How to clean a ceiling fan

Two easy and fuss-free approaches to cleaning the dirt and dust off your ceiling fans – without getting it all over your floors or bedding!

Soon it will be warm and we’ll be wanting to turn on the ceiling fans to circulate the air again, but before we do that we need to remove all the dust that’s built up on the blades over winter. Yes, look up and see all that dust that’s gathered on your fan! If not cleaned, it will spread over your whole room which may cause allergies and hay-fever.

How to easily clean ceiling fan

How to dust ceiling fan: method #1

Dust build up can also be the reason for squeaky fan noises (which are very annoying throughout the night).

  1. Place rags or old towels below where you are cleaning to catch any dust that drops off. That way you can easily shake the towels outside when you’re done.
  2. Use a step-ladder to reach the fans, or stand on the bed if underneath (but be careful please!).
  3. If you are a shorty like me, you will more than likely not be able to see the tops of the fans. Perhaps wear your sunglasses to prevent dust falling in your eyes.
  4. It’s best to use the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner first, as this will pick up all the clumps of dust.
  5. Take off the brush attachment regularly and suck up the build up on the brush with the vacuum.
  6. If the vacuum hose isn’t long enough, bring a chair beside you and place vacuum on chair to give it more height.
  7. Not all dust will have been picked up. Use a damp cloth, damp paper towel or surface wipes to wipe the top and bottom of each blade. Using a damp cloth will collect the dust easier and prevent it from falling onto the floor below.


How to dust ceiling fan:  method #2

I have always cleaned my fans using the first method, but it was suggested I also try the pillow case method. I’m a shorty so don’t find this easy to do, but I do think it’s a brilliant method and worth sharing with you.

  1. Slide pillow case over fan blades, so that the blade is inside the pillow case.
  2. Pull the pillowcase back, scrunching the bottom so the dust on the side of the blades releases and falls into the pillow case.
  3. Repeat on each fan blade.
  4. Shake the pillowcase outside to remove all the dust. Turn the case inside out to make sure all the dust is cleaned away and then wash.

I do think you will also need to wipe over the blades with a damp cloth to ensure it’s completely clean.


Check out my video on how easy this is:


  • Each month use a duster with a long handle to dust blades.
  • Every 3 months wipe blades with a damp cloth.
  • Every 6 months vacuum blades and wipe with damp cloth.

How do you clean your fans?

Pin this image below to Pinterest!

How to clean a ceiling fan

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Stacey October 11, 2010 - 8:14 PM

I haven't got fans but will put the air con vents & intake on my list for this week ?

Helen September 12, 2012 - 4:03 PM

I have put knee high stockings on all my ceiling fans. It means a quick clean. Take off the stockettes and either throw them in the wash or bin then. Replace and you are ready to go.

Rachel August 5, 2020 - 5:53 PM

Won’t the stockings be damaged?

Jackie January 4, 2021 - 1:31 PM

I just bought stockings to do this, good idea

Judith October 17, 2021 - 1:39 PM

That was such a GREAT IDEA.
I had never considered doing this before.
But do you find that some dust comes through the stockings?

Koilie September 12, 2012 - 6:08 PM

Use a wet pillow case (wet it and then wring it out) – put the pillow case onto one of the fan blades and pinch the opening of the pillow case on the blade. Then slide the pillow case off the blade (while pinching tight) and all of the dust gets wiped off and also trapped inside the pillow case. Then either rinse the dust out of the pillow case under the tap in the bath or simply turn it inside out and put it in the wash.

This method is the best for keeping all the dust contained and also reduces hayfever reactions

Bex B September 12, 2012 - 6:29 PM

Yep! That’s the way…

Dandan Li Clark September 13, 2012 - 12:14 AM

great idea! will try it out! thanks Koilie.

Rach M September 13, 2012 - 4:49 PM

Yep, this is how I do it too… all done in about 5 mintues 🙂

Carolyn Petrini September 14, 2012 - 7:17 PM

I have fan Socks which are very like knee high stockings, but white. I can take them off and wash them and wipe down the surfaces that are not covered. Make it a lot easier to clean.

Tracey September 8, 2016 - 9:25 AM

what if you cant reach the ceiling fan even with a ladder?

Judith October 4, 2017 - 4:28 PM

Just about impossible to clean the fan in the lounge room as it is hanging from a cathedral ceiling, and there is no way I’m going to climb a ladder to get to it.
I have resorted to throwing a cord over each blade of the fan, holding the cord tightly to try and prevent the blade from moving, then using my long handled microfiber cleaner to wipe the blades. It’s adequate but not as good as I’d like.
This and many other inadequacies are very evident in my “resort” where no thought was given to difficulties that would occur as the years progress and we get older!! Buyer beware.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 5, 2017 - 10:55 AM

Sounds beautiful Judith, but yeah that’s a tricky one!

Penelope White February 22, 2018 - 11:54 AM

I used to be a ‘high profile’ (or Celebrity) persons cleaner. I was trained by a butler who used to work for the Queen. This was many moons ago in SYDNEY. Kat, did you know that if you use a good quality furniture polish from a spray can, say something like PLEDGE then you use that when you finish cleaning the blades and they are dry; give them a full generous polish all over and don’t forget underneath, with a soft dry cloth. This coats them with the slippery waxy substance (that is one of the ingredients in the can of course). They stay cleaner much longer as the dirt and dust is repelled by the waxy slippery substance. You can also use this method in bathroom ceramic sinks. This keeps them clean for longer as well.

Gail August 7, 2020 - 5:35 PM

I use method 1, but after reading Penelopes comment I will be polishing them as well.

Melissa Christiansen March 21, 2020 - 8:15 AM

Ooh. I love this whole blog!!! I am going to try the pledge idea today after cleaning some of my fans. We have 10 of them so I think Ill do 1/2 today and 1/2 tomorrow ??????

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 24, 2020 - 10:33 AM

Glad you loved the blog Melissa! Happy fan cleaning 🙂

Bristol August 4, 2020 - 8:37 AM

I use method one. It is a chore but the fan looks so much nicer without a thick layer of dust!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 6, 2020 - 1:14 PM

I like that method too! It’s a pain, but it’s nice to know we’re not just pushing dust around the room 🙂

Tasha August 5, 2020 - 4:19 PM

The pillowcase was actually a bright idea, and it’s very convenient for me. I wonder if you have any tip for cleaning a greasy ceiling fan?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 6, 2020 - 1:20 PM

Glad this idea helped Tash! I would suggest (after having removed the dust) to spray a good cleaning spray on the fan – one that’s specifically designed for tackling grease, like this multi-purpose kitchen spray. Then do the pillowcase again (but with a clean pillowcase) to rub off all the spray and grease too! Hope this helps 🙂 Kat x

Ann-Maree August 7, 2020 - 12:30 PM

I use an extremely high quality microfibre cloth that is damp (not soaking wet) and it should remove the grease and dust etc without the need for toxic cleaners

Shilpa August 6, 2020 - 4:35 AM

This is so helpful this hot summer, thank you!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 6, 2020 - 1:29 PM

Happy to be of help 🙂

Ingrid Gusdorf September 3, 2020 - 5:33 PM

I always clean my fans on the 1st day of the month. And while I have the step ladder out…check my smoke alarms also.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 7, 2020 - 2:52 PM

A very important reminder – thank you Ingrid! Kat x

How to Get your Home ready for Summer September 20, 2020 - 8:04 PM

[…] with removing dust from your air conditioning unit, make sure to give your fans a thorough dusting too. Dust quickly collects on both ceiling and pedestal fans, just waiting to fly off when you […]

Neelam September 2, 2021 - 1:50 PM

Cleaning Fans is a hard job as the blades keep turning around … they should come up with a brush which slides through and cleans both sides of the fan – food for thought Kat

Amardy September 3, 2021 - 11:41 AM

Definitely food for thought! x


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