How often should you clean your ceiling fans? The answer depends on a few variables:

  1. Is the fan inside or outside?
  2. Is the environment particularly moist or dusty?
  3. Which room is the fan in?

In general, you don’t need to clean ceiling fans often. However, fans in high trafficked rooms such as bedrooms and living rooms can accumulate dust pretty quickly.

If you do want to clean a fan, here are some basic steps to take

  1. Use a ladder;
  2. Bring a dust cloth;
  3. Avoid using water near the motor.

Be careful when climbing the ladder to reach a ceiling fan. Since many fans come with automatic shut-off lights on the base, they’re usually a safe distance from the top of the ladder. If you need to place your hand above the lights, ensure that the bulbs are off to avoid touching these hot objects.

If the fan is not as high, a safer way to reach the motor and blades is to use a stepstool. A stepstool can easily help clear the path between the fan blade and the ceiling, if you are cleaning the downrod or motor. Using a stepstool is particularly useful if you have children in the home who might try to climb up and down and yank the blades out! Again, with proper care and safety precautions, using a step stool is one less thing you’ll have to worry about.

Post cleaning steps

After any cleaning you do, make sure you wipe down the blades with a soft, dry cloth. This won’t only help you avoid any dust or dirt from building up, but it will also extend the life of your fan. Dust and dirt can clog the rotating blades over time, causing them to stop working properly. Wiping them down with a dry cloth will keep them working for years to come.

If you have any type of stubborn dirt or grease on the blades, you can use some good old fashioned steel wool. The trick is to start gently. Simply run a damp cloth through the fan, making sure to wipe down both the fan blades and the bottom of the light fixture housing. Once you’ve done this, put on a clean rag and gently rub the steel wool through the grime. 

Additionally, most fans’ blades can be detached quite easily. Cleaning the blades becomes easier and safer when you detach each blade, and then reattach it after you are done cleaning it. Each fan is slightly different, so we recommend reading the manual to reattach the blade in a well-fastened manner. 

The final cleaning step

Lastly, you can use a damp towel and some cleaner to take off the grime and dirt that have built up on the inside of the blades. Before you throw away the towel, you might want to give the towel a quick rub down to remove any dust that might have stuck to the towel. Once you have your fan blades nice and clean, you can store them in their carrying case and never have to worry about cleaning them!

If you want less cleaning, buy a fan with a smaller motor and fewer blades. That will save you some serious surface area to clean over time!