How to clean a ceiling fan
- Anna Ham
Your ceiling fan is a fashionable, functional fixture. It adds year-round comfort as well as exceptional style to your space. However, your ceiling fan collects dust on the blades as it runs, and unless you want dust flying around your room, you need to clean your ceiling fan blades regularly.
Keeping your ceiling fan clean and dust-free is also important for the longevity of your fan and helps keep the air in your room clean. (If you have one of our Hunter Original fans, you’ll also need to do some minor ceiling fan maintenance and occasionally give it an oil bath). We have the best tips for how to clean fan blades and fan bodies like a pro:
Tip: If you have allergies and are sensitive to dust, you may want to wear a mask during this process.
1. Clean your fan blades
You usually see the largest collection of dust on fan blades. Cleaning them weekly is necessary to ensure the fan isn’t spreading dust around your room. Before you start, make sure you turn off your fan, prepare your space, and gather your materials. If your fan blades have accumulated grease or a thick layer of dust, try using baby wipes or a gentle cleanser on them before you do your regular dusting.
How to dust a ceiling fan without a ladder
- Extendable duster
- Old sheet
The easiest way to clean a ceiling fan without a ladder is by using an extendable duster with a flexible head. They can extend a few feet high, which makes it easy to clean out-of-reach ceiling fans. Some extendable dusters come with a special attachment that can make dusting both sides of the ceiling fan blade at the same time a breeze. These can cost between $15 and $25.
Tip: There may be a bit of dust that drops down, so use an old sheet to cover any exposed furniture underneath the fan as needed.
How to clean a ceiling fan with a pillowcase
- Large pillowcase
- Old sheet
- Water or gentle cleanser
If you have lower ceilings and can safely reach your ceiling fan blades without a ladder (you may need a step stool at most), a pillowcase is an easy way to clean the ceiling fan blades without getting dust everywhere.
Place the open end of the pillowcase over the blade. Wipe the bottom and top of the blade off by gently sliding the pillowcase toward you. Use light pressure while doing this on the ceiling fan blades: too much pressure could cause the blades to break or go out of balance. Shake off the dust in the pillowcase outside before you wash it.
For added cleaning power, lightly spray the inside of the pillowcase with water or a gentle cleaning solution. The added cleaning spray can help with keeping any excess dust from flying off.
2. Clean the fan body and light fixture
- Microfiber cloth
- Homemade cleaner (one part vinegar to three parts water)
- Compressed air can
While you're cleaning the blades, you might as well clean the ceiling fan’s other nooks and crannies, like the glass shades and motor housing. Use a microfiber cloth to dust these parts. Or, utilize a can of compressed air to quickly blow off dust.
If you’re just touching up the outside of the fan light glass, use a homemade glass cleaner (one part vinegar to three parts water in a spray bottle) and a microfiber cloth. Spray the cleaner onto the cloth instead of the glass.
If your fan light glass needs a deep clean, remove the glass from the fan and soak it in warm, soapy water. Make sure it’s completely dry before you install the light glass back on the fan.
3. Clean the fan accessories
- Cotton cloth
- Rubbing alcohol
If you have a ceiling fan with a remote, it’s important to disinfect your fan remote. Start by removing the batteries from the back of the remote. Dip a cotton cloth into rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) and wipe down the entire surface of the controller. Let the controller dry, then put the batteries back in.
There are a multitude of other disinfecting products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can also find extensive disinfecting tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With these tips and tricks, learning how to clean a ceiling fan becomes less daunting. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can easily integrate this practice into your weekly routine. After all, maintaining a clean ceiling fan helps preserve its quality and performance over time.
Use the times when you clean your ceiling fans as an opportunity to change the ceiling fan direction with the changing seasons. In the warm months, ceiling fans should spin counterclockwise to create the downdraft needed for those cool breezes. In the winter, ceiling fans need to spin clockwise to create updraft to help move warm air trapped near the ceiling downward.