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How to Oil a Ceiling Fan

Are you wondering about whether your ceiling fan needs oiling or not? If so, how would you do it efficiently and safely? Let's resolve all your queries!
Snehal Motkar Nov 8, 2018
How does it feel when you're lying down under your ceiling fan to relax and the fan starts making a squeaky sound or does not maintain its speed while turning? It actually makes you feel annoyed and frustrated.
At the same time, it is a reminder telling you that your ceiling fan needs oiling. Let us first focus on the point, why and when your ceiling fan needs oiling and then move on to the process of doing it.
To begin with, there are two kinds of ceiling fans, one that needs regular oiling and maintenance and the other that has an in-built system. However, it does not mean that the fans not designed to be oiled never require oiling. They also need it if the bearings dry out and get dirty or merely because of being in use for very long.
You will know the type of fan you have only by asking your retailer while purchasing it. Oiling your ceiling fan has two benefits: firstly, it increases the life of your fan and secondly, you are saved from any hazardous situation like burning of motor, stiffening of blades, or the entire fan falling down.

Cleaning and Oiling a Ceiling Fan

Oiling a ceiling fan is not at all a tough task and just by following a few steps with proper safety measures, you can do it yourself with ease. Let's take a look at the requirements and the process of oiling your ceiling fan.


  • All-purpose Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Non-detergent Motor/Machine Oil (you can find it in the balancing kit that comes along with the fan or at any hardware store)
  • Step Ladder
  • Rag


Locate the Oil Hole

The first step is to locate the oil hole of the fan. Place the step-ladder under the fan and climb onto it. Look for the oil hole on top of the motor near the down-rod. It won't be difficult to locate it, because it is usually labeled.

Clean the Oil Hole and Other Parts

This is the important step since it involves cleaning of the oil hole and other parts of the fan like the blades and the fan motor. Cleaning keeps the fan dirt and dust free and offers it a long life with smooth functioning. Use all-purpose cleaner to clean all the parts except the motor of the fan.
To clean the motor, you can use a rag. It is quite easy to clean the dirt collected on the motor by dusting it off with a rag. Then spray some amount of cleaner onto a paper towel and wipe the surface clean, after which you can use a damp cloth to do the final cleaning.

Fill the Reservoir/Oil Hole

Now, it's time to fill the oil reservoir. Fill the reservoir with 1 to 2 ounces of oil and turn the fan on low to circulate the oil properly. If you do not want to take risk of an electric shock, spin the rotor gently with your hand keeping the power off.
Remember, if your fan is not oiled since a very long time, it might require more amount of oil. If the oil over-flows on the motor, wipe it off with a damp cloth.
What to do if your ceiling fan does not have an oil hole, yet needs some oiling? In such a situation, you will have to either pour some oil into the motor seam and see if it works or contact a professional.
These tips will make your fan function smoothly for years. It is advisable to dust the fan with long-handled feather dusters at least once every week and perform a thorough cleaning once in two months for better functioning of your fan.