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How to Clean Ceiling Fans Quickly and Safely

Want to learn how to clean ceiling fans without making a mess? What about grimy or very high fans? Mr. Electric’s ceiling fan cleaning hacks cover this and more.

Ceiling fans create a refreshing breeze to keep rooms comfortable and add attractive decorative accents to living spaces, but what can you do about all that dust? And what’s the trick to cleaning a greasy kitchen ceiling fan or fans attached to super high ceilings?

Dirt on ceiling fans is more than just a cosmetic matter. It can lead to problems like noisy fan operation and even motor damage. If you have members in your household with allergies or respiratory illnesses, dust accumulation can make matters worse.

Fortunately, Mr. Electric® has a simple but effective ceiling fan cleaning hacks to help you eliminate fan dust and dirt. With these tips, you can have a clean ceiling fan in less time and with less hassle. Plus, next time you have guests over, you won’t have to cross your fingers and hope they don’t look up!

Interested in adding a light kit to a lightless ceiling fan? We have the pro tips to guide you in that process too.

The Best Ceiling Fan Cleaning Hacks

If your fan seems to accumulate dust at a rapid rate, you are not alone. Because of their location high in the room, the ceiling fan is often coated in an unpleasant layer of dust. You may find yourself wondering what’s worse – dust circulating in the air when you turn on the ceiling fan or dust falling from the ceiling when you clean the fan. It’s a toss-up!

Cleaning fan blades without sending the dust flying onto every other surface in the room is the ultimate cleaning challenge, while kitchen grease, high ceilings, and non-traditional blade types pose other common obstacles.

Here are some of our favorite tips and strategies to clean ceiling fans with ease:

Ceiling Fan Cleaning Basics

First things first, always turn off the ceiling fan before you start any cleaning method. Make sure the blades come to a complete stop. Then, take the following steps to clean a traditional ceiling fan:

  • Use a pole duster that slides over the fan blade to clean the top and bottom of each blade at the same time.
  • As you clean, avoid putting too much pressure on the blades to prevent warping or breaking.
  • For a deeper clean, climb up a step ladder and clean the blades by-hand with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth. Follow with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe dirt from the motor housing and any pull chains.
  • Consider using a microfiber cloth sprayed with an anti-static, dust-repellent product to wipe down the clean blades, or go over each blade with an unused dryer sheet. This extra step may allow you to go longer between cleanings because the dust will be less likely to cling to the blades.

Want to prevent the typical dust storm that falls from the ceiling when you clean the fan? Try the pillowcase method! Place a clean pillowcase around the fan blades and slide the case down the blade. This method allows you to remove the dust while keeping it contained inside the pillowcase – no need to worry about dust filling the air in the room. When you’re done cleaning fan blades, take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out, and shake the clumps of dust off before tossing the pillowcase in the wash.

How to Clean a Greasy Ceiling Fan

A kitchen ceiling fan is a magnet for grease accumulation. The combination of grease and dust results in a grimy, adhesive-like residue on the blades that can be difficult to remove. Here’s how to eradicate kitchen grease from a ceiling fan in just a few steps:

  • Wipe the blades with dry paper towels to remove any loose debris first.
  • Follow with a damp microfiber cloth to remove the layer of sticky grime.
  • Continue this process a few times on each blade, if necessary, to remove the layers of grease buildup.
  • If the gunk is especially difficult to remove, apply a small amount of a degreasing household cleaner to a microfiber cloth and scrub the blades.
  • Follow with a clean, dry cloth and repeat the process until the blades do not feel sticky or greasy to the touch.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan on a High Ceiling

For extra high ceilings, you will need either a tall ladder or an extension duster to reach the ceiling fan. Get creative and make your own extension duster by taping handles of a mop and broom together and taping a duster to one end. If you use a tall ladder, make sure to get extra support from a friend or family member who can hold the bottom of the ladder steady for you.

The pillowcase method is also effective for cleaning high ceiling fans if your ladder enables you to reach the fan with your hands safely.

How to Clean Non-Traditional Fan Blades

Are your ceiling fan blades textured or covered in fabric? Non-traditional fan blades may require a little extra care and attention to keep them dust- and dirt-free. For best results, use a handheld vacuum attachment to remove dust and debris from the blades. Follow up with a water-moistened microfiber cloth to clean away hard-to-remove grime. Repeat this process until the blades are clean.

Looking for Ceiling Fan Repair or Replacement?

Perhaps your problem is less about dirty blades and more about a ceiling fan malfunction. Your local Mr. Electric is ready to help with professional ceiling fan repair or replacement. If you think it may be time to give your ceiling fan expert attention that’s outside of basic cleaning, turn to our team of experienced electricians. Call (844) 866-1367 to speak to a friendly, knowledgeable Mr. Electric team member or make an appointment with a Mr. Electric near you to get started.

Our friends at Molly Maid have helpful tips for effectively cleaning all areas of your home, including all kinds of fans. As part of the Neighborly® family of home service pros, Molly Maid is your go-to source for advice about cleaning and organizing your home.