How To Clean Ceiling Fans With Vinegar

How To Clean Ceiling Fans With Vinegar

A simple guide on how to clean ceiling fans with vinegar and a little elbow grease if needed.

Cleaning your dusty ceiling fan may not be at the top of your priority list, but it most likely should be. Your fan will accumulate dust whether it is turned on or off, especially if it has been a long time before you cleaned it. Ceiling fans, in particular, might be difficult to reach. It’s not every day that you get your ladder out to clean your ceiling fan to keep your living room as dust-free as possible.

However, if you don’t clean your fan, it will continue to circulate dust around your house, which you don’t want to breathe in. Excess dust can also overwork the motor, reducing its lifespan and even causing harm to your health.

It just takes a small amount of dust to produce a noticeable effect. If you clean your fan on a regular basis, you’ll notice a significant reduction in the quantity of dust on your other household items.

Continue reading to find out how to clean a ceiling fan in a few easy steps.

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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 dirt. 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.”

To clean a fan need is a 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, dirt both sides of the grille on a regular basis. Unplug the fan and use a hairdryer 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 louvers 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 with a cloth and an all-purpose cleaner twice a year. Because moist blades collect dirt, fully dry them.

Remove the exhaust fans. Use a vacuum cleaner brush or a towel to dirt 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.

Steps To Clean A Ceiling Fan With Vinegar

Prepare Your Solution and Space

Mix 2 parts baking soda, 4 parts vinegar, and 2 parts warm water together. Cover the floor and any furniture under or near the fan with a drop cloth or old sheets. Cover an area roughly twice as broad as the fan’s maximum span. Place the ladder or step stool so that you can view the blades’ tops. It is also a good idea to remove any light globes you may have and wipe down your light bulbs.


Remove the dust from the ceiling fan with a dry cloth or a feather duster. A long-handled U-shaped brush can be used to clean both sides of the fan blades at the same time.  Alternatively, place an old pillowcase over each blade and draw it back to remove dust and grime. If you have a long cord on your vacuum cleaner, then you can vacuum the tops of the blades.

Wash Your Fan

Wash each blade with your prepared vinegar solution and a wet towel, paper towels, or sponge. Don’t spray your solution on the fan as that is an easy way to make it stop working, and don’t apply too much pressure to the blades, since this might bend them.

The light glass globe can be hand-washed in a sink and allowed to dry fully before reinstalling. You can wipe the globe down with a clean white cloth or a clean old sock before reinstalling it.

Wipe down your pull chain during this cleaning process and use a cotton swab to clean up any loose dust in the small nooks and crannies your ceiling fan may have.

You can also use an all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle and a clean cloth but I do find the best way to clean light fixtures and ceiling fan blades is with a damp cloth or paper towel and the vinegar solution I mentioned.


Wipe the surface of the blades dry from the cleaning solution with a clean dry microfiber cloth.


Wax the blades with car wax and a clean microfiber cloth, which can prevent dust from sticking in the first place. You can also apply furniture polish to help keep the dust away.

Remember to clean up any remaining dust particles that fall to the floor after you finish cleaning the fan. I find using the vacuum cleaner is the easiest way to do this cleaning process but you can also use a soft cloth or a baby wipe.

How Often You Should Clean a Fan

Turn off the fan at least once a weekend and inspect the blades for dirt. The frequency of cleaning is greatly dependent on the amount of dirt 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.


How do I clean the gunk off my ceiling fan?

Make a solution with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water, and then scrub the dirt away from your ceiling fan. You can also use dish soap and warm water solution. Clean up whatever dust had fallen with a vacuum cleaner.

Why do ceiling fans get so dirty?

Dust mites thrive in dusty environments. Ceiling fans are readily dusty, and mites can gather on the blades. When the fan is turned on, it spreads dust and mites around the room.

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 dirt 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 pillowcase if you want to keep dirt 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 optimum air quality, clean the AC filter more often (once a month during the summer).

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