Unless you want clumps to fling around every time you turn it on, you need to start dusting those blades! We turned to cleaning guru Bob Vila, as well as Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid, to get their expert tips on cleaning your ceiling fans.
How often to clean your ceiling fan | How to keep dust off ceiling fans | How to clean ceiling fans without making a mess | How to deep-clean a grimy ceiling fan | How to clean a ceiling fan lighting fixture | How to clean a ceiling fan motor | How to clean ceiling fans without a ladder | The best products for cleaning your ceiling fans
How often should you clean your ceiling fan?
This depends on a few factors, but it's a good idea to check once a week for a month to see how much dust has accumulated each week to help you decide how often you want to clean them. Vila suggests dusting them every week, while Mock says to clean them every other month. Ultimately, it will depend on your home's dust levels.
How do you keep dust off ceiling fans?
Mock suggests spraying a dust-repelling product on the blades after you clean your fan to help keep them dust-free longer. Vila agrees, and recommends using Endust or a DIY version: one part liquid fabric softener to four parts water. Spray it on a microfiber cloth and wipe both sides of the blade.
How to clean ceiling fans without making a mess
This method involves climbing a ladder. It’s harder, but you can take care of several chores while you’re up there: cleaning the blades, the motor, the fan’s direction, light bulbs and glass shades. Of those, the only chore you need to do weekly is dust. The others can be done two or three times a year or as needed.
- Before turning off the fan, notice if it’s spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you haven’t done so already, switch the direction the fan spins to accommodate the season. Clockwise warms a room; counter-clockwise cools it. (The more you know!)
- Slip a pillowcase over the blade, then use the case to wipe the dust off the sides, top and bottom. That way, all the dust stays on the pillowcase instead of going everywhere!
- Repeat for each blade and remember to press lightly or you’ll damage the blade.
- When you’ve come down from the ladder, take the pillow case outside, turn it inside-out and give it a good shake so that the dust comes off on the lawn instead of your floor. Then simply launder the pillowcase as usual.
This method is especially helpful if your ceiling fan is mounted above your bed, according to Mock.
How do you deep-clean a grimy ceiling fan?
Grease and grime got you down? If your ceiling fan is near or in a kitchen, grease can really cling to those blades, making it harder to get really clean. Here's how to get them back in good shape, according to Mock:
- First, you will want to get up on a step stool and wipe away any loose dust and/or dirt from the fan with a microfiber cloth.
- Next, use a household cleaner (ideally that cuts through grease) to remove the grime from the blades. Rather than spraying the product directly onto the blades, spray first on a damp sponge or cloth and continue to wipe them down until you no longer feel grime.
- Wipe the blades dry.
- To prevent a grimy ceiling fan in the future, wipe down your fans at least once a week when greasy foods are being cooked near the fan.
How do you clean a ceiling fan lighting fixture?
- Make sure the light is turned off and completely cooled prior to cleaning.
- Spray the inside of a pillowcase with an all-purpose cleaner, slip it over the blade and gently pull back towards you to get rid of any dust before attacking the lighting fixture itself.
- Use a microfiber towel to remove any buildup you may see, while you're up there.
- If the lightbulbs have glass globes over them, you can simply remove them and wash them with soap and warm water to have your ceiling fan light fixture sparkling again.
- Make sure the mounting screws are tight so the glass won’t rattle or shake while the fan is on.
Some ceiling fans are little less intricate, having just a light bulb in place in lieu of a proper fixture. If your bulb is still working, wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dust. According to cleaning expert Donna Smallin Kuper, author of "Cleaning Plain and Simple," a clean bulb shines at least 20 percent brighter than a dirty one.
How do you clean a ceiling fan motor?
Wipe the pull chain and the motor housing with a clean cloth. Then, spray the motor housing with compressed air to remove interior dust.
How do you clean ceiling fans without a ladder?
The easiest method is to use an extendable fan blade duster — these are easy to use and work best for in-between cleanings instead of deeper cleanings.
The best products for cleaning your ceiling fans
Get rid of all that dust and grease and grime with these go-to picks.
This clever duster cleans both sides of the blade at the same time for half the amount of work.
This compressed air can help clean out the dust from the motor of your ceiling fan — and it's great to clean your keyboard, too!
Trusty microfiber cloths are great for wiping the blades of your dusty ceiling fan clean — and they're also great for cleaning projects all over your home.
This classic dusting spray works wonders at cleaning your fan. It's great for weekly or biweekly fan cleanings, but if you have a lot of buildup and grease, you should opt for an all-purpose, grease-fighting cleaner instead.
Who knew a pillowcase could help you clean your ceiling fan so well? Chances are you won't want to use one of the pillowcases you actually sleep on, so grab this inexpensive pair just for cleaning your fans.
Cut through the crease and grime with this favorite all-purpose cleaner. Bonus: it smells lovely!
The microfiber part of this fan cleaner can change positions to lie flat against the top of the ceiling fan, or can bend to grab dust from both sides of the blade. Choose between lengths of 14 feet, 20 feet or 26 feet, depending on how high up your fan is.