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How to Clean and Maintain your Chandeliers

How to Clean and Maintain your Chandeliers

Typically a chandelier needs to be cleaned at least once a year or so.
A dusty or grimy crystal chandelier does not give off the sparkle and brilliance that it is meant to have. Glass or crystal, your decorative chandelier sparkles when it’s clean.
Cleaning each part of a crystal chandelier can be a tricky, detail-oriented task. However, it’s important to clean your chandelier periodically to maintain the light-reflective quality that makes it so bright. Here’s how to use lint-free cloths to keep chandeliers shiny and clean.

Materials you’ll need to clean your Chandelier:

Thankfully, there are no specific cleaning materials you need when it’s time to clean your chandelier. Most likely, you already have these items laying around your house already.

–              Lint-free cloths

–              Cloth gloves

–              Spray bottle

–              Ladder or step stool

–              Blanket or thick towels

When it comes to a cleaning solution, you have options to choose from.  And they can all be made at home using simple products.


Experts agree that no harsh chemicals or specialised cleaning solutions are needed.

–              The first solution consists of 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups hot water.

–              The next is a mixture of 1 part isopropyl alcohol to 3 parts distilled water.

–              And the last is a combination of mild dish soap and hot water.

Remember, there’s no solution that is better than the other. It’s all merely a matter of preference.

Be safe, and turn off the power:

Exceptional care must be taken around any electrical fixture, so work slowly and follow basic, common-sense safety precautions.

To get set-up, begin by turning off the chandelier’s power at the wall switch.  It’s a smart idea to place a piece of tape over the wall switch to prevent the fixture from inadvertently being turned on while you’re working.  To be completely safe you can turn off the power at the breaker box. But remember to set up alternative lighting nearby, otherwise you’ll be working in the dark!

Some crystal pieces should be polished with a soft cloth and, if soiled, can be washed with lukewarm water containing a weak washing product then dried and polished with a soft cloth.  Avoid heavy contact with spray detergents, hairspray, perfumes, etc. in order to protect the surface of the crystal. It is recommended to wear a cotton glove when handling the crystal to avoid leaving any fingerprints on the surface.

It is also important to avoid dropping or knocking crystal objects as they are quite fragile. Additionally, when cleaning your crystal chandelier, use a dry or slightly damp cloth. Do not use any cleaning solutions that contain alcohol or ammonia for this may destroy the protective finish of the chandelier and cause it to tarnish.

First Method:
This method is best for those chandeliers that are between the stages of needing a light dusting and being heavily soiled.  If just a simple wipe down is all it needs, leaving the crystals on will make quick work of the chore.

–              Lay out a blanket or thick towel underneath the light fixture.  That way, if you accidentally knock one of the crystals off, if will have a soft place to land and hopefully will not break.  And it protects your flooring from any drips.

–              Spray the cleaning solution to your cleaning cloth.  Do NOT spray directly to the crystal which could create a mess.

–              Carefully wipe your chandeliers spindles down with the cleaning cloth.

–              Next, clean the crystals itself.  Doing this in sections at a time may be best.

–              Careful not to excessively pull on any of the crystals.  You don’t want to damage any of the hanging elements.


Second Method:
If your chandelier is in need of a more thorough washing, taking the crystals off before you clean is best.  This allows you to be able to reach parts of the crystals, and the chandelier itself, that the other method may miss.

As in the first method, you’ll want to lay a blanket or thick towel underneath the fixture in case you should accidentally drop one of the crystals.

Next, decide how you are going to remove the crystals. Will it be in sections?  Or all of them at one time?

–              Take a picture of the chandelier and make sure it’s in a way that you can easily remember how to put the chandelier back together when you are finished.

–              Lay the crystals out on a soft towel.

–              Then clean each of the spindles and rest of the chandelier with a damp cleaning cloth.

–              Now it’s time to thoroughly clean each crystal. Place each one in a basin of your cleaning solution.  Be sure to remove all dirt with a lint-free cloth.  Then rise in a second basin.

–              Dry them off with a fresh cloth or with your gloves.

–              And before you replace each crystal, inspect its hanging element.  You can repair or adjust as needed with needle nose pliers.

–              Be sure to wear your gloves when hanging the crystals back in place.  This will prevent any fingerprints or smudges from clouding all your hard work.

AUTHOR:  Darius Du Plessis

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