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.

Tips for Cleaning Ceiling Fans | The Happy Housewife

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.

Old Pillowcases

Insert each blade into an old pillowcase and wipe off.  All of the dust falls INTO the pillowcase and NOT on your floor or furniture!  Then just shake the pillowcase out in the trash or outside and throw in the wash. (This tip was in the comments multiple times, so I tried it and love it!  Thanks, my awesome readers!)  See more uses for pillowcases here.

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!

    • 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. 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.

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

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

  5. 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. I use a pillowcase, thanks to this article:

  7. 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!

  10. zina stokes says:

    I spray pledge in the pillow case first and when blades are all clean I wipe down with a dryer sheet! MAkes for a much easier time of it next time around. I also do this along my baseboards and chair railings, it helps repel the dust from preventing static. Dust love it some static.

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