Fan blade cleaning 101: like SlingBlade, only not as cool

Dear Home-Ec 101,

What is the best way to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades? That dust gets sticky!


Grungy in Grange-Over-Sands

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Oddly, I enjoy cleaning fan blades. My kids get all grossed out and squeal at the nasty “worms” coming off the fan blades. It’s the awesome. Cleaning fan blades is one of those times my cleaning axiom “top to bottom, left to right” is especially appropos.

One time when I was working as a maid, I was cleaning a certain famous country music star’s house. I was wanting to make sure I did a really good job, so I spent some extra time on making sure the room looked great. The only problem? I realized I had forgotten to clean the fan blades. Oy.

So, I got a chair and started to dust the fan blades as carefully as possible. It didn’t matter. It all came down on their beautiful comforter of their bed, and then I couldn’t get the dust off. I was mortified. So listen to your Auntie Ivy and clean the fan blades FIRST!

I like to use a wooly duster for cleaning fan blades. I think it gets them really clean and  it’s really the easiest way I have found to clean them. If you don’t have a wooly duster, you can take an old pair of pantyhose and put them on the end of a broom to clean the fan blades. That’s harder, though, it’s worth it in my opinion to buy a wooly.


  1. Discount Office Supplies on January 2, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Nice Post. I like to use Rubbermaid Commercial Products Overhead Dusting Tools when I need to dust in hard reach places.

  2. JayMonster on July 27, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    OK, it may not be the most economic method, but I love the Pledge Duster Plus. They work better than the Swiffer version and hold on to more dust than anything else I have tried.

  3. Pam on July 27, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I use the pillow case over the broom to dust corners/cob webs……I use Clorox wipes or even diaper wipes to clean fan blades…..because they are damp the “gunk” sticks to the wipe and doesn’t fall on whatever in underneath….Pam
    P.S. they are also great for door jams / frig handles /

  4. Teresa on July 27, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I’m fairly tall, and my ceilings are 8 foot, so I just use the hose attachments and vacuum the blades once a month when I’m shifting the furniture and vacuuming around the baseboards and stuff.

    That looks really compulsive when I type it out *blush*

  5. Felis on July 27, 2007 at 7:45 am

    I’ve used an old pillowcase. Slip the whole blade in the pillow case, hold the opening tight against the blade and slide it off trapping all the dust in the pillowcase. Then go outside and turn it inside out to shake out the dust. That way nothing can fall on the floor at all.

  6. Kathy T. on July 26, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Do you know what I’ve found that cleans GREAT? Those duster things…. uhm. Swiffers! You know the kind you put on to clean hardwood floors (not the poofy ones). They are amazing. They pick up every speck of dust easily with a minimum of worms!

  7. Badbadivy on July 26, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Just take some old pantyhose and put them on the end of the broom- the side with the straw, not the handle. Take the pantyhose and stretch the waist part over the straw part. You can leave the feet part dangling off the end, if you want, I think it picks up a bit extra.

    But seriously, the wooly is DEFINITELY the way to go, if you can afford one.

  8. Tracy on July 26, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    I’m sorry. I know I sound like a complete idiot and you probably think my house is nasty gross. But its not. I promise!

    OK, so I need to do my fan blades and I was hoping to find an easier method. Now, you mention putting old pantyhose on a broom. I have old pantyhose! I quit my job to be a SAHM a few months ago. But on a broom? Which end? In a ball? I’m confused. And intrigued. Thanks!