How to Clean Greasy Ceiling Fans

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The ceiling fan gives a thrust of wind right from the moment we turn it on. And these fans are the most ignored appliance in all houses. People do not schedule cleaning sessions for ceiling fans. As a result, the blades accumulate greasy and sticky dust.

Hence, this adds weight to the blades, and the speed of the fan deteriorates. The motor experiences stress and the capacitor burns out. Generally, you realize the need for cleaning the ceiling fan only when its performance deteriorates. But this should not be the case!

How to Clean Greasy Ceiling Fans

Whether you have a ceiling fan in your kitchen or your bedroom, the dust and dirt are bound to stick to the blade surface. People are pretty lazy to hop on a ladder, climb up to reach the fan, and clean the blades.

Greasy ceiling fan on a darker light

Instead, they prefer just to ignore, like they never saw it. But, this will not just hamper the hygiene of your house but will also slow down the movement of your fan. As a result, the wind blowing ability of your fans will be lost.

So, in order to revive them, it is essential for you to learn how to clean greasy ceiling fans. If you are keen to know the same, then this guide is here to help you out!

These are the following steps on how to clean greasy ceiling fans:

  • Clear Out the Loose Dust
  • Use Old Pillow Covers for Intense Cleaning
  • Prepare The Cleaning Solution
  • Cleaning The Greasy Stains from The Ceiling Fans
  • Drying The Ceiling Fan Blades

Step 1: Clear Out the Loose Dust

The first and the most important thing to do is wipe out the loose dust and debris from the blade surface. It is because wet cleaning the fan without removing loose dust will make the entire process a bit more complex.

The steps that you must adapt in order to clear out the loose dust & debris from the blade surface are:

  1. Lay a newspaper on the floor at first, right beneath the ceiling fan. It is to make sure that no dust or debris falls on your floor, which will add up more effort to your cleaning session.
  2. Wear a mask or some bandana till the end of this cleaning process. It will prevent you from inhaling the dust particles that fall off the fan blades.
  3. You will need a broom or a clean microfiber cloth for the purpose. If you prefer a broom, then go with the one that has long handles. With it, you won’t have to climb up the ladder to broom the blades. It is something that will save some effort!
  4. If you are going with a clean microfiber cloth, then make sure that you do not put more strain on the blades. It is because if the blades bend away, the wind flow will be affected. So, it would be best to be careful when you are scrubbing the blades with a microfiber cloth. Use a step ladder to reach the fan blades.
  5. Make sure you thoroughly clean each of the blades from end to end. When you are over with it, move on to the next step.
Close-Up shot of pouring liquid solution in a bottle

Step 2: Use Old Pillow Covers for Intense Cleaning

Old pillow covers can act as cleaning gloves for the fan blades. It will ensure a deep and intense dry-wipe cleaning session for the greasy ceiling fan blades. The steps for the same are:

  1. You need to slip in a pillowcase over the blade. If the pillow cover is big enough to cover the entire blade, then it is well and good! This step is to trap the dust, dirt, and debris in the pillow cover case.
  2. Now gently rub your hands over both the sides of the pillowcase from the outside. This, in turn, will weaken all the remaining loose dust and debris from the blade and collect them within the pillowcase.
  3. Repeat the process for all of the blades of your ceiling fan, one by one. 
  4. After cleaning each of the blades, take out the pillowcases. Then use an old rag for the final wiping of all the blades.

It is essential to stress on dry wiping of the blades. In fact, dry wiping will ease the scrubbing and rubbing effort while performing the cleaning process.

Step 3: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

After dusting and wiping the fan, you will need a cleaning solution if you still see the greasy stains over the surface. You do not need to buy any commercial cleaner solution for this purpose.

Instead, you can prepare it in the comfort of your home. All you need are a few household things to blend and prepare a prominent cleaning solution.

  1. You will need a large bowl for preparing the mixture solution.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into the bowl.
  3. Now, add 2 cups of water to it, and mix it well. Use a spoon for stirring and mixing the cleaning solution.

Step 4: Cleaning the Greasy Stains From the Ceiling Fans

  1. You will need the step ladder again for reaching out to the fan blades.
  2. Get a clean and gentle sponge for the cleaning purpose.
  3. Dampen the sponge in the cleaning solution.
  4. Now, use a gentle motion to wipe all the fan blades thoroughly.
  5. Keep repeating the process, but remember to wring out the dirty water solution from the sponge.
  6. Every time you wring out the dirty water, dampen the sponge again in the cleaning solution before continuing to clean the fan blades.
  7. Continue with the same motion for all the blades until you see the greasy stain vanishing away.

Step 5: Drying the Ceiling Fan Blades

You will need a clean and dry cloth for the drying purpose. You do not have to wipe and dry the surface of the blades. But instead, you just need to follow a pat & dry motion.

Keep patting the ceiling fan blades to remove moisture from the surface. After all the excessive moisture content is out from your fan blades, let them settle for air-drying.

It is better if you do not use the ceiling fan until it is completely dry. It is because you might get water drizzles all over your room belongings. In addition, there is a chance you might have mistakenly splashed water into the motor or capacitor of the fan.

So, let it dry out completely before turning on the power supply, to avoid short circuits and expensive damage.

This guide will provide you with a link to get a glimpse of the steps on how to clean the ceiling fan blades properly. Here is the YouTube link for the same!

Close-Up shot of vacuum cleaner

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Dust Repelling Spray Over My Ceiling Fan Blades?

Yes, you can use the dust repelling sprays to prevent the dust and dirt from sticking over the fan blades. There are many such products available at online and offline stores. Moreover, top brands are currently introducing anti-dust fans that come with dust repellent coating to save you the hassle.

It is a revolutionary introduction to the ceiling fan market. And if you intend to learn more about it, you can visit this article with information about the same.

Can I Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Dust off the Ceiling Fan Blades?

Yes, you can definitely use the vacuum cleaners for the initial dusting purpose of the ceiling fan blades. However, it is better if you have a hand-held vacuum cleaner, or at least a long enough hose and a hosepipe to reach the blades from the ground.

If you have such proficient tools, then you can do the cleaning easily. Furthermore, regular vacuuming will even save you the hassle of intense cleaning. Regular cleaning will prevent dust and dirt from turning greasy and sticking over the fan blades.

What Is the Science Behind Fans Collecting Dust and Dirt Over Time?

Static electricity and fluid dynamics are the scientific concepts that are responsible for dust accumulation over the ceiling fans. When the fan blades move through the air at a fast pace, they brush away the air molecules away from them.

As a result, these molecules then build up the electrical charge over the edge of your fan blades. That being the case, the dust and dirt stick more to one side of the blades than the other.

To know more about the fluid dynamics and other scientific inclusion regarding dust building over the fans, you can refer to this link!


Put an end to the search for professionals to get your ceiling fan blades cleaned. Instead, you can try it out all by yourself with DIY techniques. In fact, you just need to learn the process and master the steps.

Keeping ceiling fans clean should be a regular habit under the household cleaning chores.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.