How do you clean a fan at home? Wherever they are installed, fans will accumulate dust, dirt and grime over time.
As such, they require regular cleaning to prevent this build-up from affecting their performance.
If they are situated in the kitchen, where airborne grease and steam can trap and dampen dust particles, you need to clean them more frequently.
Fans can provide the cool breeze you need during a hot day and come in various portable and wall fixed designs.
Fans are also used during hot summers and stored when the winter chills begin. This period will leave your fan dirty and in need of cleaning before the next summer arrives.
As such, it is essential to learn how to clean a fan. However, there are various types of fans and some might need special cleaning methods.
In this article, we are going to look at five main things:
How To Clean A Fan In General
Fan cleaning will generally depend on how dirty your fan is. The fan pushes air, so it will have fine dust particles stick on the housing, blades, and other parts.
It is recommendable to clean your fan at least once a week. If the fan looks dirty, you can wipe it using a rag or surface cleaner.
There are several types of fans in use, so the cleaning steps will vary from one model to another.
Below is an overview of how to clean a fan:
Method #1: Turn Off The Fan
To clean any fan, whether oscillating, pedestal, tower, floor, ceiling, or window fan just to name a few, start by turning off the fan. Most fans have a power button at the base or top of the fan, while window fans will require unplugging from the source of power.
Method #2: Vacuum The Fan
Once the blades have stopped moving and the fan has no heated parts, you can start vacuuming the grill to pick off dust and dirt accumulation. Vacuum the fan from top to bottom.
Method #3: Use Compressed Air
Find a can of compressed air to blast off dust and dirt from the blades. You can attach a straw to ensure you have the required reach, especially if you aren’t dissembling the unit.
Method #4: Wipe The Fan
Once you are done with compressed air, vacuum the fan once more and then wipe it using a microfiber cloth. Use back and forth motions to clean the grill and frame of the fan until you are satisfied with the results.
Deep Fan Cleaning
Apart from weekly cleaning, you might need an occasional deep cleaning to remove stuck dirt and grime.
Usually, deep cleaning involves dissembling the parts and using a damp cloth, surface cleaner, and an all-purpose cleaning agent.
This requires reading through the manufacturer’s instructions on how to disassemble and clean the unit.
Some units have unique components that might break, so it is essential to follow the manual or risk voiding the warranty.
The basic steps involved in deep cleaning a fan include:
Method #1: Dissemble The Fan
Turn off the fan and unplug it completely from the power source and disassemble it.
Remove the fan grill by unclipping the tabs around the fan. If your model does not have tabs, it probably uses screws, so you might need a screwdriver.
Method #2: Vacuum The Fan
Vacuum the blades and interior section of the fan to remove all dirt and dust. You can use a hand vacuum to focus on crevices, blades, and other areas with dirt buildup.
Once you are done vacuuming, wide down the blades using paper towels damped with a spray cleaner.
Method #3: Use Soap And Water
Finish cleaning the grill using soap and water in the sink. You can use a brush, sponge, or other surface cleaners that can scrub down the grill.
Method #4: Dry And Reassemble
Let the parts dry and reassemble them following the manufacturer manual.
How To Clean A Ceiling Fan
Cleaning a ceiling fan can be a little overwhelming, considering you need a ladder to reach the unit.
However, regular cleaning once a week can reduce the need for deep cleaning, ensuring your fan is working optimally at all times.
When planning to clean a ceiling fan, make sure you can comfortably climb on a ladder to perform the cleaning.
Here are the steps for cleaning your ceiling fan:
Step #1: Turn Off The Fan
Turn off the fan using the wall switch and wait for the blades to stop rotating. When it stops, position your ladder and make sure you have a good reach on the fan.
Step #2: Wipe Off Dust
Use a duster to wipe off dust and dirt in back and forth cleaning motions. You can also use a dry rag or find an extension duster to reach the fan blades.
Step #3: Use Soft Microfiber Cloth
Wipe the top, bottom and sides of the fan and blades using a soft damp microfiber cloth.
Make sure you wring out the water from your cleaning cloth before wiping the fan blades.
Step #4: Spray With Compressed Aid
Do not use any abrasive agent as it can chip or tarnish the blades. You can spray compressed air on the motor to blow out dust particles, so the entire unit is clean.
How To Clean A Fan Without Taking It Apart
It is highly recommendable to deep clean your fan once or twice a year. This involves dissembling the parts and using an all-purpose cleaner to remove any accumulated dirt.
Regular dusting and cleaning, especially if done weekly, can also reduce your dependence on deep cleaning.
However, fan screws can become rusty, making it hectic to disassemble it without causing damage. Nonetheless, this needn’t bother you as you don’t always have to tamper with the unit’s construction.
Here’s how to clean a fan without taking it apart:
a) Use A Cleaner
Using a cleaner might seem daunting for many, but is one of the easiest solutions for homeowners.
Its perfect for pedestal and window fans that you can unplug and take outside.
There are various types of cleaners, but any reputable kitchen bleach should be excellent.
To clean the fan, you will need to lay it down, cover the motor and spray the fan with a cleaner that features sodium hypochlorite. Spray the grille and blades and let them soak in the sun for a few minutes until they are dry.
Use a clean water jet hose to wash away the cleaner and dry in the sun before plugging it back. You can also clean the motor area using a dry cloth to remove dust.
b) Blow Out The Fan
A blower provides the easiest way to efficiently clean dust and dirt from your fan without dissembling anything.
In fact, if you are looking for how to clean a fan without taking it apart, you should probably get a blower.
Blowing the fan is recommendable at the start and end of the use, so you can blow the fan right before you store it following the summer season or at the beginning of the season.
When using a blower, detach the fan and find an open space in the basement or patio to avoid spraying the fine dust everywhere.
If you do not have a blower, standard vacuum cleaners will do the work just as great.
c) Clean Loose Dirt From a Fan Using Sand and Salt
This is one of the simplest ways of cleaning a box, window, or pedestal fan. It is also the cheapest.
You can use sand, salt, or both and the method does not involve any particular technique.
Simply lay down a piece of paper and place the fan on it facing upwards or downwards, depending on which has more dirt buildup.
Take the sand or salt and pour it through the fan. Ensure the sand is clean and does not have any fine dust particles that will stick on the fan blades.
Salt also works perfectly well. Essentially, the sand knocks off dust and dirt stuck on the blades and the grill. It also cleans spills and everything passes through to the paper, leaving your fan clean without the need to take it apart.
d) Use An Air Compressor
An air compressor works much like a blower and is the most popular method among fan users.
An air compressor will provide enough power to drive up to 95% of all dirt and dust if you do not want to take your fan apart.
It is ideal for movable fans that you can take out to open space for thorough dust cleaning.
Use a damp cloth in a stick wrapping to remove any residual dirt stuck on the inside sections of the blades.
If you do not have the air compressor machine, you can use an air compressor can, which is cheaper and more practical for tower fans and other smaller lightweight models.
Once you are done using the compressor or can, wide down the fan using a dry cloth.
e) Use A Vacuum Cleaner To Clean Your Fan
Vacuum cleaners used for residential cleaning offer another solution that does not involve dissembling the fan.
Unlike blowers that blow out dust from the blades and grill, vacuum cleaners suck in the dirt.
This option suits pedestal fans and table fans, but you can use it to remove dust and dirt from various fan models.
The process is less messy than blowing and you can perform it in an open space. Many homeowners find vacuum cleaners more practical to use because they are readily available in the house.
Make sure you have it in the right setting to pull out all the dirt and dust.
Fan Cleaning Tips and Precautions
There are various types of fans and each model will have unique cleaning requirements.
You should learn how to clean all fans you have in the house. Pedestal fans are portable and can be moved around, which isn’t possible when cleaning a ceiling fan.
As such, it is essential to follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
Here are tips and precautions you should be aware of when cleaning a fan.
Tip #1: Turn Off The Fan
Always turn off the fan before cleaning. Different models have different methods, but the simplest way is unplugging the fan, if that’s an option, or using the wall switch, like in ceiling fans.
If you are taking the fan outside or to a different room, remove it completely from the power outlet.
Tip #2: Keep Your Fan Motor Protected From Water And Cleaner
The motor is a delicate electrical unit that powers your fan. If it comes into contact with water or soap, it may compromise the circuitry, resulting in a faulty fan.
You can keep the motor area protected using a dish or even wrap it using a waterproof foil.
Tip #3: Clean Away From The Power Supply
If you have a portable fan, such as a pedestal, table, or window fan, it is recommendable to unplug it from the power outlet and take it to a larger space.
Cleaning also involves using water, so completing it away from the power supply is crucial regardless of the fan type.
Tip #4: Wear Protective Gear
Cleaning a fan will expose you to fine dust and dirt particulates that can only be filtered using facial masks and respirators.
It is essential to wear a full face mask whenever you are cleaning a fan, especially when using a blower or vacuum cleaner.
This will protect your nose, mouth, and eyes from the fine particulates. You can also wear gloves if there’s rust.
Tip #5: Follow The Manufacturer Manual
Fans have different features and cleaning requirements. Manufacturers always provide a manual that includes how to clean the fan.
If you use any other process, you might risk voiding the warranty, so it is recommendable to follow the manual for cleaning instructions.
Tip #6: Do Not Bend The Blades
When cleaning a fan, avoid bending the blades as this might result in vibrations, noise, and low efficiency.
You should also use cleaner and soap meant for the kitchen to prevent discoloring the fan polish.
Fans can keep your rooms cool during hot summers and work independently or side by side with the air conditioner.
Some designs, especially tower fans, have unique air purification properties that ensure clean air circulation.
Nonetheless, you still need to learn how to clean a fan and remove all dust and dirt that might compromise its functionality.
If left uncleaned, fans can supply dirty air to your room, consume more energy, and break down faster.
So, we hope we covered all your questions on how to clean a fan. We would love to know which tips or methods you will start incorporating when cleaning your fan.
Let us know what you think about it!