How to Clean a Ceiling Fan

We have ceiling fans in almost every room of our home. They are a great way to reduce your electric bill and keep rooms cool in the summer.

I think ceiling fans are often forgotten during our regular cleaning routine. They are above our heads, and “out of sight, out of mind,” usually means- forget to clean.

Add clean the ceiling fan to your monthly cleaning list to keep it dust free throughout the year.

Remember, if you are cleaning a very dirty fan, you might want to wear glasses/ goggles to keep from blinding yourself from the dust particles.

Ceiling Fan Duster

I’ve never owned a ceiling fan duster, but if I had really high ceilings I would invest in one with an extension rod. They make cleaning fans really easy and decrease the risk of injury since you aren’t perched on a chair holding a vacuum.

Ceiling fan dusters cost about $12, and are a good investment if you have a house full of fans and don’t like standing on chairs or ladders to clean.

Damp Rag

If I remember to clean my fans regularly, a damp rag quickly removes the dust and dirt. Just wipe the blades on both sides with the rag to remove the dust.


If your fan hasn’t been cleaning in a long time, a vacuum is usually the most efficient way to clean it. I have a handheld vacuum with extension tools that I use to remove the large pieces of dust and dirt. Then I wipe away the remaining dirt with a damp rag.

Ceiling Fan Spring Cleaning

While the fan blades collect the most dirt and dust, once or twice a year wipe down the fixture and remove and clean the globe if the fan has a light. Depending on the type of light fixture you can either wipe it out with a cloth, scrub in the sink, or even put in the dishwasher.

How often do you clean your ceiling fan? 

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  1. Angela S says:

    An old pillowcase works great too! It keeps all the dust inside the pillowcase and then you can shake it outside when you’re done!

    • Rebecca says:

      I have read the same thing about pillowcases before too. Probably from a FlyLady post. I do like this idea! It works really well!

  2. I use baby wipes! They are disposable, sturdy, big enough, and already damp. I also lay a sheet underneath if the fans are really dusty so it doesn’t fall into the carpet or onto the furniture.

  3. Erin says:

    I don’t clean mine as often as I should! But I saw on Pinterest a tip to use a pillowcase to dust them– just put it around each blade and it keeps the mess inside. GREAT tip. Worked BEAUTIFULLY. I just used an old flannel one I had and now I keep it with my rags as my Official Fan Wiper. LOL.

    • Adair says:

      I like that idea Erin! will def. be trying that!

    • Amanda says:

      I’ve been using the pillowcase for years-my favorite is a flannel pillowcase. It’s really good when you haven’t done it in a while. Great for those who have allergies, since all the dust is in the case.

  4. Jerri says:

    Great tips. I can see the dust bunnies on my ceiling fan have been meaning to get around to this chore!

  5. Jenny B says:

    We live in the deep south so we have one in every room, except the bathrooms! And I would put them in there but I don’t think there’s enough space (teeny bathrooms!). I just clean mine whenever I look up and notice they are dirty.

    I was just wondering: Have you written any more of “your story” lately? I haven’t noticed any posts on it and wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything because I find it very interesting! :)

  6. deonva says:

    I use a pillowcase, thanks to this article:

  7. Brenda says:

    Spray the blades with a glass cleaner to clean and this helps keep the dust from collecting on them so quickly. This was passed on to me from a lady that cleans houses.

  8. I LOVE those pilowcase ideas…will definitely try those. One thing I do when I clean is my fan housing as well. Some of the ceiling mounted fans. have the larger exposed housing that can get dust as well. I try to keep these clean..sort of like cleaning a fan filter.

  9. “. . .perched on a chair holding a vacuum.”

    Well, now I know who that was looking in my window!

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