Follow these procedures to keep your oscillating fan clean and running at peak performance.
Oscillating fans, with its side-to-side spinning motor that uniformly distributes air across a room, are an excellent choice for cool comfort. However, the fan grill and blades can suck in and accumulate a considerable amount of dirt and dust throughout the process, causing your fan to function less effectively. Cleaning your oscillating fan on a regular basis using affordable materials is the best method to keep tiny invaders at bay and your fan running at top performance.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
House Fans Are Dusty!
Fans tend to gather a lot of dirt, even if you can’t see it when they’re spinning around, especially if they’re in or near a kitchen, where steam and airborne grease may be a magnet for dust. Now is a good time to start working on this job before the weather becomes too hot and your fans start spinning nonstop. Here are some easy tips from Consumer Reports’ “How to Clean Practically Anything.”
Clean fan housings using a wet cloth and an all-purpose cleaner, or a damp cloth soaked with a water-and-mild-detergent solution. Allow no liquid to enter the motor. Fan blades that are dirty do not move air efficiently. When cleaning the fan blades, take care not to bend them; bent blades may vibrate when the fan is turned on.
Floor, table, and window fans are all available. Using a vacuum cleaner brush attachment or a lambswool duster, dust both sides of the grille on a regular basis. Unplug the fan and use a hair dryer or a can of compressed air to clean the blades and inner workings. If the grilles can be removed, wash them off or run them through the shower two or three times a year to eliminate grime. Clean blades and other plastic parts with an all-purpose cleaner sprayed or soaked cloth.
Fans for the attic (or the entire home). For optimal ventilation, brush and vacuum the louvres and screens at least once a season. Because some fans are thermostatically regulated, make sure the fan is switched off.
Fans on the ceiling. At least once a season, clean these difficult-to-reach fans. A unique tool, a long-handled, U-shaped brush, is available in hardware and home improvement stores. Because the blade fits inside the U, both sides may be cleaned at the same time. Wipe the blades and housing with a wet cloth and an all-purpose cleaner twice a year. Because moist blades collect dust, fully dry them.
Remove the exhaust fans. Use a vacuum cleaner brush or a wet towel to dust them. If the fan covers can be removed, clean or replace the filter and wipe down the blades and other nonelectric parts twice a year with a cloth sprayed with or soaked in an all-purpose cleaner.
How Often You Should Clean a Fan
Turn off the fan at least once a week and inspect the blades and housing for dust. The frequency of cleaning is greatly dependant on the amount of dust in your house or office. Cleaning once a week or twice a week is an excellent idea. A more thorough cleaning should be performed at least quarterly, especially during periods of high use.
Routine Cleaning Of A Fan
If you follow these procedures for cleaning a fan on a weekly basis, you may avoid light dust accumulations and successfully avoid having to disassemble the fan! Proceed with the extensive cleaning process that follows on a quarterly basis or anytime the inside blades are obviously grimy.
STEP 1 Turn off the fan and disconnect it. Turn off the oscillation control knob on the fan motor housing. Attach the vacuum’s dusting brush attachment.
STEP 2 Vacuum the outside of the fan’s front and back grills, going from the top to the bottom of each grill.
STEP 3 Hold a hair dryer or pressurised air (available for $3 to $10 at home centres and office supply stores) approximately six inches from the fan and swiftly blast away light accumulations from the front of the inner blades.
STEP 4 Move behind the fan and use the same approach to blow or spray air over the fan blades and any vents on the motor housing (the compartment at the back of the fan that contains the fan motor).
STEP 5 Using a microfiber towel, gently wipe off the surface of the fan motor housing, pole (if the device has one), and base.
Deep Clean Your Fan
Before you begin serious cleaning, check the manufacturer’s instructions for particular disassembly instructions for your fan unit. For certain single-blade oscillating fan types, the fan blade is accessible from the back grill rather than the front grill, as detailed here.
STEP 1 Turn off the fan and disconnect it. Turn off the oscillation control knob on the fan motor housing.
STEP 2 Using a screwdriver, loosen the screw at the bottom of the grill, then remove the grill clips around the perimeter of the grill, either by hand or using a screwdriver, depending on your fan unit. Separate the front grill from the back grill and place it on a clean, dry surface.
STEP 3 Remove the blade cover that secures the fan blades to the motor housing, then remove each blade and replace it with the front grill. Finally, detach the back grill’s mounting nut, take the back grill off the motor housing, and replace it with the front grill and fan blades.
STEP 4 If you don’t have a commercial all-purpose cleanser, use a DIY solution in a spray bottle with two teaspoons of dish soap diluted in three cups of warm water. Shake vigorously to evenly distribute and liberally spray the front and back grills, as well as both sides of the fan blades. Scrub grills and blades gently with a clean cloth wet in the solution, then completely rinse under warm or cool running water.
STEP 5 Using a dry, lint-free cloth, wipe off the washed grills and blades, then allow to air dry fully on a clean indoor surface. When the grills and blades are totally dry, replace the back grill, rear grill mounting nut, fan blades, and blade cap on the motor housing in the reverse order that they were removed. To finish fan reassembly, secure the front grill to the rear grill, then reattach the grill clips and tighten the grill screw at the bottom of the grill using a screwdriver.
Keeping Other Cooling Appliances Clean
After you’ve cleaned the dirt and debris from your oscillating fan’s blades, go the extra mile toward cleaner air by addressing your cooling equipment.
The ceiling fan, which frequently works in tandem with other fans to distribute air across a room and into others, accumulates dust just as readily. Just because something is out of sight doesn’t imply it should be out of mind. Turn off your overhead fan, and then clean the ceiling fan blades once a week using a specialist pole duster or moistened microfiber cloth—or even a pillow case if you want to keep dust confined.
Pull out your window air conditioning unit at the start and end of the season to ensure optimal performance and a long lifespan. Wiping down the front of the unit with a slightly moist cloth, vacuuming out any dirt or debris covering the inside evaporator or condenser coils, and completely drying the entire unit before plugging it back in. Pro tip: For the optimum air quality, clean the AC filter more often (once a month during the summer).