Cleaning a tower fan is easier than you think – here's a quick step-by-step-guide

Learn how to effectively clean your tower fan so it works without issues when the warmer weather arrives

Two tower fans in homes, one is black and positioned in a bedroom, the other is white and positioned in a living room
(Image credit: VonHaus)

Cleaning a tower fan is an essential summer task. Just as we focus on deep-cleaning rooms while paying attention to dust and allergens, similar care is needed to enhance a tower fan’s functionality and extend its life.

Tower fans are a popular choice for cooling down your home compared to air conditioners because they are efficient, cost-effective, space-saving, and generally quiet. 

However, like any appliance that moves air, regular cleaning of these units is crucial, as even the best fans collect dust and debris. 

How to clean a tower fan

Here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean a tower fan to ensure it operates efficiently and safely: 

A 40" white tower fan

40" White Tower Fan by VonHaus

(Image credit: VonHaus)

Prepare & Gather Supplies

Begin by disconnecting the tower fan from the power supply to ensure safety while cleaning. Before starting, make sure you have all the essential cleaning supplies on hand: 

Some tower fans are designed to allow disassembly for thorough cleaning. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions to determine if your fan can be disassembled. 

1. Vacuum & Clean The Blades

‘I've found that using a small electronics vacuum with a brush attachment helps in sucking out the fine dust from nooks and crannies,’ says Josh Mitchell, HVAC technician and owner of Air Conditioner Lab. ‘Pay close attention to areas where dust tends to accumulate, such as intake and exhaust vents.’

We’ve tried a number of small vacuums on the market, and we like the Clean Ninja Compressed Air Duster and Mini Vacuum Cleaner from Amazon. This vacuum has the additional functionality of an air duster too.  This product comes with 8 different replaceable nozzle attachments, making it perfect for other electronic devices in your home.

Next gently detach the fan blades and clean individually with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge and a mild detergent. Be careful not to bend or damage them. If removal isn't possible, utilize the vacuum cleaner's brush attachment to cautiously clean the blades in their place. 

Finally, lubricate the bearings that the blades spin on. A few drops of  cleaning oil from Amazon spreads easily and keeps everything running super smooth. 

Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell is a plumbing expert and HVAC technician and the owner of Air Conditioner Lab and Plumbing Lab. 

2. Wipe Down Exterior Surfaces

Use a damp – but not wet – microfiber cloth or sponge to gently clean the outer surfaces of the tower fan, encompassing both the housing and the control panel. For stubborn dirt or grime, use a mild detergent or cleaning solution.

Ensure the damp cloth is well-wrung to prevent excess liquid from entering the motor areas so no moisture penetrates the fan's electrical components and harms the fan’s functionality.

If your tower fan has a filter, remove it following the manufacturer's instructions and clean it as recommended. 

3. Reassemble the Fan

Once all components are clean and dry, reassemble the tower fan if you disassembled any parts earlier. Ensure proper alignment and secure all parts firmly.

Before reconnecting the fan to the power source, conduct a final inspection to confirm everything is clean, dry, and correctly reassembled. Inspect for damaged components that might require repair.

4. Plug in & Test

After reassembling the fan and putting away all cleaning tools, plug it back into the outlet and power it on. Check for any unusual sounds and ensure the fan is operating smoothly. Double-check that all parts are properly secured if the fan vibrates or rattles. 


How to fix a noisy tower fan?

In most cases, a loud tower fan is caused by the bearing becoming misaligned with the fan's rotation axis. This causes vibration and scraping of the bracket with the surrounding housing. A minor adjustment and the application of some inexpensive rubber between the surfaces can reduce the sounds.

For the more compact spaces within the fan where dust tends to accumulate, and a vacuum cannot reach, try using canned air from Amazon, a technique to ensure precision cleaning of intricate electronic parts without damaging them.

Cleaning your tower fan regularly, ideally every few months or more frequently, depending on usage and environmental conditions, can significantly extend its life and performance. This routine maintenance ensures that the air you're cooling your space with is as clean and allergen-free as possible.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.