How to clean your home’s ceiling fans


HomeHome / News / How to clean your home’s ceiling fans

Dec 03, 2023

How to clean your home’s ceiling fans

Ceiling fans create refreshing breezes and even help your heating system run

Ceiling fans create refreshing breezes and even help your heating system run more efficiently. The downside is that even the best ceiling fans accumulate dust, which can build up and cause it to run off-kilter.

A dirty fan not only runs less efficiently, but it can distribute small particles across the room that were previously stuck to the blades, such as pollen and dirt. Cleaning them can get messy quickly, but not if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are a few surefire ways to get the job done without scattering gunk throughout the room.

Safety first! You want to start with your fan in the off position. While it might be tempting to grab a nearby chair, take the extra time to grab a ladder or step stool. Turn on other light sources or open your blinds to make sure you can see every spec.

Grab an old pillowcase and a ladder or step stool. Lightly spray the inside of the pillowcase with a mild all-purpose cleaner. Slip the pillowcase over a blade and gently wipe the cloth back. (Avoid spraying the solution directly on the fan because the liquid can get into the housing.) This will trap dust and debris inside. Repeat for each blade. Wipe the glass light fixtures with a microfiber cloth. Finish the job by spritzing your cloth with anti-static dust-repelling spray and giving each blade a quick swipe.

Another option — and perhaps the best one if you have a fabric or wicker ceiling fan — is to use your vacuum's extended hose and dust attachment to suck up debris. If you run it along each blade and still find them to have a layer of dust, swipe the tops with a water-dampened microfiber cloth and let them dry completely. Finish with a quick wipe of a rag containing dust-repelling spray before turning the fan back on.

If the fan has a light fixture, the globes or glass housing will be removable. Most can be cycled through the dishwasher or hand-washed with warm, soapy water. Dry with a clean cloth. Replace any burned-out bulbs before rehanging the glass.

For great rooms with tall or vaulted ceilings, a ladder or other special equipment might come in handy. Depending on the fan height, you might be able to stand on a ladder and use a pillowcase to clean the blades. An extendable duster offers another option for safely reaching the fan. Cover the floor and furniture below with an old sheet to catch falling dust. Then vacuum anything that remains.

As a good rule of thumb, experts recommend cleaning your fan quarterly.

Even the best ceiling fans can get wobbly, so if yours wobbles after a cleaning, take a Phillips screwdriver to tighten any loose screws or fasteners. If that doesn't do the trick, or you notice exposed wires, it might be time to call in a professional.

Once your fan is clean, you can sit back and enjoy a nice cool breeze without needing to sneeze.

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. Learn More.

The Best Electric Knife

The Best Dinner Plates

The Best Bowls With Lids

The Best Rice Bowl

The Best Sushi Plates

The Best Ceramic Plates

The Best Snack Bowls

The Best Cotton Candy Machine

The Best Egg Cooker