Cleaning a Ceiling Fan Tips

Cleaning a Ceiling Fan Tips


Ceiling fans are great for cooling down your home, but like any other appliance, they gather dust which can trigger allergies. Soon it will be very warm, and we’ll be wanting to turn on the ceiling fans to circulate the air again. Unfortunately, too many people neglect their ceiling fans. Rather than enjoying cool, crisp airflow when first turned on, they are greeted with a cloud of dust. That's why keeping your ceiling fan clean and dust-free is important.

Why should I clean my ceiling fan?

It is incredibly important to keep your ceiling fan clean. Not only does this help ensure a longer life for your fan, but it also keeps the air in your home cleaner. This is especially important if you live with young children, the elderly, or those with breathing issues like asthma.

Further, dust is one of the main culprits when it comes to wobbly ceiling fans! If a large amount of dust is allowed to build up on the blades, this can affect the speed of the fan. This, in turn, causes the blades to wobble and puts a strain on the fan’s motor. Dust can also build up on the fan’s motor, which can not only cause a safety issue but could affect your warranty.

As a result, it is incredibly important to ensure your ceiling fan is clean and dust-free throughout the year, especially if you are using your summer/winter mode!

How to clean a ceiling fan

Let’s be honest, cleaning isn’t the most exciting job in the world. And no two cleaning jobs are the same. But, like cleaning your bathroom exhaust fans, it is a job that must be done. And done safely! There are several ways you can clean your ceiling fan, depending on what you have at home and your comfort.

But, above all, you must ensure that your fan is switched off during the cleaning process. If you have breathing issues, allergies or are sensitive to dust, we recommend that you cover your face with a face mask or bandana.

The Pillowcase Cleaning Method

For this method, you will need a step ladder and an old pillowcase. Carefully position your ladder under the ceiling fan. Once you have climbed high enough to safely reach the fan, cover the first fan blade with the pillowcase.

Apply careful pressure (so you don’t damage the blades) and slowly pull the pillowcase back. Take your time pulling the pillowcase back to ensure you keep the dust and dirt trapped inside.

Repeat for all your fan blades, shaking out the pillowcase (outside) if the blades are heavily covered in dust. Once you have finished, you can shake the pillowcase out (again) outside to prevent the need for extra cleaning. Once you have shaken the pillowcase out, you can simply wash the case in warm water or in your washing machine.

Clean a Ceiling Fan with the Duster Method

This method is especially good for cleaning high ceiling fans. You will need an old sheet and a long duster (with extender arm). We also highly recommend a face covering for this method.

Place the sheet on the floor beneath the ceiling fan. This will help catch the dust and prevent the need for extra cleaning. Place the duster directly on top of the fan and begin dusting downwards. You should also clean the motor housing at this point. Dust away from yourself to prevent being covered in dust. Continue dusting away from you until you have cleaned the motor housing and the top of each fan blade.

Once done, repeat the process for the bottom of the fan blades – believe it or not, dust can also cling here. Once finished, carefully pick up the sheet from under the fan and shake the dust loose outside. Like the pillowcase method, you can now wash the sheet in warm water or in a washing machine.

The Cloth Wipe Method

If your fans are particularly dirty or greasy because they haven’t been cleaned, this is the method for you. You will need an old sheet, a cloth or baby wipes, a step ladder and a mineral spirit (odourless is best).

Like the duster method, we once again recommend a face covering for this method. Place the sheet on the floor beneath the fan. Place the step ladder in a position that will let you easily access the ceiling fan and fan blades.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan with a Vacuum Attachment

This final method is perfect for those who don’t have a spare sheet, pillowcase or duster available. You will need a stepladder and your vacuum cleaner with the extended attachment attached. Place the step ladder safely under the ceiling fan then turn your vacuum cleaner on. Climb the ladder and use the vacuum to carefully pick up the dust from the fan blades.

You should run the attachment along the blade in straight lines to avoiding making a mess. Repeat this process for each blade until all are clean. You can then use the vacuum cleaner to tidy up any dust or dirt that has fallen to the floor.

For extremely dirty blades or kitchen fan blades that are caked with grease, wipe with a damp cloth first to remove dust and dirt. Then apply an all-purpose cleaner, or whatever cleaner is recommended by the fan manufacturer, to a sponge or cloth and wipe each blade to remove grease. Rinse cloth after cleaning each blade and repeat as needed. Then wipe each blade dry.


• Each month use a duster with a long handle to dust blades.
• Every 3 months wipe blades with a damp cloth.
• Every 6 months vacuum blades and wipe with a damp cloth.

Now you can enjoy the fresh, clean air without a second thought during the summer.

Contact a professional

If you are not sure what to do with your dirty ceiling fan, you can contact a professional electrician like Allyn White Electrical to help you with your ceiling fan.

As an electrical contractor, Allyn White Electrical does all kinds of industrial and commercial electrical installations and repairs as well as home electrical services and emergency electrical repairs. We are a small family-owned and run business with over 40+ years’ experience so please call us on 0416235641. We are here to help.



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