Everybody has his or her own secret method for cleaning a ceiling fan. Some involve daring circus style balancing acts and commercial-strength cleansers, while others involve a whole heap of elbow grease and a room-size drop cloth.
Take your pick from the following list to find your own favorite. Or feel free to leave us a comment below and tell us your secret method. (We promise – we won’t tell a soul.)
Should you use a stool or a stepladder? Whatever works best for you. But for safety, use something that will allow you to stand at eye level with the fan – at least. And never, ever stand on the top of the ladder. Also make sure that the ladder or stool is well placed and solid on the floor (if in doubt get some help).
Turn the fan and lights off before you start, and if there’s a chance someone can come in the room, put a piece of tape over the switch so they don’t accidentally turn the fan on while you’re up there cleaning. This is very important; you don’t want to get attacked by a ceiling fan of electrocuted by the light fitting!
Clean your fan a lot – like, every week. The more you clean it, the easier it is to keep it clean. We know what you’re thinking – DUH, right? But it’s not the dust that’s the problem. It’s that greasy grimy build-up that makes it hard to clean a ceiling fan. And if you keep them dusted every week that grime doesn’t have a chance to accumulate.
Use a Swiffer or a feather duster or a lambs wool cloth to dust the blades. They trap the dust so it doesn’t go flying all around the room and into your hair and eyes. Again, if you dust weekly or every other week, it just takes a minute or so to do well.
If it’s been a while since you cleaned then you’ll probably have to go back over the blades with a cleaner to cut the grime. Use a clean, lint-free cloth and your favorite cleaner and have another clean, dry cloth available to buff the blades and motor housing.
Be careful that you don’t spray any of your liquid cleansers into the motor housing.
Don’t have a ladder that’s tall enough? Get one of those new cleaning brushes on an extension rod, specially designed for ceiling fans. Look for one that traps dust and make sure it extends far enough to get the job done.
Use a pillowcase. Seriously. Spritz the inside of an old pillowcase with your favorite cleaner and then slip the case over the blade. Wipe the blade as you’re pulling off the pillowcase and all the dust and grime stays inside. Then, just take it outside to set those dust bunnies free.
If you have a long enough extension on your vacuum cleaner, use the brush attachment to get rid of the dust. Be careful. Don’t try to balance your vacuum on a ladder.
Use your sheets for drop cloths. Chances are, if you’re cleaning the fans then it must be cleaning day. Just use your sheets for a drop cloth to catch all the dust bunnies. Take them outside and shake them out when you’re done and then toss them in the washer.
While you’re up there wipe down the light bulbs, globes and shades and polish up the fixture.
Be careful not to pull or lean on the blades. Even the slightest bend could put them off balance then your fan will wobble and squeak when it’s running.
No matter what secret method you use you know you’re going to end up with dust on the floor and furniture so leave dusting your furniture and running your vacuum until after you’ve cleaned your fans.