6 tips for cleaning and maintaining your ceiling fans

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Ceiling fans are possibly one of the best inventions ever. They keep you cool without running up the electricity bill too much. But they're also kind of out of the way, which makes it easy to forget to keep them clean and functioning properly.
Fortunately, ceiling fans are pretty simple to maintain. Cleaning them doesn't require too much effort, and keeping them in good working order isn't terribly complicated either. Next time you need to tidy up your fan, try one of these ideas.
1. Pledge and pillowcases (h/t Huckaby's Happily Ever After)
One of the quickest ways to dust a ceiling fan's blades is to use a pillowcase. Get an old pillowcase you no longer use and coat the inside with Pledge. Put the pillowcase over the fan blade and slowly slide it back off. The dust should cling to the inside of the pillowcase and come off easily.
2. Wobbly blades (h/t Bob Vila)
If you notice the ceiling fan seems a bit wobbly, then its blades are probably bent. The first step is to attempt to bend them back into shape. Do this slowly and carefully to avoid breaking them. If they're too far out of line to be fixed, buy new blades and install them. Turn the fan on its lowest setting to make sure everything is properly installed and aligned.
3. Excessive noise (h/t How Stuff Works)
After a while, you might start to notice the fan making a buzzing or humming noise. This usually indicates loose screws or bolts. If the fan is making more noise than usual, tighten up all of the screws around the motor. Also be sure to lubricate the fan once a year to ensure everything continues to run smoothly.
4. Oiling the fan (h/t WikiHow)
When it comes to lubricating a fan, you should do so at least annually. You might have to oil it more often, though, if it's making a squeaking sound whenever it runs. To oil it, turn off the fan and find the oil hole. (It probably will be near the top of the motor.) Test the current level of the oil with a pipe cleaner, and pour one to two ounces of oil into the hole. Run the fan on its lowest setting for a few minutes to ensure the squeak has gone away.
5. Motor housing dust (h/t Today)
You might not think about cleaning the parts of the fan you can't see, but those parts get dirty too. And in the case of the motor housing, it might just be the easiest part to clean. All you have to do is spray the motor housing with compressed air to get rid of the dust that's built up in there.
6. Greasy fan blades (h/t Del Mar Fans)
To protect the carpet, you might want to put a sheet under the fan before you start to clean it. To clean greasy fan blades, start by wiping down every blade with a baby wipe. Then pour a small amount of degreaser onto a baby wipe and use that on each blade. Make sure you clean the blades from top to bottom. When you're finished, throw away the wipes and toss the sheet in the wash.
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