How to Clean Ceiling Fan With a Vacuum Cleaner

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Because the layer of dust on a ceiling fan is rarely seen by anyone, you probably don’t clean it often. Dust, dirt, and grime can build up on the fan blades and housing quickly, even if you keep a ceiling fan running constantly. One simple way to clean a ceiling fan without using a ladder is to use a vacuum cleaner. 

How to clean ceiling fan with vacuum cleaner: To clean a ceiling fan with a vacuum cleaner, use the flat and wide dusting attachment. Extend the handle and run it along the top and bottom of the fan’s blades. Brush each blade slowly and smoothly in one direction, so the dust is picked up effectively.

Luckily, cleaning a ceiling fan with a vacuum cleaner is easy. It also ensures that the dust is not scattered across the room during the process. All you need is a vacuum cleaner with a flat dusting attachment and you are good to go. In this post, we will show you how to clean a ceiling fan with a vacuum cleaner.

Why Do Ceiling Fans Get So Dusty?

Ceiling fans generate plenty of airflow, causing dust to be thrown around the room. Surprisingly, much of the dust actually lands on the fan and its blades. You would think that dust would not stick to ceiling fans simply because the blades are constantly moving. However, ceiling fans are notorious for being dust magnets.

So, why do ceiling fans get so dirty/dusty? Ceiling fans get so dirty/dusty because dust particles are attracted to any surface that develops a charge. As the fan blades rotate, they experience frictional forces, causing the blades to build up a charge. Dust particles then stick to the charged areas of the blades.

How to Clean Ceiling Fan With a Vacuum Cleaner:

In order to clean a ceiling fan properly, first make sure that the fan blades are easily accessible. If the ceiling fan is beyond your normal reach, lift yourself to the proper height by using a stool or a step ladder. Even with the vacuum cleaner extended, you need to be able to comfortably reach for the ceiling fan.

1. Use the Right Vacuum Cleaner

Your first order of business is to make sure you use the right vacuum cleaner. A lightweight vacuum cleaner with a long hose (link to Amazon) works best. If you already have a vacuum cleaner, check if it has a dusting attachment. Using the right vacuum cleaner is the key to clean a ceiling fan without getting dust everywhere. 

For the best result, use a dusting attachment that is flat and wide, not circular. If your vacuum doesn’t have one, the attachment can easily be bought for less than $10. Fortunately, most vacuum cleaners already come with a wide dusting attachment which allows you to fasten a brush over the vacuum’s hose. 

2. Find the Best Standing Position

Find the best standing position if you want to clean a ceiling fan with a vacuum cleaner from the floor!

Once you have your vacuum cleaner prepped, find the best position so that you are able to move the vacuum hose along the length of each fan blade from where you’re standing. Then, extend the vacuum hose to reach the fan. If you’re short, or the ceiling is too high, use a stool or step ladder. Remember, safety first!

3. Move the Vacuum Attachment Along the Fan Blades

Turn on the vacuum cleaner and begin brushing the fan blades, one at a time. The brush attachment loosens the settled dust so that the hose can suck it up. Run the brush attachment across each blade slowly and smoothly in one direction, so that the vacuum hose sucks in all the dust effectively.

Be sure to do a thorough and complete sweep of each fan blade. Instead of doing back-and-forth motions, run the vacuum hose straightly and smoothly. This prevents the loosened dust from flying all over the place. You can go over and repeat the process to capture any dust you may have missed.

PRO TIP: Protecting your eyes is a smart thing to do when cleaning high ceiling fans. If you’re looking up to the ceiling, you should wear protective eyewear. You may think that doing so might be too much, but getting dust particles into your eyes may cause serious discomfort. Or worse, it can cause unwanted accidents.

4. Clean Up Stray Dust

Once you have finished cleaning each fan blade, it’s a good idea to clean up stray dust on the floor. Even by vacuuming, some dust from the ceiling fan will drop to the floor below. Be sure that there isn't any leftover dust in the area. You can easily sweep the area, vacuum it, or mop the floor below the ceiling fan.

Related: Should You Dust or Vacuum First?

The Best Vacuum Cleaner for Ceiling Fans

On Sale
Eureka 3670M Canister Cleaner,...
  • Dust bag capacity is up to 2.5 liters. Lightweight & Lifetable Conveniently: The lightweight vacuum cleaner weights 8.6lbs. Allows you to carry it around...
  • Whole Home Cleaning: The lightweight vacuum cleaner weights 8.6 lbs allows you to carry it around the entire house.
  • Powerful Cleaning: The 12-amps motor provides continuous, powerful suction for deep cleanings.

The best vacuum cleaner for ceiling fans is the Eureka 3670M Mighty Mite Canister Cleaner. It is a lightweight, yet powerful vacuum cleaner capable of reaching high ceiling fans. Not only does it come with a useful brush attachment, but it weighs a mere 9 pounds, allowing you to carry it with you around the house.

In addition to owning a reliable upright vacuum cleaner for a complete, whole-house cleaning, it’s a good idea to invest in a dedicated vacuum cleaner for high ceilings, especially if your house has ceiling fans. The combination of the two should be more than enough to keep your house as clean as it should be.

How Do I Stop a Ceiling Fan From Getting Dusty?

To reduce future dust buildup from a ceiling fan, run it often. It is better for the air to circulate in your home rather than building up on the fan blades. You can also use a dust-repelling spray like Endust (link to Amazon). Apply it on a microfiber cloth and wipe it on both sides of the ceiling fan blades. 

Bottom Line

In addition to learning how to clean a ceiling fan with a vacuum cleaner, you also need the best vacuum cleaner for ceiling fans to fend off any dust from high above. Remember to run a ceiling fan often to reduce future dust buildup. It will also keep your house cool and comfortable, especially during hot summer days. 🙂