How to Clean Dust off of a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans can be tough to clean. They’re hard to reach, and it can be challenging to see what you’re doing — and, sometimes, you simply forget that your fan even needs cleaning.

Whatever the case, you’ve come to realize that your ceiling fan is in desperate need of cleaning. For some ceiling fans, especially those that haven’t been cleaned for several weeks or months, simply using a duster might not do the trick. It might take some extra time, but deep cleaning your ceiling fan is worth it — and if you follow our guide, it’s easy, too.

How to Clean a Ceiling Fan

You’ve realized that your ceiling fan needs a deep clean, and you’ve given yourself some time to do it. Here are seven steps to achieve your cleanest ceiling fan yet:

1. Prepare

Before you can start cleaning, you’ll need to gather your supplies. First, you have to reach the fan, so depending on the height of your ceiling, you’ll need either a ladder or a stepladder.

Next, you’ll need a microfiber towel. Microfiber towels are ideal for dusting because they don’t require any cleaning chemicals to get a surface dust-free. If you don’t have any microfiber towels, Towel Super Center offers a large selection of high-quality microfiber towels perfect for any of your cleaning needs.

Microfiber towels are one of the best ways to wipe the dust off your fan and fan blades. While old pillowcases work well, as do old rags, vacuum attachments or feather dusters, microfiber is often more effective and easier to use! The tiny fibers lock in dust and dirt better than standard rags and have a unique structure that attracts dust as you’re cleaning.

For especially dirty fans, you’ll also need to wash the ceiling fan. For this, you’ll need a cleaning cloth and a cleaning solution. If you don’t have any store-bought cleaning solution at home, you can clean your ceiling fan with vinegar! Simply mix a solution of half water and half white vinegar, and you’ll have the cleaning solution you need.

Finally, consider spreading a drop cloth over the area beneath and around the ceiling fan. If you haven’t cleaned your ceiling fan for a while, you will be dealing with a lot of dust, and a drop cloth can protect your carpet and furniture from getting wet or dusty, saving you from more work after you’ve finished cleaning your fan. Using a drop cloth is the best way to clean your ceiling fan without making a mess.

2. Take Safety Precautions

Because you will be digging around your ceiling fan, turn your home’s breaker off before starting to clean. This is especially relevant if you plan to do any ceiling fan maintenance while you’re on the stepladder, such as replacing light bulbs or switching the fan’s direction. Cutting power to the fan ensures it won’t start spinning while your hands are near the blades or electrical components.

3. Dust the Fan

After the ceiling fan is switched off, you can start dusting. Using your microfiber towel, begin by dusting the central components of the fan, including the downrod, canopy and motor housing.

Once all the pieces of the ceiling fan are dusted clean, you are ready to move onto the fan blades.

4. Dust the Blades

There are several different methods for dusting ceiling fan blades, depending on which type of dusters you have available.

One way to dust a ceiling fan is by using an old pillowcase. To follow this method, slip the pillowcase around one of the fan blades. Press the pillowcase against both sides of the fan blade as you pull the pillowcase toward you. The dust will collect inside the pillowcase, making it easy to clean up! After you’ve cleaned all the blades, simply shake the dust off the pillowcase outside and wash it.

If you don’t have a pillowcase that can get dusty, our microfiber towels are another great option. If you use this method, you can get the most use out of your towel by folding it in quarters — this will give you more clean parts of the towel to work with.

You can also use your vacuum attachments to suck the dust off your ceiling fan blades. However, this will only work for low ceiling fans, long attachments or vacuums light enough to carry up the stepladder.

Finally, you can choose to use old towels, feather dusters or rags. When using these items, remember to spread a drop cloth on the floor around the ceiling fan because these methods are the least likely to contain the dust as effectively. When dusting ceiling fan blades, be sure to also wipe the sides of the blades! The sides also gather dust and are often looked over.

5. Wash if Needed

When you’re finished dusting, your ceiling fan will already look a lot cleaner. For some ceiling fans, dusting might be all that you need to do. If that’s the case for your ceiling fan, you can skip on to the next step.

However, some ceiling fans are dirtier beyond what dusting can fix. Outdoor porch or kitchen ceiling fans can get especially difficult to clean, with grease, dirt and other stuck-on materials building up on the blades. For these ceiling fans, you’ll need to do a little more than just dusting.

Take your cloth and your cleaning solution, whether store-bought or homemade, and wash the fan blades by hand, paying particular attention to spots with heavy grease or dirt buildup. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the fan blades so you avoid bending or damaging them.

Be sure to allow the fan blades to dry completely before using the fan again — if they’re still wet when you run the fan, the blades will quickly attract a lot of dust.

6. Perform Maintenance

While you have your stepladder out and are cleaning your ceiling fan, it’s the perfect time to do any maintenance your fan needs. If the fan’s globes are looking dusty or in need of a wash, you can clean them along with the fan blades. If any lightbulbs have burnt out, this is the time to replace them.

You can also consider changing the direction your fan spins. The direction of your fan directly impacts the temperature of the room — spinning counterclockwise pushes cold air downward, making the room feel cooler. Meanwhile, spinning clockwise pulls cold air upward, making the room feel warmer. If the seasons are changing, it’s the perfect time to switch the direction of your fan.

7. Clean Up

Finally, your fan is clean. Your supplies are all put away. If you put down a drop cloth, all you need to do now is gather it up, shake all the dust off outside, and throw it in the washing machine. If you didn’t lay down a drop cloth, grab your vacuum and clean the floor and furniture around the ceiling fan — they probably got a little dusty.

Once everything is cleaned up, you’re finished!

Keep Your Ceiling Fan Clean With Towel Super Center

Now that you’ve deep-cleaned your ceiling fan, you’re probably hoping to keep it clean without another thorough scrub down. Luckily, with regular weekly dusting, you can cut down on the number of times you’ll have to deep clean your fan — and when you do have to deep clean, it won’t be nearly as dirty.

Towel Super Center’s high-quality, multipurpose microfiber towels are the perfect dusting tool to help maintain a clean ceiling fan. Whether you’re looking for your first microfiber towel or want to add more towels to your assortment of cleaning supplies, shop for microfiber towels in various colors today!

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