What to do: First flip the circuit breaker. Then remove the cover and soak it in warm water and dish soap. Use the vacuum’s nozzle attachment to get gunk off the fan blades; wipe with a damp cloth. Remove dust from the motor and other nooks and crannies with a stiff, clean paintbrush, and suck up the debris with a vacuum. When it’s completely dry, replace the cover.
Why: While it helps reduce mold and mildew, the fan also inhales a smorgasbord of airborne particles, which can linger on the blades and the vent.
Best practices: Put the fan on a switch timer (an easy job for a handyman), and run it during every shower and for 30 minutes afterward to keep moisture (and energy use) in check.
And for an overall best practice? Whenever you clean the bathroom, whether deeply or quickly, dry all surfaces well afterward.