So, how do you clean a ceiling fan? Forget better mousetraps. What the world really needs is a self-cleaning ceiling fan or, failing that, at least one that you can raise and lower like a flag. As it is, ceiling fans are much too difficult to reach. And when you do, they won’t stay still.
If the fan hasn’t been cleaned in some time and the blades are as dusty as we suspect, it’s best to rise to their level. Trying to clean a very dirty ceiling fan from the floor si exasperating and ineffective. Obviously a ladder is needed in most cases, but once you are there, the cleaning itself is easy enough. Position the ladder once, and then turn the fan blades to clean each one in turn. Use cleaning cloths and Red Juice. Spray the cloth or the blade (it’s easier and safer to spray the cloth), and wipe. Use one cloth to make the first wipe. This cloth will soon be a mess, but it will remove most of the dirt. Use a second Red Juice dampened cloth for a second and final wipe. Once you get the fan blades clean, keep them that way with regular maintenance cleaning. This can be done from the relative safety of terra firma. Use a flexible duster on an extension pole. The one we use is called a rabbit ear duster. It has a bendable, double-loop wire frame head (it looks as if it had ears, hence the name) that’s covered with a thick 100-percent cotton yarn head mounted on an extension pole. The tool allows you to clean out-of-reach fans, and you can bend and shape the “ears” to match the contours of the fan. Use the rabbit ear duster dry to remove the bulk of the dirt. If necessary, dampen it with Red Juice, and finish wiping the fan in the same manner.