How to Clean a Ceiling Fan & How Often?

Last Updated on December 11, 2021

how to clean ceiling fan

For many people, cleaning a ceiling fan can be a messy and challenging chore. They are high up and wiping them with a rag often knocks more dust into the air than it picks up. We can help by giving you some easy DIY ways to get your ceiling fan clean and keep it that way. We’ll clean the whole ceiling fan too, not just the blades.

Keep reading as we show you some tips and tricks to a cleaner ceiling fan. We’ll go over dust removal, glass cleaning, metal polishing, and more.

Step 1—Safety

Before we do any cleaning, we need to consider our safety. Ceiling fans and be high up and require a ladder to reach. If this is the case for you, you need to make sure you use a good quality ladder that’s very stable. Get someone to hold it for you. There is no sense in getting hurt.

Another important safety consideration is air quality. Even though we will make every attempt at preventing airborne particles, there are bound to be some floating around as we clean. We highly recommend using a dust mask while you’re cleaning the ceiling fan.

See: The top ceiling fans for bedrooms

Honeywell Ceiling Fans 50614-01

Ceiling Fan    Image Credit: Honeywell Ceiling Fans 50614-01, Amazon

Step 2—Remove the Dust

If you haven’t turned your ceiling fan on in a while, the top of the blades needs dusting before we can do any other cleaning. To remove the dust from the blades, you can use a special tool called an extendable blade duster that is shaped to capture the dust without knocking it into the air.

Another option to remove the dust is to use a pillowcase. Carefully insert the blade into the pillowcase, and as you pull the pillowcase off, use your hand to wipe the blade while keeping the dust in the pillowcase. Be careful not to pull on the blades.

Modern Ceiling Fan

Modern Ceiling Fan                                            Image Credit: 52″ Innovation Ceiling Fan, Amazon

Step 3—Deep Clean

With the dust removed, we can begin a deep cleaning on our ceiling fan. One of the safest, best, and most natural cleaners we can use is ordinary white vinegar.

White Vinegar Cleaner

  • 1-part white vinegar
  • 2-parts water

Mix the two ingredients in a spray bottle. To increase the cleaning power and add air freshening properties, add a few drops of essential oil like lemongrass. Essential oils are harmful to pets, though, so keep them away from any surfaces or fabrics that pets contact.

Remove any lightbulbs from the ceiling fan and set them aside. Use a soft microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution to wipe down all parts of the ceiling fan.

Spray the white vinegar on the blades and let sit to break up any build-up that has formed. Be extremely careful not to put too much pressure on the blades. If grime is too stubborn for the vinegar, you will need to remove the blade to scrub it well.

The vinegar solution is safe for brass, and you can use it to clean any of the metal on your ceiling fan. If there is a heavy build-up, let the cleaning solution soak in for a few minutes before scrubbing the metal clean.

The vinegar cleaning solution will work very well on glass and will clean the light covers nicely. If the glass covers have a lot of dirt on them, it might not be hard to remove them and allow them to soak in a vinegar solution. Once everything is clean, and you replace the lightbulbs, and any other parts you removed, the cleaning is complete.

Harbor Breeze Mazon 44-in Brushed Nickel Flush Mount Indoor Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote

Ceiling Fan           Image Credit: Harbor Breeze Mazon, Amazon

Step 4—Maintain

Once your ceiling fan is clean, you will want to keep it that way. We recommend cleaning your ceiling fan once a week to keep cleaning time short and easy. A simple wipe down should be more than enough to keep the fan clean with little need for intense scrubbing. Dust will not have had a chance to combine with moisture to form grime.

We also recommend spraying the blades with a dust repellant spray. Several brands like Pledge and Endust, make great dust repellant sprays that make a difference in the amount of dust that builds up, and many of these sprays also help protect and reinvigorate any wood in your blades.


We hope that after reading this article, you have a good idea of how to clean a ceiling fan and how often you should do it. We recommend the white vinegar cleaning solution over any store-bought cleaners because it uses natural ingredients you might already have around your home. Keeping up with regular maintenance will reduce the amount of dust on the blades and in the air and will also protect the wood in your blades.

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