Clean and Lube Your Tower Fan to Keep It Running

Did you know that your tower fan needs regular maintenance to keep them running? Tower fans are upwards of $40 and more and are great for circulating air in the summer. I have 3 fans that run from June through October and boy do they get nasty with pet hair and dust!
I have one tower fan that is over 9 years old! and the one I used for this post is over 6 years old. Truth be told it stops working when the dust and hair gunk up the fan blade motor. It is not hard to take apart these fans and clean and lube them.
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If the fan motor stops working, then you need unplug, remove the cover, and clean and lube.
Fan covers can be removed!
See how much gunk from a season of use! Use WD40 or other lubricant and get that tower fan running again
Most often there are screws holding on the back fan cover.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

6 questions
  • Lynn Erickson
    on Jul 20, 2016

    What about rotating circular fans? I always clean and vacuum them before putting away for the winter but I don't think that gets them clean enough. Thanks for the help.

    • Yes I do box fans too.

    • Lynda Duthler
      on Jul 20, 2016

      A close exam of the screen will show you the clamps and screws used to hold the screen together. UNPLUG THE FAN, then loosen these and remove the screen. Next look at the center of the fan blades and you'll find that there is some sort of device that is holding the blades onto the spindle that goes into the motor. This varies by manufacturer, but they all have essentially the same thing. Unscrew this and take the blades off. You should then be able to clean the main part of the fan by rubbing with a damp (not wet) cloth. For stubborn dirt, use some Windex on the rag. Clean the blades by spraying them down with Windex, rubbing and then rinsing and drying them. Rinsing is important because you want to residue to attract dust to stick. Clean the screen in the same way - I put them into the sink, spray heavily with Windex or Grease remover, scrub, then rinse with hot water. Dry completely. Then reassemble the fan. Now it is clean!

    • Lynda Duthler
      on Jul 20, 2016

      Sorry - typo: Rinsing is important because you want no residue to attract dust to stick.

    • SheWhoMustBeHeard
      on Jul 20, 2016

      Just make sure that you don't wet the motor! That will kill it for sure!

    • Janet
      on Jul 20, 2016

      While I have the fan apart I add a drop of 3in1 oil wherever there are parts that turn and if there is a little hole going into moter. One drop only. Each place

  • Susan
    on Jul 20, 2016

    I run my fan all year long because of hot flashes. How often should I have to clean my fan i also have a cat that loves to be close to the fan, would the fur get in there and mess with it?

    • Lisa Heavenbound
      on Jul 20, 2016

      Hi Susan, Lisa here, an expert told me to clean our fan once a month if it's use all year around and especially with animals. I do have a cat but only use a fan May- Sept and I do clean it once a month and it keeps it as new. Preventive maintaining is key on fans, air conditioners, and swamp coolers. My brother use to own his own business. Hope it helps oh and always clean out the filters. I do mine weekly during hotter months. Many you can rinse off and air dry. :) Good day.

    • Lisa is right. With pets do it often.

    • Susan
      on Jul 21, 2016

      Thank you

  • Juju
    on Jul 20, 2016

    It specifically says NOT to take the cover off my tower fan. Supposed to only use vacuum attachment to clean it. Are you saying that I can take the back off and clean it better?

  • Hfl7897098
    on Jul 21, 2016

    I unscrewed every screw a total of 6 and I still could not take the casing out. is there a technique?

    • If you have a tower fan there're are 2 screws. As shown. The back snaps apart and either slides up or down.

    • Jdr7634901
      on Sep 22, 2016

      I too have six screws "counter sunk...embedded". I loosened all six but did not remove them. Then carefully worked a thin blade into the casing crevice, separated sections just wide enough to insert a flat head screwdriver. Using the screwdriver as wedge, I successfully pulled the sections apart. Too much dust to use a brush. Used a leaf blower. Now good as new and the sections went back together fairly easy.

    • Yes I usually use my air compressor! I am glad you could get yours apart. seems like each fan comes apart a bit different

    • Lynn Vogeley
      on Dec 23, 2016

      My tower fan had a "hidden" screw at the top that was under a plastic plug so blended in to the housing. Gently hammered a small nail into the plug to remove it. Was then able to easily remove the cover and clean per video. Hope this helps.

    • Sorry I did not see this Lynn thanks for sharing - each fan is different!

  • Mechelle Adams-Flowers
    on Aug 18, 2016

    Can this be done to a smaller Dyson or should I just keep using the small vacuum attachment. Thanks

    • I do this with my vacuum cleaner too. It is important to maintain them and keep filters clean

    • Carol Williams
      on Sep 2, 2017

      My Lasko tower fan also has 6 screws. 2 of them are sunk deep & I got all the screws out except for 1 of the deeper ones because it appears not to be a phillips head like the other 5. A flat head screw driver does not get it out either. When I shine a flashlight in the hole, it sort of looks like a flat head screw, but in not. It looks like a special screw! I am so close to getting the back cover off, but... Any suggestions?
  • Carol Williams
    on Sep 2, 2017

    My Lasko tower fan has 6 screws, 5 of which are phillips head screws. 2 are sunk deep into holes. The one I can't get out is one sunk into a deep hole. When I shine a flashlight into the hole, it sort of looks like a flat head screw, but without the slots. I think they used a special screw so the cover will not be removed. It is not a hexhead screw, either, but something I've never seen before. I am so close to getting the cover off, except for the one. I am tempted to break the cover to get it off. I need to clean & lube this fan, it is making a strange new noise when I have it on.
    Any suggestions?
    • Nancy Crawford
      on Nov 24, 2017

      It is called a security screw. I could not find one long enough to reach. I could find thebit but if you put it in a screw driver then it would not fit in the hole. One fan I had needed a bit that looked like. A notched flathead another was triangle shaped.

    • Chu33515585
      on May 29, 2018

      I just disassembled my Lasko tower fan. If it is like mine, it is a triangular screw that is sunk about a little over 2 inches in. I used a long arm 2mm Allen wrench (hex key) to remove it.

Join the conversation

3 of 96 comments
  • Cwh7922453
    on Nov 12, 2017

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Linda Hardin
    on Feb 2, 2019

    I read the comment about not throwing things away. How true that is. I live in a mobile home park near the dumpsters. I routinely check them for discarded fans and vacuums. You would be shocked at the things I find. So far after 4 years I have not found the first vacuum that was;t in working order after cleaning. Some looked brand new. Even a Dyson. Fans too. They all just needed cleaning and lubricating. We are a country with an embarrassment of riches. The vacuums were clogged with carpet freshener. It must be a vacuum cleaner salesman best friend. One tower fan I found had the odd screw that was mentioned. It was a very expensive fan too. It needed a fuse. It has worked 2 years for me. I know some will look down on me for dumpster hauls, but it is terrible the things that are thrown away with so many in need. I give most of the stuff I get out away to needy people after cleaning. Clothes still have tags on most. It makes me so sad to think of all the good things that are wasted each and every day.

    • ViKi Payne
      on Jun 16, 2019

      You have NOTHING to be ashamed of!!!! You are doing a wonderful thing, not only for others, but for the environment as well! I commend you for all that you do!!! God is very pleased as well!!! "Waste NOT, WANT not"!!! Keep up the great work!!!! ♥️

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