How to Clean Extractor Fan

How to Clean Extractor Fan

How to Clean Extractor Fan

There is no denying that we are a nation of cleaning fanatics. In fact, the UK household cleaning segment equates to an eye-watering £1.2 billion as of 2022. Even if you are cleaning obsessed, can you safely say that you have a clean extractor fan? With the average home gathering around 18kg of dust a year, it is easy to understand just how hidden dirt your house could be hiding. Clean extractor fans should be among the top priorities when doing a deep clean, as they can conceal dust and dirt.

Want to know how you can keep your extractor fan clean and working efficiently? Follow our simple steps to keep your home ventilation tool in wonderful condition.

Why do you need a clean extractor fan?

condensation water droplets

We think that it is important to understand exactly how a clean extractor fan helps you out when it comes to purifying as it will let you recognise the signs to look for if dirt has started to accumulate. Most commonly located in the kitchen and bathroom, these airflow essentials help in several ways which include the following:

Reduce condensation within the home

If condensation within the home is not treated, it can lead to dampness and mould which will affect both your health and the health of your living space. A clean extractor fan works to remove any water particles by offering a consistent flow of air. Ideal for use in bathrooms, this means that you can still enjoy your long steamy showers without having to worry about your home retaining moisture. Getting rid of mould and mildew is one of the most common reasons that people choose to invest in extractor fans.

Find out more ways of removing condensation in our blog post.

Eliminate health conditions associated with poor air quality

Ventilation is essential for reducing the chance of being susceptible to respiratory infections as well as decreasing the chance of spreading them. Clean extractor fans bring in fresh outdoor air to keep people healthy at all times. Some people also just like the feeling of having fresh air circulation within the home as it improves mental clarity and overall well-being.

Maintain the structure of a building

Ventilation is also important when it comes to keeping building structures intact. Without the air supply and removal of moisture, internal frames and walls can become affected by dampness which seriously comprises the overall composition of a building. 

How often should you clean an extractor fan?

It is recommended that you deep clean extractor fans at least every three months, but this does depend on how much you use your product. As with anything, the more you use it the more often it will need to be refreshed. Therefore, we always say to be on the safe side, it’s worth ensuring and maintaining clean extractor fans once a month. 

You should also keep on top of dusting it on a weekly basis alongside your other chores as this stops any dirt from accumulating.

Also, if you are experiencing any breathing or health conditions, it is worth giving your extractor an extra refresh to ensure it is working at optimal efficiency.

Complete steps: How to clean extractor fan covers and internal components

water soapy sponge clean

What you will need:

  • A sponge and/or cleaning cloth
  • Warm, soapy water (you can use dish washing liquid for this)
  • A screwdriver depending on your model of fan
  • Cotton buds or cleaning spoolies/brushes for getting into the hard-to-reach spots
  • A dry-cleaning cloth or paper towels, and a buffing cloth if your fan contains steel or metal to ensure a gleaming finish
  • Optional: Rubber gloves


Step One

Ensure your extractor fan is switched off or unplugged depending on the model that you have. For electrical fans it is important that no water enters the mechanism otherwise you could end up needing to invest in a new solution.

Step Two

Remove the cover which could be a grill or mesh design. This should then be washed using your warm, soapy water and a light scrubbing motion so as not to cause damage. The cover will often boast a layer of dust and possibly grease so make sure this is thoroughly clean then dry and set aside.

Step Three

Next up is cleaning the extractor fan blades which should also be done extremely carefully. If you are wondering how to clean bathroom extractor fan mechanisms, which are often more likely to have a mould build up, you should use a damp cloth and the same washing up solution. You may also want to treat the blades with a mould and mildew spray if spores and germs have started to build up as this provides a further anti-bacterial treatment.

How to clean kitchen extractor fan components may also differ due to the likelihood of a grease build up. In this case, you should adopt the same method using soapy water, but also use a specific grease-cutting product. There are lots on the market that are great to use. We just always recommend that your cleaning produce of choice is suitable for use on the blade material.

Whatever type of extractor fan you are cleaning, you should ensure that you ring out your cloth thoroughly to stop a build up of water from accumulating.

Step Four

You should then ensure your blades and internal cavity is completely dry. You can then buff using a lint-collecting cloth to remove any remaining dust particles. Should you have additional filters to clean, you can also then wash them using the same soapy water and drying method.

Step Five

When you are happy that everything is dry, simply put your extractor fan back together and it is ready to use.

It is as simple as that!

What are the best types of extractor fans to invest in?

Some models of fans are much easier to keep clean than others, so we think that cleanliness should be a deciding factor when choosing the right one for your needs.

With 20% of Brits saying they only clean their homes once a year, our opinion is that perhaps the thought of something being more difficult to maintain than it actually is could be a determining factor. Making sure your chosen model of extractor fan is simple to take apart, re-fit and clean are all things you should consider.

Here are some of our top recommendations for easy-to-maintain models for the I-Sells collection:

Kitchen Extractor Fans

The Kair Smart Intelligent Extractor Fan and the Nuaire Cyfan Extractor Kit are both examples of kitchen models that can be taken apart and cleaned easily. They also have protective inserts which stop most grease and kitchen debris from entering the mechanism. Kitchen fans are essential to keep clean as good ventilation will stop grease build-up elsewhere and these fans help you achieve that perfectly.

Bathroom Extractor Fans

You may also choose to invest in a contemporary design which is going to making cleaning your extractor fan easier. If this is the case, the Airflow Icon Eco 15 and Airflow Aura Eco 100T are the perfect bathroom models for you. Allowing condensation to be quickly removed, these fans are easy to maintain to ensure your bathroom never suffers from the dreaded mould build-up.

Commercial Extractor Fans

Ensuring proper ventilation in commercial spaces is a health and safety regulation as outlined by HSE. Commercial models, such as the Ventaxia T-Series and Centrifrugal Fan 280M3 both offer an easy product when it comes to cleaning. With lots of people in one space, dust can build up easily which is why commercial extractor fans must be cleaned regularly. These models are designed to be taken apart and put together quickly, allowing both cleaning professionals and amateurs to maintain them.  

What are the other benefits of keeping an extractor fan clean?

Alongside the reasons that we have already outlined for why an extractor fan is so important, maintaining its cleanliness also means that:

  • Your product will last for longer, meaning you don’t have to keep paying for replacements.
  • The mechanism will work much more effectively providing you with the air-purifying results that you need.
  • Other non-respiratory health conditions, such as colds and cases of flu, will be eliminated faster.
  • Pets are happier and calmer as they are given a fresh air flow even when they are at home during the day.
  • Furniture and fabrics are kept fresher for longer making your home more hygienic in general.

Do you feel confident in knowing how to maintain a clean extractor fan?

The whirling fan blades and intricate design of extractor and ventilation fans mean they are often bypassed when it comes to household cleaning. Hopefully, this guide has shown you that with the right model and some cleaning know-how, maintaining your extractor fan is simple.

If anything, the main motivation should be having a solution for keeping the rest of your home clean, damp-free, and hygienic. So next time you have a spare 15 minutes, why not pick up the cleaning cloth and give your extractor fan a deep clean!

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