How to Clean a Ceiling Fan to Remove Dust and Grime

Published June 23, 2022
Man cleaning ceiling fan at home

Has your ceiling fan seen better days? Don't just look at it with despair. Grab a cloth and get to cleaning. Find out a few tricks for how to clean all areas of a ceiling fan, from the blades to the motor. Discover a few cleaning hacks for cleaning your ceiling fan blades fast.

Best Way to Clean a Ceiling Fan in 60 Seconds

Ceiling fans are not fun to clean. You typically end up with a whole lot of dust on your face and coughing. However, you can clean your ceiling fan blades in just a few seconds with this simple method. You need to grab:

Cleaning Ceiling Fan With a Pillowcase

When it comes to dusting your fans, using a pillowcase is the easiest method.

  1. Put down a stepping stool.
  2. Wrap the pillowcase over the blade.
  3. Pull the pillowcase down the blade.
  4. Do this to each blade.
  5. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the blades and center to catch any remaining dust.
  6. Shake the dust out of the pillowcase outside and throw it in the wash.

Steps for How to Clean a High Ceiling Fan With Duster

For a high ceiling fan, like 10 feet or higher, you are going to need some type of duster and extender. In this instance, a fan duster with an extension can be the easiest method. You also want to grab a bandana to stop any dust from getting in your mouth or nose.

Colorful duster on dusty bedroom fan
  • Sheet or cloth
  • Fan duster with extension
  • Bandana

Using Fan Duster

Once you've got your stepping stool ready, it's time to get to work.

  1. Lay down the sheet and put on the bandana.
  2. Apply the extender to the fan duster.
  3. Run duster over the blades.
  4. Swipe the duster across the center to remove any loose dust.

How to Wash a Dirty Ceiling Fan

A good dusting might be all your ceiling fan needs to look fabulous. But if you notice there is still dirt and gunk marring up your fan, you'll want to reach for some cleaner. To get rid of the gunk, you need:

Dusty Ceiling Fan With Thick Dust Blocking The Air Flow
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (Dawn recommended)
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Screwdriver
  • Sponge
  • Magic eraser

Using Cleaner to Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

While you can buy a commercial all-purpose cleaner, why waste your money when white vinegar works just as well?

  1. Remove dust.
  2. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 3-4 drops of dish soap in a water bottle.
  3. Fill with warm water.
  4. Shake to mix.
  5. Spray down the bottom and tops of the fan blades.
  6. Wipe them down with a cloth.
  7. Repeat until all fan blades are sparkling.
  8. Spray and wipe down the globe.

Deep Clean a Greasy Ceiling Fan Blades

Most of the time, your cleaner is going to work to get your fan blades spotless. However, if they have a heavy grease build-up, then you might want to give them a deeper clean. This means you'll want to pull the blades down from the ceiling one by one.

  1. Unscrew the 2 screws holding up the fan blades.
  2. Pull the blade down.
  3. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Dawn, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 1 cup of water.
  4. Shake to mix.
  5. Wipe down the blade with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any dust.
  6. Spray down the blade.
  7. Allow it to sit for a minute or two.
  8. Wipe down the blade with a sponge, removing any grease and grime.
  9. Use a wet magic eraser on stubborn grease.
  10. Repeat for each blade until all blades are clean.
  11. Screw the blades back up into the fan.

How to Clean Ceiling Fan Globes

Some ceiling fans have a light in the center with a glass globe. After a while, you might notice dirt and dust building up on the inside of the globe. When you notice the dirt building up, grab:

  • Dish soap
  • Cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Step stool

Steps for Globe Cleaning

The globes on a ceiling fan are typically made of glass. Therefore, you'll want to be very careful when removing it. Make sure you have a sturdy step stool or ladder.

  1. Turn off the light on the fan and let it cool.
  2. Get a good grasp on the globe.
  3. Loosen up the screws holding the globe onto the fan.
  4. Once the globe is off, dust the light area.
  5. Check the bulb and replace it if needed.
  6. Put the globe in soapy water.
  7. Wash it out with a sponge, removing all grime inside.
  8. Allow it to dry completely.
  9. Replace the globe and tighten the screws.
  10. Make sure the screws are secure, so it doesn't fall off.

It can be helpful to have another person help you hold the globe while you are removing the screws.

Quick Way to Clean a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain and Motor

As you are cleaning the globe or fan blades, you might notice some dust accumulation on the motor and chain of your fan. Don't just let it accumulate. Grab a few supplies and get cleaning.

  • Vacuum with hose attachment
  • Cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Paintbrush
  • Step stool
  • Sheet

Get the Ceiling Fan Motor Clean

You've got your supplies at the ready. You just need a little instruction for quickly and easily getting your fan motor in tip-top shape.

  1. Put down an old sheet.
  2. Climb up the step stool to get as close to the fan as possible.
  3. Take the vacuum attachment and clean around the motor housing above the blades.
  4. Use the paintbrush to knock off the dust from the vents.
  5. Lift the housing if possible and gently vacuum out the motor.
  6. Dampen a cloth and add a drop of dish soap.
  7. Wipe around the motor and down the chain to remove all grime.
  8. Allow it to dry completely.
  9. Take the sheet outside to shake it out.

Clean a Ceiling Fan Remote

Some ceiling fans come with a remote. You don't want to neglect the remote when it comes time for cleaning. Just grab:

Dirt and grime on a ceiling fan remote can be pretty gross. But you don't want to harm the electronics by getting it too wet.

  1. Dampen the cotton ball. Do not drench it.
  2. Wipe down the remote.
  3. Use cotton swabs to get any crude stuck around buttons.
  4. Allow it to air dry.

How Often to Clean a Ceiling Fan?

There isn't a set schedule for cleaning a ceiling fan. However, dusting it once a month and removing dust around the motor can save you from having it malfunction or break. You might also want to check the globe for dust and dirt every few months. If you have a relatively clean house without dust and pets, you might only clean your fan every three months or so.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan in a Jiffy

If you keep up on your ceiling fans, they can last for a lifetime. However, you don't want to let dust and grime accumulate. Dirt and grease can work to gum up your motor and cause you to take a trip to the store for a new one. Now that you know how to get them clean, it's time to get to work.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan to Remove Dust and Grime