A Simple Way to Clean Ceiling Fans …

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I don’t mind general house cleaning and have developed a weekly routine that covers most areas of the house. There are, however, a couple of jobs that don’t need to be done quite as frequently and one of those is cleaning the ceiling fans.


We live in Queensland and use our fans quite a lot, particularly throughout summer, and we have fans in the lounge room, the family room and each of the four bedrooms. They do tend to get quite dusty and, because I suffer from hay-fever, I try to keep the blades of the fans as clean as possible to prevent a huge build up of dust.


Two of the most popular methods you’ll read about is to use either a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a long handled duster but I’ve always found both methods a bit painful because the blades of the fan keep moving when I’m trying to clean them. It can also be awkward if the hose on your vacuum cleaner isn’t long enough to reach the heights of the ceiling fan. So many years ago when I stumbled across an easy trick using an old pillowcase, I’ve used that technique ever since.


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Here’s how it’s done:


  • Start by standing on a sturdy chair or stepladder directly under the fan. Be extremely careful not to fall and, if possible, have someone assist you by holding the chair or stepladder. Make sure also that the chair or stepladder is tall enough so that you’re not overextending your reach and risk overbalancing and falling.


  • Open the pillowcase and feed it over one of the fan blades until it covers the entire blade.


  • Now close your hand firmly around the open end of the pillowcase and drag it towards the tip of the blade in a wiping motion. The pillowcase will collect any dust from the top and sides of the blade, which will fall into the inside of the pillowcase.


  • Repeat the process with each of the fan blades and then all that’s needed is a wipe over the top and underside of the blade with a damp cloth or sponge and the job is done!


The dust inside the pillowcase can now be emptied into the bin, give it a shake outside and then I usually throw the pillowcase (turned inside out) into the next load of washing.


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If you notice that the blade is a bit oily or sticky, simply spray the blade with a mixture of 500ml water to which you’ve added 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and then wipe off with a damp cloth or sponge.


This method is great because it’s super easy, you can hold the blade steady as you clean and collecting the dust inside the pillowcase prevents the dust falling onto either the floor or the bed underneath the fan, which would only create more work. It also prevents dust falling into your eyes, which can potentially cause irritation.


I’m lucky that this is a job my hubby is willing to do for me because he’s pretty tall and it’s much easier for him to reach. It also saves me sneezing for the next couple of hours!


Each fan only takes about 5 or so minutes to clean so it’s not a particularly big job. We usually clean our fans monthly but you may not need to clean yours as frequently and it will simply depend on how much dust accumulates in your home and how much your fans are used.


So tell me, when was the last time you cleaned your ceiling fans and have you ever been horrified by just how much dust can accumulate?



  1. Excellent idea, thank you I will definitely try it next time I have to clean the fans around my house.

  2. Nice idea, really came in handy. Thank you for sharing. I never thought about using a pillowcase. ?