a ceiling fan in a living room with a gray couch

Must-have Tools for Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

April 27, 2023

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Affixed to the ceiling and thus usually well out of sight, ceiling fans rarely receive the cleaning they need. Ceiling fan experts suggest that homeowners should remove dust from their fans at least once per quarter, if not once a month, and at least once per year, ceiling fans should receive a deeper and more thorough cleaning to prevent dust, dirt and debris from harming the delicate workings of the motor. Of course, because ceiling fans are installed out of reach and boast a relatively irregular shape, cleaning a ceiling fan is not usually an easy chore.

Fortunately, there are a few tools that can make cleaning a ceiling fan simpler and more satisfying for all homeowners. Those tools include:

Cleaning a ceiling fan? What Tools to use

gray sofa near the fireplace in the living room - Must-have Tools for Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

Ladder

As the name suggests, ceiling fans are mounted on the ceiling, which tends to be well out of comfortable reach to clean. Thus, perhaps the most critical cleaning tool for any homeowner is a ladder that is tall enough to allow full access to every angle of any ceiling fan in the home, especially any hugger ceiling fan, which despite typically hanging on low ceilings can be among the most difficult styles to clean. All homeowners should invest in a sturdy A-frame extension ladder, as most models fold to a convenient size for storage without compromising on size or safety in use.

Pillowcases

One of the most popular ceiling fan cleaning hacks is to use a pillowcase to remove dust from fan blades. Inserting the blade into the pocket of the pillowcase and dragging the material along the dusty surface, homeowners can trap essentially all dust that accumulates on the fan blades on the pillowcase material or inside the case, with little dust fluttering down onto the room below. This trick works best with pillowcases made of soft materials, like jersey knit, which will cling to larger amounts of dust. After dusting, the pillowcase can be shaken out in the yard and washed in the laundry.

the living area and kitchen of a house - Must-have Tools for Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

Extendable Duster

Not every homeowner has the balance and strength required to scale a ladder to clean their ceiling fan. For disabled homeowners, an extendable duster is an essential tool for wiping away the dust that accumulates on ceiling fan blades and casings. To use an extendable duster effectively, homeowners will need to continuously adjust the angle of their duster as they dust, to ensure that they can brush the fan from all angles. Additionally, the duster should be washed thoroughly after every dusting, either in the laundry or with soap and water in the sink.

Disinfecting Wipes

Over time, especially in rooms close to kitchens or bathrooms, fans can become caked not only in dust but in oils, which are much more difficult to remove with a rag alone. Perhaps once per year, homeowners should use disinfecting wipes to get rid of the grease that coats the exterior of their fans. This will make regular dusting easier, as less dust will adhere to the fan blades and casings and the dust will be easier to remove with dry dusting rags.

living room with ceiling fan

Compressed Air

All fans have intake holes, through which the motor pulls air to keep itself cool while spinning the blades. Unfortunately, dust and other debris can be sucked into the motor through these holes, causing damage to the motor, negatively impacting the fan’s functionality and reducing its lifespan. Thus, during annual deep cleanings, homeowners should use compressed air to blow any dust and debris out of the motor. Compressed air is available from home improvement stores in the form of conveniently sized cans, but homeowners can also use air compressors to achieve the right effect.

Dust Mask

There are all sorts of particles in dust, from dead skin cells to microscopic mites to tiny toxins like lead or manmade chemicals. Even homeowners who take care to reduce the toxicants in their homes might be surprised to learn about what their household dust contains. To be safe, homeowners should consider wearing masks while removing large amounts of dust, to reduce the amount of dust that is inhaled into the lungs, where it can cause serious damage.

Safety Goggles

For the same reasons listed above, safety goggles can function as another layer of protection against harm to one’s health while cleaning ceiling fans. Homeowners who are not particularly concerned about introducing toxins into their bodies might still consider using goggles, as no one enjoys the feeling of dust in their eyes.

wooden carved bed with white canopy and rugs in a bedroom

After spending so many years cooped up at home, homeowners should appreciate the beauty and comfort of a thoroughly clean space. Cleaning ceiling fans is often overlooked, but it takes just a few minutes with the right tools to get this important home fixture spick and span.

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