Ceiling Fan Cleaning 101

Dear Home Ec 101,
How do you clean ceiling fans? I’m especially wanting to know how you manage to clean them without dust bunnies falling down onto the furniture.
A fan of fans

how to clean the ceiling fan

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I suppose, theoretically, if you cleaned your ceiling fans constantly that there’d never be any little bits of dust falling off when you clean them. I, however, only remember to clean my ceiling fans every once in awhile, usually if I happen to be looking up when the fan is off. Or during spring and fall cleaning. So yes, I feel your pain about dust going everywhere when you clean the ceiling fan.

My old way of cleaning ceiling fans is to put some old pantyhose on the end of a broom and go from there. But when I worked as a professional maid, I was introduced to the wonder of lambswool dusters, and I got one immediately and never looked back. But that still doesn’t address the main problem- those weird snakes of dust that come tumbling down everywhere.

This was another trick I learned while working as a maid. Start in the master bedroom. Peel off all the bedding but the fitted bottom sheet. Get the comforter or coverlet out of the way and put the top sheet in the laundry (might as well take care of 2 chores at once, right?) Then just dust the fan, one blade at a time toward the sheet. This way all the dust comes down onto the sheet and not the floor.

how to clean appliances

Click the picture for more tips!

Then take the sheet into any other room you’re cleaning and use it to catch the dust bunnies. Before you put it in the laundry, make sure to take it outside and shake it out– that dust is really dirty and you don’t really want that in your washing machine. Then just wash the sheet and put fresh sheets on the bed in your master bedroom before you lay down and appreciate the cleanness of your ceiling fan.

Pretty simple, eh?


  1. iron gates on June 21, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I agree, alcholic wipes work a treat!!!

  2. roofing london on December 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

    try alcholic wipes, i find they don't leave streak marks. i think they also sell these for cleaning computer screens.

  3. Fan Guy on November 22, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for the nice tip. My wife have been struggling in cleaning my fans since. I might tell her and try this one out.

  4. Hampton Bay Fans on February 22, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    That’s an excellent tip and one that I hadn’t thought of with the bottom sheet. We typically use one of those extending swiffers but that doesn’t forgoe the problem with the runaway bunnies. Still does well just every once in a while you get a stray. I’ll have to try this next time.

  5. Craftmade Ceiling Fans on February 11, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Very nice tips to help clean the fans. I usually use something that grabs all the dust and doesn’t let any of it escape. Sometimes there are some that get past it and fall on the floor or whatever else is around. I will use your tip from now on. Thanks.

  6. Ceiling fans can keep you warm, too – OregonLive.com on February 5, 2009 at 2:02 am

    […] Ceiling Fan Cleaning 101 : Home Ec 101I suppose, theoretically, if you cleaned your ceiling fans constantly that there’d never be any little bits of dust falling off when you clean them. I, however, only remember to clean my ceiling fans every once in awhile, … […]

  7. Diaper Cake Becca on January 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I guess I am a sucker for punishment. I get the ladder and a bottle of all-purpose cleaner and the old burp cloths out (cloth diapers). I completely wipe them down and then vacuum up the pile of dust when done. I get them COMPLETELY clean so I don’t have to do it again for four months. This will be the only chore on a Saturday afternoon. After this I feel the need to take the rest of the day off (Pizza delivery, anyone?)

    Luckily the house we are in now only has three fans…..I’ve lived in houses that had as many as seven!!

  8. Sandy on January 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Another vote for the vacuum with a brush attachment. Finish with a damp cloth and you’re done!

  9. Tammy on January 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I get my hubby to do it! 🙂
    He vacuums and uses a rag or paper towels with Mr Clean degreaser claner.

  10. Taylor at Household Management 101 on January 27, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Tink beat me to it! I also use a pillowcase to catch the dust, so it doesn’t fly all over the room.

    Also, definitely do all your dusting before you vacuum the floors, so that any dust that does escape can get sucked up by the vacuum cleaner.

  11. mom, again on January 27, 2009 at 4:55 am


  12. Rebekka on January 27, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Ditto for vacuuming with the upholstery brush.

  13. tink on January 27, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I stick a pillowcase over the blade and use the pillowcase to both dust and catch the dust bunnies

    then take the pillowcase outside, turn it inside out and shake before laundering

    • Ronda C. on October 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm


  14. Mom of three on January 26, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I just use a wet wipe. It seems to catch all the dust, by making it a little damp.

  15. suzanne on January 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    that sounds like a great plan. I”ve tried multiple things…….

  16. Katie | Runaway October on January 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I use a vacuum! If you put the upholstery brush and the extension wand, it usually makes quick work out of things.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.