collect dust, and debris will be easily shaken off during cleaning. You will also need a brush and rag to scrub and wipe down the fan, and a solution for removing grime. Dishwashing detergent is tough on grease for removing grime build up and perfect for cleaning the exhaust fans in kitchens.

2. Remove and clean the mesh panel. Most kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans contain a mesh panel that acts as a filter. Remove the mesh panel and clean by wetting the panel then soaking it in the tub or a pan with dishwashing detergent. Cover the mesh panel with your detergent solution and scrub in circular motions. Once the panel is fully scrubbed, rinse the panel. Be sure both sides of the panel are clean by repeating scrubbing on the other side.

3. Access and clean the exhaust fan. To clean your exhaust fan, some disassembly may be required. Look for ways the blades unscrew from the central fan. Apply dishwashing detergent and scrub. If you have trouble removing grime on the exhaust blades, consider a more heavy-duty solution such as turpentine and a scraper, such as a plastic knife.

Is it OK to leave exhaust fans on?

If you routinely clean your exhaust fan, it is likely safe to leave it on for long periods of time. However, be mindful of dust and debris that might clog your fan and check your exhaust fan for overheating when it is left on. It is best to not leave the exhaust fan on at all times.

About Select Home Warranty

Since 2012, Select Home Warranty has offered affordable and extensive coverage on home appliances and systems.

We aim to shield your wallet from the unexpected costs of repairing or replacing appliances and systems in your home. We cover a wide range of areas in family homes, including air ducts related to heating and cooling.


Gain peace of mind with a FREE QUOTE to start comparing home warranty coverage. Call today to learn more: 860-288-4791