What’s the Best Way to Clean a Fan?

While it may not be on the top of everyone’s to-do list, cleaning your fan is a chore that shouldn’t be ignored. The more dust you allow to build up, the harder it is for the fan to function properly and circulate air. Plus, excess dust can be harmful to your health and can leave a sticky residue that clings to other surfaces around the room.

To keep your fan clean and running smoothly, here are some tips on the best way to clean a fan.

Before you begin, make sure the fan is completely turned off and that the blades are secure. Then use a broom, vacuum cleaner or duster with a brush attachment to sweep away the majority of the loose dirt and dust from the fan. A feather duster is also a good choice for this task, especially if it’s one that has a long handle to reach the top of the fan. Just be careful when using a ladder or climbing on the fan because too much pressure can cause the blades to bend, which will damage your motor.

Once you’ve removed most of the visible dust, spritz a cloth with water (or white vinegar and water, if you prefer) and wipe down the remaining surfaces. For kitchen fans, a few drops of degreaser can be added to the cleaning solution to cut through grease and grime.

You can also wipe down the base and housing of the fan with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust, says Parker. Many fans have light bulbs that need to be cleaned as well, so this is a good time to wash the globes in warm, soapy water if needed.

For a more detailed clean, you can take the entire fan apart by unscrewing the motor from the shaft with a screwdriver and removing all of the screws that hold the wire cage in place. Rinse each component in cool water to remove any remaining dust or debris, and then dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Once each piece is completely dry, you can reassemble the fan and enjoy the fresh clean breeze.

It’s important to clean your fan on a regular basis so that the excess dust doesn’t overwork your motor, reduce its lifespan or irritate your allergies. A light clean every week should be enough for most, but if you have a very dirty fan, it’s a good idea to do a more thorough cleaning every three months or so. To help you remember to do this, it’s a good idea to schedule your cleaning around the same time that you clean other areas of your home like furniture and shelves. You can even take this opportunity to wash your sheets at the same time!