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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you ever looked at something so dirty that you were scared to clean it?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30642points) December 4th, 2017

It’s cooler here now that our Hawaiian winter has started, so my ceiling fan is off. I can see the dust clinging to the blades. It’s thick, and I’m scared to wipe it off. Help?

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22 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Nothing is do dirty that it can’t be cleaned (or attempted).

Yes, you should wipe the ceiling fan blades off. Put a sheet or something on the floor. For that matter, you should wipe or clean the motor housing, which is also likely to be very dusty, because the dust in the motor can be harmful to the fan.

The primary reason to clean the blades is that when they’re going around they’re slinging dust and all sorts of crap all over the room. Mites, germs, whatever has collected there. If there gets to be too much dust, eventually it may get thrown from the blades in a big clump (nasty!) or cause the fan to be unbalanced which is, itself, a problem.

Curiosity: when was the last time these blades were cleaned? Ever?

chyna's avatar

You’re supposed to clean fan blades?

MrGrimm888's avatar

The timing of this q, is ironic. The house I’m hopefully moving into in January, has almost a centimeter of dust in many areas. I was thinking about putting on a mask, and cleaning the place, then staying out for a couple days. I went from mold problems, to dust problems…

zenvelo's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Do you have a vacuum cleaner with a hand held extension you can use to vacuum the blades? Do that first, if you can.

Are your blades wooden or metal? If wooden, do the next step with a spray furniture cleaner like Murphy Oil Soap; if metal, use something like 409 cleaner.

Spray the cleaner onto paper towels, and then wipe the blades. You may need to do this more than once, but the first pass will get most of the crud off.

For a minute there I thought you were pleading the filth

janbb's avatar

I like @zenvelo ‘s approach.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I use old socks. Just slide a sock over your hand, dust everything off, then you can either sheke out the sock and wash it, or just throw it away.
With a thock accumulation, it works best to do it dry first, then use cleaners. Otherwise, you have mud. Blech!

marinelife's avatar

Or if you use a swiffer, the dust will stay on the swiffer rather than fly around the room.

Aethelwine's avatar

I just did this before Thanksgiving. I’m short and I don’t always look up so the dust above me collects. ugh

When our dogs were younger they both had a bout of diahrea and they covered the dining room floor. That scared the shit out of me! I did not want to clean that mess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just spread a sheet under it and Swiffer away!

@chyna Man, yes you need to clean your fan blades!
That reminds me, I was baby sitting for my son and DIL. DIL doesn’t really know how to clean, so I do cleaning stuff while I am there. At one point her 9 year old saw me cleaning a light switch and said, “That’s crazy! Nobody cleans light switches!”
I said, “I do. Lots of people do.”

filmfann's avatar

I plead the filth.

Demosthenes's avatar

For some reason, I have a problem cleaning a refrigerator. I’d rather clean a bathroom than a refrigerator. I tried it once and couldn’t complete the task.

Dutchess_III's avatar

To answer your question, “Yes.” When we moved to the rental in this town the previous tenant was a loser who didn’t pay her bills. My landlord was evicting her, but he hadn’t done anything to clean the house. The utilities had been shut off for at least a month, and the fridge was packed with meat. We moved in June, when temps can easily hit 100+. I can’t begin to describe the overwhelming stench of the rotting juices seeping out of the bottom of the fridge. On top of that the kitchen had wall to wall carpet like they used to do in the 80’s. Dumbest idea ever.
I could not get that carpet clean. In addition to rotting meat smells, there were urine smells. I finally pulled that sucker up and lived with bare wood sub flooring for over a year, until I could afford to buy linoleum.

funkdaddy's avatar

I used to work construction jobs with my dad during the summer while school was out. (Gotta get that $1.50 an hour!)

He put me on cleaning this garage that a grown man who was living with his parents had used as his personal dumpster for months. It saved him probably 3 minutes to throw trash there, in a huge pile, rather than walk it down to the household trash bins. Our job was to redo the garage, but first it had to be cleaned. There was no electricity, so no lights, and the garage doors were broken, so there was just a side door to pull everything through and not much light. It was early and I wanted to get it done before it got hot again.

I went to reach for a big piece of fabric on top, started to pull, and felt something on my arm so jerked back quickly. The fabric flung what looked like thousands of roaches into the air and towards me (probably 10 in reality) where they all started flying, backlit by the sun coming through the garage door windows.

I had roaches on me, gloves I didn’t want to touch my face with, and trash up to my shins that I couldn’t just run through. Nastiest 15 seconds of my life and once I got to the door I still had to go back in and clean the rest. I’ll never forgive that guy.

I ended up disassembling the garage doors and pushing everything with shovels after that, but I can still smell that sludge that trash turns into when you leave it too long…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

At my hotel , when I was 18, a bunch of bikers vandalized three rooms. Like puke and malt liquor all over the place. I made a deal with my manager that I would clean it up if they gave me a retroactive raise of $.50 a hour to the first day that I worked with them. Plus a $50 gift. It took the whole day to clean . I used clean towels to sop up most of it. Then chucked them out.

flutherother's avatar

If it’s really bad you might want to remove the blades to clean them. Fear not! YouTube is very good at showing you how to do these kind of jobs.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@flutherother – been there done that. Re-mounting the blades over your head is a real pain in the ass. You can do it, but getting 4–5 screws on 5 blades each… not much fun. Better to stand on a ladder.

ucme's avatar

No we have staff for that & if it’s dirty then your arse is fired…twice

rockfan's avatar


This situation is actually the opposite of irony, it’s fitting

LuckyGuy's avatar

WARNING – Don’t read this if you are eating…..
You have been warned….
Yes. I caught a squirrel in a rat trap behind my barn. He managed to drag himself and the trap about 10 yards into the woods before dying. When i discovered it about a week or 2 later his body was moving! It was filled with maggots!
Rather than clean it, I poured kerosene over it and set fire to the mess.

ucme's avatar


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