The Things We've Forgotten [To Clean] PT 6: The Ceiling Fan

It's amazing how a little bit of sunshine motivates.  The second the days start to get longer and the sun starts to take on a rosier glow, people start thinking about polishing up the caves they've been hibernating in for the past three months.  It's a lovely time of hope, expectation and window cleaner.  

But all that cleaning CAN be overwhelming. Especially if you want to do a deep, deep clean (and if you have, you know, a life). 

So while we make plans for that all-inclusive spring cleaning spree, lighten the load by picking one overlooked item a day to knock off your list. 

Overlooked Item of the Day:

The Ceiling Fan

Any time you clean a room, the experts will say the same thing: Start from the top down.  But how often do we follow that to the letter?  To prevent a duck-and-cover air-raid from a legion of dust bunnies, give your fan a good scrub down pre-season.

As a quick once over with a duster is an asthma attack waiting to happen, a pillow case is a great way to trap the dust and keep it out of eyes and mouths (and off everything else that you don't feel like dusting today).

Tools Needed:

Ladder, Step Stool, or Sturdy Chair
Pillow Case
Dusting Spray
Dish Soap or Dishwasher Detergent
A small screwdriver (depending on the globes of your fan)

Okay, Let's Do This.

1. As per usual, safety first: Turn off the light and allow to cool. Lightbulbs and globes get pretty hot and burning yourself is not fun. Especially when you're balancing precariously above your cat who is not entirely sure what you're doing, but knows that whatever it is, it's not nearly as important as giving him kitty treats.  (Maybe that's just mine.)

And speaking of being up high,  make sure that whatever you plan to climb up on is stable enough to handle your weight.  I'm sure you have fabulous balance and/or that wicker chair you found in someone's trash is sturdier than it looks, but humor me and use something that is made to be stood on. 

2.  Give each blade a quick squirt with cleaner.  Slide the pillowcase over the blade and then grip the blade through the pillow case as you pull it off.  All of the dirt, dust and grime will be trapped in the pillowcase.  Turn the fan to the next blade and repeat.

3. Once the blades are clean, use your screwdriver to carefully remove the globes (make sure they're cool).  Soak them in a sink of hot water with grease-cutting dish soap for 5 minutes.  Some globes are dishwasher safe, but, if you choose to go this route, run a light cycle to prevent any damage.  Replacing a glass or a mug is one thing.  Replacing a light globe can be a real pain in the rear.

4.  Allow the globes to dry completely.  Replace carefully, making sure each is seated properly and tightened.

That's it!

**This is also a good opportunity to switch your fan blades to the "Summer" position.  
It is a widely held belief that fans should spin counter clockwise in the spring and summer and clockwise in the winter and fall.  This, however, is not accurate for all makes and models.  The easiest way to figure out which way it should be spinning is by standing under it and turning it on high.  If you turn it on and can't feel much breeze, it's probably in the winter position.  If, on the other hand, you turn it on and feel like the only thing missing is a photographer yelling "Work it girl! You're a Tiger! You're a Tiger!!", then it's probably in the summer position and you're good to go.  

Want more? Check out the rest of the Forgotten to Clean Series and learn how to clean your Iron, Dishwasher, Knife Block and Coffee Maker

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