How to clean a portable fan

Summer has finally arrived – time to lug the old portable fans out of storage. Have you ever taken a close look at a portable fan that’s been around a few years? It’s not pretty – when dust accumulates, it takes on a life of its own – look at this grille:

The good news is that in about 15 minutes, you can clean that fan and it will be as good as new – and will blow clean air rather than dust.

Here’s the down and dirty on cleaning a portable fan:

Step 1: Unscrew or unclip the front grille and slide off the fan blades (nearly all fans, even old ones, can be taken apart this way).

Step 2: Immerse, then swish the blades in a sink filled with warm, sudsy water. Rinse and dry the blades before reinstalling them. You can eat off of these now:

Step 3: Clean the grille the same way. (If time’s really an issue — or if the grille or blades aren’t removable — take the fan outside by an electric outlet and blast it with cool air from your blow-dryer, front and back.)

Step 4: Wipe down the base and buttons with a damp cloth.

When you put away the fan at the end of the season, quickly clean it and store it covered in a plastic bag to keep it in good working order for next season.

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