Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Extractor Fan

We are so busy cooking something delicious and amazing when we’re in the kitchen that we neglect the things that surround us! And one of them is the extractor fan! While we do remember to wipe down the kitchen hob after use, that guy up there keeps getting grimier and greasier. 

Extractor fan in luxury kitchen

And the one in the kitchen is just the beginning! Think about the one in your bathroom too. Is it so important to keep them neat and clean? And if so, how do you clean them after all? Well, these are some good questions, and that’s why we have put together a step-by-step guide that will help you clean your extractor fans easily and quickly. Without further ado, let’s get started!

How to clean your bathroom extractor fan

Contrary to what people think, bathroom fans are very easy to clean. You don’t have to hire a professional cleaning service or ask for help from your family members. The process is rather simple. Here’s what you need to do!

Things you will need

DIY steps

1. Disconnect the Fan

Fans are attached to circuit breakers that are found in either the garage or the basement of your home. They are also sometimes found in your room or your hallways. You need to disconnect the fan from the electricity supply first. It’s all about safety, right? 

Extractor fan for bathroom

2. Remove the Vent

Most vents are spring loaded while the others are attached via screws. If your vent is spring-loaded, you will have to place your hands on either side and pull it down to remove the external part. 

A lot of spring-loaded covers also come with clips on the inside that you can squeeze to release the vent. On the other hand, if there are screws involved, you can use a screwdriver to remove them. You will need a small ladder or stool on which you can stand up and clean the vents. 

3. Clean the Fan

Naturally, the fan will be full of dirt and debris. Once you have pulled the fan cover off, you can use a vacuum with the bristle brush attachment. In case you don’t have a vacuum, you can also use a small brush to reach the inner parts of the fan.

You can also rinse the entire thing with warm water and scrub it properly with the help of a toothbrush. If you rinse the fan, make sure to use a dry towel to remove any excess moisture. Regardless of your way of cleaning, make sure to pay special attention to the indentations. Ensure that the areas near the motor are thoroughly cleaned as well

4. Attach the Vent Cover

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the fan, it’s time to put back the vent cover. You have to attach it back exactly how you removed it. If there are screws attached, make sure to place them again and tighten them to avoid any accidents. If it was spring-loaded, hold the clips down to attach them again. 

Regardless of how thoroughly you clean the fan, if you don’t do it frequently, there is no use. Make sure to clean your fan every 3 to 6 months. This is because most of them can actively soak up moisture, dirt and debris that then accumulate on the surface.  

How to clean your kitchen extractor fan

Let’s move on to the next room! The bathroom wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, this is what you’re going to need and how to do it.

Hands with gloves cleaning kitchen extractor fan

Things you will need

  • Warm water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Soft cloth
  • Blow dryer

DIY steps

1. Turn the Power Off

The first step is always to turn off the power. This ensures that you don’t face any unforeseen accidents during your cleaning session. You need to turn off the circuit breaker connection that is usually found in the basement or the garage.

Don’t clean the extractor fan blades right after you have cooked food on the stove or used your oven cooker hood. This is when your fan is the hottest, and you can burn yourself easily while trying to clean it.

2. Replace the Cooker Hood Filters

A lot of dirt accumulates in the kitchen extractor hood fans so there are usually filters inside them that trap those particles. If there are paper filters, you have to replace them every month. However, carbon filters need to be replaced every 6 months

You can also check out the manufacturer’s guide on your appliance to see the kind of grease filters that you need to buy as a replacement. 

3. Wash the Filters

You cannot wash paper or carbon filters, whereas metal and sponge filters can be cleaned using dish soap and water. Plug the kitchen drain; fill the sink with hot, boiling water. Add some washing up liquid in it. Soak the filters in the soapy water for half an hour. Add a tbsp. of bicarbonate of soda as well as a tbsp. of white vinegar.

Clean the filters thoroughly. With the help of a brush, scrub to remove any accumulated dirt and debris as well as any build-up of grease. Rinse the metal filter using hot water to remove any leftover dirt, dust, and grime. Once you are done, use a soft and non-abrasive cloth or paper towels to dry the filter – it will be just like new.

4. Attach the Filter

Dry the filter with either a damp cloth or a blow dryer. Once you do that, it is time to put it back inside the fan. Before that, ensure that you have dried both sides as well as the edges of the filter thoroughly.

Dirty and new clean filter

How to prevent grease and dirt build-up

Cleaning your fan, even though it isn’t a herculean task, it’s not the best way to spend your morning. Instead of spending hours and hours on cleaning, you should take up preemptive measures, which ensure that grease and dirt don’t build up in the first place. 

Most people don’t clean their fans which then quickly becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria in the kitchen and bathrooms. This can result in unpleasant odours, along with an increase in the risk of unhygienic spots.

The best way to take care of yours is to use a vacuum to clean it from the outside once in a while. You don’t always have to remove the vents and clean the entire thing. You can also stand on a stool and clean the top portion of the fan, thus preventing any grease or dirt from accumulating and damaging the motor of your unit. 

When is the right time to replace the filter?

Well, this depends on the kind of filter that you have installed. Most paper filters should be replaced within one month of usage. Carbon filters, on the other hand, can last a bit longer than that. It all comes down to how much you use them. These particular types, you cannot clean, and you will have to buy new ones every time.

On the other hand, the more durable and sturdy metal and stainless steel filters last for a longer period of time. You will have to replace them once every 6 months. They are easily available in the market. Before you go on to buy replacement filters, make sure you know the model and the size of your fan. 

Close up of extractor fan in the new modern kitchen

Cleaning your extractor fan is a fairly easy job and one that requires absolutely no expertise. It is easy to push their cleaning down your schedule, though. Instead of procrastinating and thinking that you will clean the fans some other time, simply follow the easy steps and cleaning tips we have given above and have a clean, fresh home in no time! Find next: How to clean a stove vent fan filter!

Happy cleaning, folks!


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