How to Clean a Fan

by Team HomeServe
dust stuck on the fan guard of an old oscillating fan

Nothing beats being perched in front of a fan when the mercury starts to climb. Perhaps you’re among the many people who are lulled to sleep each night by your fan’s white noise. If you use fans to keep cool in the summer, you likely know just how quickly a fan can become dirty. Where does all that dust, dirt and grime come from anyway?

This May Also Interest You: 4 Ways to Clean Your Ceiling Fan (No. 3 Is Pretty Clever!)

We already have a guide on how to clean your ceiling fan. If that’s where you’re dealing with dirt, click the related link above. Here’s how to clean every other type of fan you might have in your house.

Cleaning Floor, Window and Table Fans

Before we dive into the different types of fans, let’s preface all of this by saying that you should only clean fans that are unplugged and not hooked up to any kind of power.

To clean box fans, oscillating fans, tower fans and most types of floor or table fans, you’ll want to start with regular upkeep. Dust both sides of the fan’s grilles regularly using a lambswool duster or the brush attachment on your vacuum.

For more intense cleaning, use a can of compressed air or a hairdryer to blow the inner workings of the fan and its blades with air. If the grilles on your fans are removable, remove the grilles and rinse them off with a garden hose once or twice per year. You could also stick them in the tub and run the faucet or shower over them. Use a scrub brush to remove caked-on dirt. Spray a cloth with all-purpose cleaner and use it to clean the plastic parts and blades.

Cleaning a Whole-House or Attic Fan

Vacuum and brush the screening and louvers of your whole-house or attic fan at least one time each season, or four times annually. This helps improve your fan’s airflow.

More Related Articles:

Cleaning an Exhaust Fan

Use a damp cloth or the brush on your vacuum cleaner to dust an exhaust fan. If the cover is removable, you should remove and clean it twice yearly. Wipe down the blades and other non-electric parts using a cloth sprayed with all-purpose cleaner. Wash the fan cover to remove dust and dirt. If your exhaust fan has a filter, clean or replace the filter at least twice a year or as recommended by the manufacturer.

How Do You Clean a Dusty Fan?

A basic duster or a soft cloth can be used to clean a dusty fan. If the fan can be safely disassembled, you may be able to take it apart to clean the blades and other parts before reassembling it. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions prior to cleaning.

How Do You Clean a Fan Without Taking It Apart?

To clean a fan without taking it apart, dust the visible areas of the fan. Use compressed air to blow out any debris and dust lodged in the fan and its motor. Take a cloth sprayed with all-purpose cleaner to wipe off the fan’s housing and control knobs.