Spring Cleaning: Dust Exhaust Fans and Fan Blades

A picture of six ceiling fans

Commonly neglected, chances are the fans throughout your home are harboring more than their fair share of dirt, allergens, mold and bacteria. Adding these appliances to your spring cleaning checklist is essential, whether they are mostly out-of-sight like kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans or in plain view like your living room fan.

Cut the crud on kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans

  • Kitchen fans
    Kitchen fans remove steam, smells, and smoke from the kitchen. Without proper care, however, grease could build up and start a fire. To clean kitchen exhaust fans…
    1. Turn off kitchen power at the main panel. Unplug the fan.
    2. Remove the mesh filter and protective cover with a screw driver. Place filter in sink and cover with a solution of boiling water, degreasing dish soap, and 1/4 cup baking soda to loosen grease (add the baking soda slowly – it will fizz!). Let soak 10 minutes.
    3. Detach screws to fan assembly. Clean cover and assembly blades with a damp cloth and mild soap. If necessary, scrape with an unsharpened knife.
    4. Scrub filter with a non-abrasive brush and a little extra dish soap.
    5. Rinse thoroughly and blot dry with paper towels.
    6. Re-assemble the fan.
    7. Add the sink and stove to your spring cleaning duties!
  • Bathroom fans
    Bathroom fans help eliminate smells and by removing moisture, preventing mold proliferation in your bathroom. Cleaning a bathroom fan is easy and can be done in about 15 minutes.
    1. For tools, grab a screwdriver, mild soap, and soft cloth.
    2. Turn off the bathroom power at your main breaker box.
    3. Loosen the vent cover with a screwdriver and remove it carefully. Unplug the fan.
    4. Remove any additional screws holding the fan in place, and remove the exhaust fan blades if possible.
    5. Use a damp microfiber cloth or mild soap and warm water to clean both sides of the blades. The vent cover will likely need cleaning attention as well. You can do this in your bathtub or sink.
    6. Dry completely with a soft cloth, then re-assemble the fan.
    7. If you notice your fan is improperly recirculating into the bathroom or attic due to venting problems, call a professional right away to prevent moisture damage.

Ditch dust buildup on ceiling fan blades

In about 15 minutes, you can also easily remove dust buildup from your fan and prevent the spread of allergy and sneeze-inducing dust mites throughout your home as it spins. To clean:

  1. Put on a baseball cap or scarf.
  2. Tape down the fan switch to prevent the fan from accidentally being activated in the cleaning process.
  3. Place an old sheet on the floor underneath the fan.
  4. Make a spray bottle solution of water and 2 tablespoons vinegar.
  5. Spray cleaning solution inside an old pillowcase or cloth shoe bag.
  6. Stand on a stepladder and slip the bag/case over each blade, pulling back to trap dust. Maneuver the same bag/case to a clean spot for each blade and repeat. (If your ceiling are over 12 feet, you may need to purchase a ceiling fan duster and extension pole at the hardware store.)
  7. Wipe with a microfiber cloth if dirt and dust remains.
  8. Remove tape from the switch, and voila – your spring cleaning task is done!

Come across a few electrical issues during your exhaust fan and fan blade spring cleaning festivities? Mr. Electric® is there to help you install or repair ceiling fans in a snap. Contact us today.