How to clean a window fan

Heating & Cooling

Window fans get dirty quite often, because they attract outside air, as they are usually located in the window. And the dust particles in the air will cause this fan to get dirty.

So, if you have a window fan in your house, you need to understand the most efficient method to clean the window fan.

Well, there are many models of window fans. Certain models can be easily disassembled and some cannot. Window fans that can be easily disassembled are easy and quick to clean.

The reason for regular cleaning of a window fan

Regular cleaning of your window fan will keep it working like new.

It is extremely important to clean your window fans regularly to avoid unwanted debris such as pollen and mold spores.

Breathing in mold spores and pollen can lead to serious health problems, especially for asthmatics and allergy sufferers.

It is extremely difficult to clean a window fan that has not been cleaned in years. You may notice a drastic decrease in the efficiency of your window fan, as dirt and debris can build up in the fan and damage the motor.

The things you may need when cleaning a window fan

Cleaning your window fan is hassle-free and you will only need household supplies which most people have already. No need to run out and spend your hard-earned money on detergents. You just need a vacuum cleaner, mild soap, and a gentle, non-abrasive fabric.

Cleaning a window fan: weekly routine

In order to make your fan work properly and effectively, you need to briefly clean it about once a week.

You do not have to disassemble the fan to perform this once-a-week cleaning routine. Also, all you need are basic, day-to-day tools to bring your fan back to tip-top shape.

Things you’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner tube with a brush attachment.
  • Canister of compressed air.
  • A microfiber rag.

Once you have collected all the tools you need, you can go straight to the cleaning of the fan.

Step 1. Unplug the fan from its power supply

Make sure to allow the blades to completely stop moving. Put the fan on a level place, for example, a desktop.

Do not clean the fan when it is plugged into the power source or right after disconnecting it from the electrical outlet. Not doing so may result in damage to the fan or lead to an electrical accident.

Step 2. Fasten a dust brush on one end of the vacuum cleaner tube

Either a canister vacuum or an upright vacuum can do the job. But a hand vacuum is much more manageable when you’re cleaning the grilles and blades of the fan.

The kind of brush you choose to use is equally significant. Go for the round-shaped brush attachment with long, smooth bristles. It is not only excellent for cleaning dust from surfaces, but also comes in handy for cleaning nooks and crannies.

Step 3 Clean the grill

After one week of use, dust and debris will have accumulated on the surface of the grill. Gently move the vacuum cleaner hose with the brush fitted over the grill to pick up any leftover dust. Do this procedure multiple times, devoting more time to the grill vents most likely to hide the dust.

Step 4. How to clean fan blades?

Keep the can of compressed air upright and put the drinking straw through the grill vents. You can find compressed air cans available at office supply stores or hardware stores. While holding the straw in the direction of the blades, blast compressed air to clean dust particles and fluff away from the blades. Keep doing this several times until the blades appear clean through the grid slots.

Step 5 Finish wiping down

Using a dry microfiber cloth, clean the unit by beginning at the very top and moving down through the grid to the bottom. Rotate the fan so that the back is pointing up. Carefully clean the back from one side to the other.

Step 6. Reset

Put the fan back in its former place, connect it, and power it on as needed. You’re done! The entire procedure should take you under half an hour, allowing you to enjoy the cool and calming breeze of the fan all over again.


how to clean window fan


Tips for deep cleaning a window fan

As time goes by, there can be quite a bit of grease, dust, and dirt that builds up in the inner parts of the fan. When you live in colder, lower dust environments, you might just have to clean it once every six months or so.

In order to thoroughly wash the inner parts of the fan, you will have to disassemble it. No need to be concerned – let us show you how to do it.

Things you may need:

  • Screwdriver.
  • Brush or sponge and gentle soap.
  • Dry microfiber tissue.
  • Vacuum cleaner.

Step 1. Unplug the fan from the source of electricity

Verify that the blades are stopped before cleaning. Set the fan on a level and steady tabletop.

Step 2. Disconnect the grill from the rest of the device

Some fans also have a rear grille – unscrew this as well. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly unscrew the grille.

Step 3. Remove the removable blades

Usually, to do this, you need to remove the screw in the top center of each sash. Be careful not to damage the blades. Put all the screws in a safe place for easy access later.

Step 4. Soak the grille and blades in warm soapy water in a sink to remove the dirt and debris

While these parts are soaking, use a handheld or other type of vacuum cleaner to blow out the dust, lint, and other debris in the internal parts of the fan.

Use a crevice nozzle to get hard-to-reach nooks and crannies inside the unit clean. Use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dust residue. Be careful not to touch the motor or splash water droplets on it.

Step 5. Scrub the blades and the grid with a sponge or a glass with smooth fibers.

Place them in the fresh air to dry. If you don’t have time, take a dry microfiber cloth and dry the fan parts.

Step 6. Screw them back on.

Screw the blades and grills back on and use the fan as usual.

Useful tips and safety measures:

  • Before you clean your window fan, be sure to switch it off and disconnect it from the outlet every time.
  • Regularly keep your window fan cleaned to improve airflow and prevent annoying pollen and mildew spores from your home.
  • If the screen and fan blades are heavily soiled, allow them to soak before washing to loosen the dust and dirt.
  • Let the fan blades and screen fully dry before you put the device back in place.
  • When you will not be using your window fan for a significant amount of time, thoroughly wash it before you put it in storage and then use a polythene trash bag to cover it.
  • If you use the given basic steps to thoroughly wash your window fan, it will perform as well as new! The whole procedure of cleaning may take just 20-30 minutes. Therefore, why should you wait any longer! Have your supplies ready and begin cleaning your window fan today!

How to clean a box fan?

Why do I have to clean my box fan? What is the frequency I should clean a box fan? How can I clean my box fan without calling in a professional?

If you’re searching for the solution to these issues, you have come to the proper place.

A box fan is used to control the home’s temperature, removing smells, dust, and other undesirable agents like smoke and keeping stagnant air flowing and becoming less noticeable.

Even though it is a highly essential device in our home, we do not tend to spend the time and money needed to service it. Most people simply toss their box fan after one or two seasons due to the fact that the blade rotation has decreased by half (and this is due to the pollution) or it generates more noise while running and most likely uses more electricity too.

However, this is not necessary, we suggest you keep your box fan clean instead. If you can make it clean on a regular basis, you will have it working for you for years, rather than needing to change your box fan every season.

We will teach you about box fan cleaning to get your box fan back to life and ensure that it lasts for years to come, at the same time saving you cash and headaches down the road.

Why do you have to clean a box fan?

While cleaning a box fan is perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, it does have its advantages for sure.

  • Enhance the effectiveness of the fan.
  • Extend the life and longevity of your box fan.
  • Once cleaned, the box fan will blow air as though you had bought a completely new fan.
  • Following a good cleaning of a box fan, it will blow out clean and fresh air since there is no dust and debris in the fan blades and cover.
  • It is a great practice to keep the box fan clean after using it in summer and store it correctly in winter.

Step by step guide: How to clean the box fan

The things you are going to need for this cleaning job

You will want the following materials to perform a great job:

  • A container of water and white vinegar in even amounts, or a cleaning agent for your choice.
  • A screwdriver.
  • Dust brush.
  • Scrubbing sponge.
  • Cotton swab.
  • Soft cloths, 2 pieces or paper towels.

cleaning a window fan

The procedure of cleaning a box fan

Step 1: Disconnect the box fan’s power plug.

Disconnect the box fan’s power plug that is connected to the wall socket. Let’s not have a “shocking” effect. Next, bring it to a desk or surface which is at the height of your waist. Keep the surface or table covered with some newspaper or similar to keep it safe from dirt and dust.

Step 2: Take off the outer covers

Loosen the small screws holding the plastic covers in place. Be sure to take off both the front and back covers. Store the screws in a secure place to prevent them from being misplaced, since they are extremely tiny screws. A titanium mini magnetic parts tray from amazon is our own choice and is highly suggested for about any project that contains screws and any other small metal pieces.

Disconnect the box fan’s power plug that is connected to the wall socket. Let’s not have a “shocking” surprise. Next, bring it to a desk or surface which is at the height of your waist. Keep the surface or table covered with some newspaper or similar to keep it safe from dirt and dust.

Step 3: Cleaning the covers

Once you have taken the covers off the fan housing, you will need to clean them next.

You may choose one of the below three ways to get the fan cover clean:

a) Bathtub: Fill some water in your bathtub, add some washing-up liquid, and then mix it in the water. After that, then soak both the front cover and the back cover inside the water mixture. After you have soaked them for some time, wash the covers with clean water. This will wash away the debris.

b) Hose: First soak the covers with a bit of vinegar or your favorite detergent and allow a couple of minutes. Next, use the hose to spray high-pressure water into the covers to clean off the dust and debris.

c) By hand: Spray the covers using the vinegar and water blend and after that wipe them with a supple cloth or paper tissue. Be sure not to miss the small holes. The corner of the cloth, paper tissue, or a cotton bud is useful to get to these places. The kitchen sink will be handy when washing the covers off, but it will splash out a lot of water unless you are handy at it.

Step 4: Clean the blades

Spray the vinegar and water solution or cleaning agent on a clean tissue. You may reuse the tissue you were using to wipe the fan shroud clean. Once you have washed it out and squeezed out the extra water, use the cloth to gently mop the blades a few times until they are fully cleaned.

Occasionally, the buildup in the blades will be too persistent to yield to the soft cleaning procedure. If this happens, you may use a scrubbing pad for cleaning rather than normal tissue.

When the blades have not become clean with the method described, you can apply the next technique, which works without any doubt.

First, completely dismount the blades of the fan housing. After that, soak the blades in mildly hot water for several minutes. After that, proceed to clean the fan blades that we previously covered.

Hint: Keep in mind not all fans can be fully dismantled and each part may be cleaned independently.

Remember to clean the support grip, power cords, and buttons if your box fan has them. Dirt and dust build up on them too. Feel free to wipe them clean with a wet rag. This will not impact the output of the box fan in most cases, but it does aid in ease of use and obviously, it will have a better appearance if the box fan is cleaned both inside and out.

Step 5: Brush the motor

Using a dusting brush, clean off any debris that has built up in the engine. Ensure that the struts are also well wiped. Debris on the engine creates the appearance that the engine is worn out and irreparable. But if you give it a good cleaning, it will function perfectly again. In most cases, this will return it to full functionality and extend the life of your box fan.

Step 6: Reassemble the box fan

Be sure the components are properly dried before you reassemble them. Place the covers and blades back in their correct places before tightening them. If you have fewer screws, ensure that at least the upper and lower sides of the fan are tightened (or use the magnetic tray so you don’t lose any). Prioritize these two sides, since the sides of the fan can remain open without repercussion. But this should be a temporary solution, therefore you need to replace the missing screws as quickly as you can. Keep in mind that some screws may not fit in the enlarged holes and need to be changed for a tight fit.

What is the best way to clean a fan that is not removable?

For fans with non-detachable grills, pressurized air is the preferred option. Spray the air on the grille and blades to get rid of the dirt fast.

Which is the simplest method to clean fan blades?

Probably the simplest way to get fan blades clean is by using a cloth and warm water. Also, the majority of general-purpose detergents are good for fans if you need a deeper cleaning.

How frequently are you supposed to clean a fan?

Overall, you might consider cleaning your fan once every three to four weeks. But this time period may not be perfect for everybody; it will vary based on the kind of fan you own, the number of people living in the house, where your home is located, as well as your cleaning preferences.

What is the easiest way to clean the dust from the blades inside my fan?

The most straightforward method of removing dust from the inner fan blades is to use compressed air. Compressed air canisters can be found at any hardware or stationery store.

How to install a window fan?

The location is very important. Having fly nets on the windows is a good thing to keep insects from getting in, and do not place the fans in noisy places.
It is also unhealthy to put the fans close to sources of unpleasant smells, as it will bring bad scents into your home.


  • Open your window and put your fan on the windowsill, ensuring that it is properly balanced. Flip down the upper panel of the window and make sure it is pressing on the top of the fan. Make sure it is intact so it can’t slide down. Close the window.
  • When there are remaining gaps, you must cover them. This will provide effective cooling of the house and increase the ease of movement of air. You can draw the expanded panels of the fan, but it is temporary. For a more durable installation, ideally for the whole summer, in that case, it’s better options to do so, to provide the area with much more extensive cover.
  • You can find the fittings from your local store. Be sure you have the proper measurements, trim them and glue them in place. It will be best if you also be cautious in selecting the wood or boards from the store near you. Be sure they are laminated for superior longevity, particularly if it’s wet or in the winter.

Warning and Precautions:

  • When cleaning, avoid spraying directly on the blades, since the blend of detergents and debris may splash back onto your face and result in injury.
  • Check to verify that no parts of the box fan are loose, as this may result in disturbing noise sounds and no one likes to see fan parts flying around the room.
  • Renew any cracked blades. Most blades are made of plastic and are beyond repair.
  • When spraying the covers, use safety glasses to shield your eyes.
  • The fan should always be disconnected before it is cleaned or examined, or you may be at risk of electric shock.
  • Operating fans are not to be left without supervision when children or pets are around.
  • Do not let any water penetrate the engine and never spray it with any type of detergents. These cleaners have water in them which will rust the engine and ultimately damage it.


So now you’ve learned the most effective ways to clean a window fan. Now it is your turn to clean your fan for the first time.

We suggest you clean a window fan before putting it aside for the winter. Once you have properly cleaned it, put the fan in storage in a place where it won’t be subjected to dust again. You can keep it in a bag or a plastic trash bag and close it securely.

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Steve Toomey

The main inspirer and creator of this resource. In passion about gardening, home decor & interior. Also, likes to DIY projects and interesting in house gadgets. Moreover, he likes to find out how to make cooking easier and simple with kitchen gadgets. Read More.

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