Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Clean that Indoor AC Vent the Natural Way!

This is embarrassing. I haven't cleaned my indoor air conditioner vents in.... well, a long time. Yes, I am refusing to tell you exactly how long it's been and that's my right as a woman. It's like how a woman never tells her weight or her age-- you can guess, but she'll never confess. ;)

Green Clean your indoor AC Vent #greencleaning
The thing is that the vents are always so hard to clean. ::moan, whine, being really dramatic:::

I've tried to use an old toothbrush, but it just spreads the grim around. And then there is always the old standby of using a rag and pushing it around with my fingers, but unless you have freakishly small circus hands or, in fact, have children to do your manual labor- it will hurt. Adult size fingers just don't go in those little slots!

But do you know what does fit in there?
  • A flat ruler, butter knife, paint stirrer, thin spatula or any other similarly shaped object (knock yourself out world!)
  • Q-tips
I use a two step method... but don't worry. It's so easy!

Step One:
  • Put an old rag over one end of the long flat, thin object of your choosing (popsicle stick, ruler, spatula...) 
  • Spray it with your homemade all purpose cleaner or store bought all purpose green cleaner. 
    • Side note: I'll caution against using a traditional heavy duty all purpose cleaners because the AC is going to be sucking up any cleaning residue and circulating it around your house. I don't know if you want alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride traveling through your air supply-- just saying! But it's all good. I don't judge if you do. ;)
  • Use the damp washcloth (wrapped around your thinly shaped long object) to clean in between the vent... thingies. 
    • I don't know what they are technically called and I think "thingies" is perfectly logical. 
  • Don't focus so much on the edges because dirt will collect there-- that's what step 2 is for. But you will probably have to move the rag around a bit on your object because if it gets too dirty it'll start to smear the dirt around instead of clean it. 
  • Repeat this process until all the vents are clean (except the edges where dirt collects)
Step Two:
  • After you clean finish step 1, there will be gunk left in the corners of the vent.... thingies. Spray the Q-tips with the all purpose cleaner and use them to remove the extra gunk in the corners.
How to clean your indoor AC vent #cleaning

Ta-da!! All done!! Beautiful sparkling vents just in time for the holidays... when you won't be using your AC. :) Yay!

Looking for Other Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution: 
Clean up Indoor Air Pollution with these easy steps 

You ARE welcome world!
Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!


  1. I don’t think cleaning the AC vent wouldn’t be a hassle anymore with these tips.

    1. Perhaps, but I guess that depends on how you cleaned the AC vent before. I always had issues and this, although a time time consuming, works the best for me. Do you have a different method that you use?

  2. I think this is a great idea! I have been ignoring those thingies for a looooooong in hopes of them just disappearing (or cleaning themselves!), but they're still there and STILL grimy. I'm painting that hallway in the next few days (or weeks...), and I need to get them thoroughly clean before I paint them. I'm pretty sure that the level of gunk currently in residence would not respond well to a shiny new coat of paint. ;)

    I'll admit that I've *never* cleaned vent thingies before beyond the cursory swipe with the vacuum or rag. Thanks for giving me an intuitive approach to get things rolling! I'll also be mixing up a batch of the all-purpose cleaner, so I may have a comment for that page after this little adventure. Woo hoo!

  3. Hi, Meredith! First, I LOVE your username/blog name. It made me giggle. And I read your last post-- you're hilarious. Love it.

    Second, thank you. I'm glad that you like the idea! Oh, and don't worry-- I don't think that most people actually clean the AC vent. I just get bored and then little things bother me like dust. I swear I have OCD.

    Third, I bet you'll like the all-purpose cleaner. It's pretty sweet :) But please let me know what you think! I loooovveee comments and emails and questions!!

    Happy painting! It's such a pain, but it's so much fun to see the finished project even if it takes weeks to finish :)

  4. How about taking down the vent and cleaning in the sink? I used to hose my down in the backyard when we had our house and then let it dry and put it back on. :)

    1. Shandelyne, I WISH! For some reason my vent is not removable. I'm sooooo jealous that your can do that!

  5. Although your idea is GREAT! I am not saying anything against it at all :) especially for those vents that cannot be taken down.

    1. Thank you. Thank you. I try to stay humble and modest, but yes, I can be smart sometimes :)

    2. Lol!! Yeah I'm jealous of my old way of cleaning my vents too haha! Oh and I am sooo gonna make this cleaner! I have been searching for something i can safely use around the house since we have a 1 yr old but have had no luck! So thanks ;)

    3. Ohhh I hope you tell me how you like it!! I love that cleaner! :) And essential oils are great to keep the little ones chemical free! Plus, it's surprising how good they work.

      And did you see the giveaway I posted today? I don't know if you've heard of Thieves before, but it's for an entire kit of all natural cleaning supplies that a lot of hospitals are turning to because research has shown how crazy effective they are, but gentle on the body. It's pretty awesome (and they smell great too!) Hey-- if you win, then it's free and you can't beat free, right?! :) Just click the home button or the ad of the kit below my picture on the sidebar and it'll take you right there!!



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