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A Clean Sweep for Ceiling Fans

From specialized tools to unnecessarily complex setups, tricks for cleaning ceiling fans abound. But how much do you really need to do—and how often? Cleaning expert Melissa Maker, host of Clean My Space on YouTube, helps us break it down

DUSTING IS (USUALLY) ENOUGH If you keep up with cleaning, Maker says, fans don’t need much maintenance. Give it a go every three months if the fan’s on year-round, or at the beginning and end of cooling season if it’s not. Stand on a step stool or ladder, and use a flexible microfiber duster to trap any debris.

TACKLE GRIME WITH VINEGAR AND WATER Have a fan that hasn’t been cleaned in aeons? Insert each blade into a dry pillowcase and gently drag it outward to collect dust and debris. Next, use a soft cloth and a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water to wipe down the blades and remove any residue.

DON’T SPRITZ THE HOUSING It’s fine to give the housing a quick dusting, but unless you have an old fan that has an oil reservoir, liquid and the fan housing should not mix. Today’s fans have sealed bearings, so there’s no need for oiling. If you’re hearing suspicious sounds, check for loose screws and make sure nothing’s on the blades. Still noisy? Your fan’s time may be nigh.