The basic method to cleaning a chandelier or any light fixture begins with disconnecting the power supply. In layman’s terms, turn off the lights! Although this may seem like common sense, it’s important to do this well ahead of time to give the bulbs sufficient time to cool. While you wait, move furniture and any fragile objects away from your workspace. Once you have cleared a place, lay a blanket or comforter under your chandelier that is thick enough to prevent any crystals from breaking, should you accidentally drop them. The best time to begin the cleaning process is early in the morning on a sunny day, so that you don’t miss any spots the first time. Use a hoisting system like the motorized Aladdin Light Lift to smoothly and safely lower the chandelier to the ground.
At this point, you have two options for cleaning: a dry method and a wet method. The dry method will allow you to leave the chandelier in its place; however, you will need to stand on a ladder for extended periods of time. For a longer lasting and more thorough clean, you may choose the old-fashioned wet method, in which case you will need to bring down and disassemble your chandelier. If your light is made out of brass, you’re going to have to go with the wet method to prevent the brass from getting discolored by the cleaning products.
1. Dust the chandelier and light bulbs before you begin
2. Grab a clean polishing cloth and glass cleaner
3. Spray product onto the cloth
4. Carefully wipe each piece of glass
5. Use a second, clean cloth to polish the freshly cleaned crystal
6. Work from top to bottom and move from the inside, out
** Do NOT spray the product directly onto your chandelier or you’ll risk getting product on the brass or metal
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1. Dissemble your lighting fixture
How to take apart your chandelier:
- Remove the bulbs and set them aside in a safe area
- Disconnect the chandelier and lay it down carefully on a thick blanket. Have a screwdriver handy, because most chandeliers will have the arms fixed to the center with screws. Release the screws by folding the arms in one direction gently, rotating them as far as possible without forcing it
- Use needle-nose pliers to very carefully remove the fragile, threadlike wires that are connected to the prisms. These tiny wires have a tendency to snap, so be careful!
3. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the pieces and continue to rinse until all the residue has washed away.
4. Repeat this process until all your glass elements are dust free and shining like new.
5. Use a glass cleaner such as Sparkle Plenty Cleaner to give your crystals a lovely shine.
6. Be careful not to get glass cleaner on the chandelier’s metal pieces.
7. To clean the metal pieces, use a sturdy polishing cloth without any product on it.
8. Allow all pieces to air dry.
9. Reassemble the chandelier working from the inside out, fixing the center pieces first.
** Wear gloves to prevent the natural oils from your hands from being transferred onto the newly cleaned crystal.
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Additional Cleaning Tips
For the wet method, remember when your grandmother used to say “The hotter the water the fewer the spots” when cleaning her glasses? The same rule holds true when cleaning your crystal pendants (or any glass product for that matter). Furthermore, don’t neglect to clean your light bulbs while you have them out! For a quick fix, a simple dusting of your bulbs will make a noticeable difference. A regular dusting of your chandelier will also make your annual deep clean a far simpler process.
An alternative, much easier method of cleaning your crystal chandelier is by purchasing a bottle of Sparkle Plenty Chandelier Cleaner. This method does not require disassembling your chandelier and takes only a few minutes, thus saving "plenty" of time. All you have to do is turn off your chandelier and let it cool off. Place newspapers or towels beneath the chandelier to catch any runoff before you start spraying the cleaner onto your chandelier. Hold the cleaner 6 to 8 inches away from the fixture and spray from the bottom upwards, generously covering all surfaces. Allow the fixture to air dry and apply the cleaner a second time if necessary.
Finally, the last phase to any job worth doing: take a few steps back and admire your work! Others most certainly will. To learn more about caring for your dazzling light fixture, read our Guide to Crystal Chandeliers.
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