How to Clean Ceiling Fans (It Will Blow You Away)

If you can see dust on the leading edge of your fan blades, chances are the rest is just as dusty. You may not be a fan of cleaning them regularly but it is an important task. Cleaning your ceiling fans will prevent a buildup of dust, pollen, dander and dirt, which can be especially helpful to asthma and allergy sufferers.

Pro Tip: The direction that the blades rotate will either cool or warm your rooms. Simply switch it up when the seasons change. Counterclockwise cools the room. Clockwise warms the room.

*Remember to be careful when cleaning your ceiling fan and to take all necessary safety precautions. If you have a complex ceiling fan with unique motors or blades please consult your manufacturer.*

Dusty Fans

Gather your supplies: 
  • Ladder
  • Vacuum (we love the Bissell® Zing) with horsehair brush attachment
  • Extendable Swiffer®
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bucket with 4 cups of hot water and ½ tsp of powdered Tide®  
How to clean dusty ceiling fans:

1. Safety First: Turn off the fan. 

2. Place your ladder securely under your fan and carefully climb up (use a spotter if you need).

3. Gently vacuum the fan blades, the base of the fan, and any lights and light covers with a horsehair brush attachment to remove any dust or debris. No downward pressure as it can throw off the fan alignment. You may need a partner to help hold the vacuum base if it’s heavy or awkward (which is why we love the lightweight Bissell® Zing for this job).

ceiling fan cleaning
  • If your fan is too high, skip the vacuum and use an extendable Swiffer® instead. 
  • If you see dust within the base or housing of the fan, use a can of compressed air to blow it out.

4. Wipe: using a slightly damp cloth with powdered Tide® and warm water, wipe down the entire fan. Be sure to clean:

  • The top, bottom and edges of each blade, 
  • The base and housing including all crevices and hard to reach areas, and
  • The lights and light covers (ensure they are cool to the touch before wiping).
ceiling fan cleaning

5. If anything is streaky, polish it up with some Windex® and a cloth.

Quick Hacks to Clean Ceiling Fans: 

Sometimes there’s just not enough time to do a thorough clean, but hey, anything helps. Use these methods in between full cleans to keep the dust at bay.

  • We love using the extendable handle Swiffers® to quickly pick up the dust from fan blades. 
  • If you haven’t seen the pillowcase hack, here’s how to do it. Simply slide an old pillowcase over each blade and pull it toward yourself to collect the dust without all the mess ending up on the floor or bed below. This will not work for greasy rooms like the kitchen.
ceiling fan cleaning

Greasy Ceiling Fans:

In areas like the kitchen, it’s likely that you have sticky grease and dust on your ceiling fan blades, and you will need a degreaser to cut through it.  Follow the same 5 steps above except instead of our Tide® recipe, we like to use Mr. Clean® undiluted in a spray bottle. Spray it on the blades and then wipe away with a damp cloth. Repeat until all the sticky feeling is gone. Mr. Clean tends to streak so rinse again with a clean damp cloth after all the grease has been removed. Follow up with Windex® to polish. 

Now that your ceiling fans are clean you can sit back, relax and enjoy the refreshing breeze without all the dust.

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

– Katie @ GoCleanCo

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