Lighting is one of the most important features of interior design. You've got all the colors and textures right, all the furniture and fittings are perfect. But the lighting has to be just right to lift and enhance the overall feel of the room. Nothing does this quite so well as a chandelier. They don't have to be grand, or even expensive, but the right one (or two!) will sparkle, adding the coveted 'wow factor' to your home.
However, they can be a challenge when it comes to cleaning them. Dust and cobwebs often accumulate, which diminishes their sparkle. Taking a chandelier down for cleaning is a laborious, and often precarious, task. You want it to dazzle, but without all the hassle of taking it down or removing each crystal.
Help is at hand! Here are some chandelier cleaning tips to make this chore easier:
Crystal Chandelier Cleaning
- Firstly, ensure that the light is switched off. It may help to turn off the electricity supply (or the circuit serving that room) or put tape over the switch to avoid it being accidentally switched on.
- Spread a thick blanket beneath the chandelier in case any pieces happen to fall.
- Remember to ready a secondary light source if necessary - you need to see what you're doing.
- Remove all bulbs and store them safely (give them a wipe before replacing them afterward).
- Plug the empty sockets with newspaper or any material that will prevent liquid from entering.
- Place a layer of newspaper or towels on the blanket to catch excess drips.
- Use a ready-made chandelier spray or glass cleaner to cover it liberally all over.
- Allow the cleaner to do its work, dripping down and taking the dust and grime with it.
- Leave it to dry before replacing the bulbs
- Follow the same procedure as above, up to the sixth step.
- You'll need either a ready-made glass cleaner or even a homemade solution (for example, one part isopropyl alcohol to four parts distilled water).
- Wearing a pair of white cotton gloves, dip your fingers into the solution and gently stroke each crystal to remove the dust.
- As the solution becomes dirty and cloudy, replace it with a fresh mixture.
- Work your way around the chandelier, manipulating the crystals gently, then wipe each one with a damp cloth.
- Once each crystal has been properly cleaned, use a lint-free cloth to wipe each one dry.
Plastic Chandelier Cleaning
Chandeliers with 'drops' made from acrylic are more prone to scratches than their glass counterparts, so they need to be handled differently. Also, some of the chemical cleaners used for crystal will not be suitable as they can dull the surface of the drops - which is the last thing you want! You can buy specialist products for cleaning plastic chandeliers or make your own solution at home. Some experts recommend using a simple combination of soapy water and a microfibre cloth.
Other suggestions include 2 cups warm water and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, plus 2 tbsp of dishwasher spot remover (optional). This can be stored in a spray bottle for easy use.
A 1:1 solution of warm water and vinegar is recommended for cleaning the bulbs.
Using these solutions, simply follow the steps as given for crystal chandeliers.
Chandelier cleaning hacks
- Avoid ammonia-based cleaners! Not only will they make acrylic go cloudy, but they could also tarnish the gold/silver plated fittings on all types of chandelier.
- Wear cotton gloves to avoid smears and fingerprints.
- Don't be tempted to twist the chandelier round whilst cleaning it. Instead, move the steps around to reach each part in turn. Twisting it could loosen the fitting and result in it falling or damaging the wiring.
- Try using a feather duster (or lamb's wool) every few months to keep it as dust-free as possible. Then you will probably only need to perform the above cleaning process annually.
- If your ceilings are particularly high, take the opportunity to replace any bulbs that have stopped working.
By following these tips you will keep your prized chandelier sparkling, adding to the ambience and atmosphere of your beautiful home. Maybe you have a BERM home?