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How To Clean Chandelier Lights?

Keeping your light fixtures clean is essential, but even more so with a chandelier.

There are two main reasons for that.

Chandeliers are meant to be decorative lighting fixtures. You don’t notice a pendant or recessed light, but a chandelier should be looked at.

You hardly want to look at a dirty fixture.

Plus, chandeliers are more intricate and have more exposed surfaces. There are various nooks and crannies to a chandelier, which means they have more surface area to attract dust and get dirty.

How do you clean these delicate, attractive fixtures to keep them looking great and working at their best?

You should dust your chandelier every 2-3 months using a soft duster and clean it once a year. You can use chemicals to spray it clean if it is too delicate to wipe. Use a salt and vinegar blend to polish brass, isopropyl alcohol for crystal, and vinegar to leave the glass smudge-free.

There’s a lot you need to get right if you want to look after your chandelier, so let’s explore:

  • How to clean a chandelier without taking it down
  • How to clean a chandelier without wiping
  • What to use to clean different materials

Guide To Clean A Chandelier Without Taking It Down

dusting chandelier

Cleaning a chandelier on a low ceiling is a relatively simple job. However, higher up, you’ll need to factor in reaching it safely.

Here’s a step-by-step approach to cleaning your chandelier without taking it down.

  1. Establish a safe base for working

If your chandelier is at a comfortable height that you can reach, this isn’t a worry. But with high ceilings, you need to make sure you have a safe space to work in.

You don’t want to be leaning a ladder against a table or having it on a rug which could make it slip.

Move any furniture, and ensure your ladder is secure. Use the smallest ladder you need – ideally, a stepladder if the height is sufficient. This reduces the risk of falling since it will have a lower center of gravity.

  1. Switch off the power to the chandelier

You’re about to start spraying your chandelier with liquid chemicals. While the wiring shouldn’t be exposed, you still don’t want to risk it.

Give the chandelier bulbs time to cool down before you continue.

  1. Remove any accessories

While this is a guide for cleaning a chandelier without removing it, that ensures you don’t have to disconnect the wiring.

But many chandeliers have a central unit and decorative accessories hook onto it, such as dangling crystals.

So these should be removed during cleaning. You’ll find it easier to clean these gently at floor level, and you’ll have fewer obstructions to cleaning the central chandelier unit.

Be sensible here – try to only unhook some accessories at a time, or you may drop them. Take your time – this isn’t a job you’re doing weekly, after all!

  1. Gather your supplies

You need the following:

  • A duster
  • A cleaning spray that you’ve either bought or mixed yourself
  • A microfiber cloth. It must be microfiber to be gentle enough for your chandelier
  • White cotton gloves to wear during cleaning, so you don’t cover it with your fingerprints or natural skin oils

Make sure you’ve got it all accessible but safe – don’t leave the duster or cloth on the ladder where you might trip on it.

  1. Dust the chandelier

The first step of cleaning is to remove the surface dust. Do this carefully, using an appropriate duster for the job.

Dust about 10 minutes before you start the primary cleaning.

This will give any dust particles in the air time to settle so that they aren’t drawn back to the wet chandelier once you begin cleaning it.

  1. Clean the chandelier

Spray the chandelier with your cleaning solution, and then wipe it down using the cloth while wearing gloves.

Do each section in turn and use great care – wiping should be gentle and supported by your second hand, so you aren’t applying unnecessary pressure.

You don’t need to rinse a chandelier unless you’ve bought a cleaner that tells you to. Wiping the chemical residue off the chandelier with a cloth is sufficient.

  1. Clean the accessories

Once the main chandelier is clean, you can start on the accessories you’ve removed using the same techniques – just without standing atop a ladder!

When all the accessories are done, hang them on the chandelier again.

How To Clean A Chandelier Without Wiping?

 ceiling light fittings with a woman's hand cleaning them

It is possible to clean your chandelier without wiping it. This is useful if you’re concerned about how high the ceiling is and whether you can safely reach it.

It’s also a good idea if your chandelier is delicate and you don’t feel confident cleaning it with a cloth.

All you need to do is decide on your cleaner product and then saturate the chandelier.

You should probably place a towel underneath. To clean it effectively, you will get it wet with cleaner.

Then, as it begins to dry, respray it. Keep repeating this until the run-off liquid is clear.

This will be more expensive than wiping your chandelier clean. Also, it takes longer since you can’t just dry it with a cloth immediately.

Still, it’s the best solution for hard-to-reach chandeliers or those that are too delicate to wipe.

How Often Should I Dust A Chandelier?

While I’ve mentioned dusting the chandelier as the first step of cleaning it, you must also dust it more frequently.

While you can get away with cleaning your chandelier thoroughly every year or so, you’ll need to dust it every 2-3 months.

If you don’t, the dust will build up, and it could cause the lights to overheat.

Use a feather duster or a lambswool duster. These are softer and won’t scratch the chandelier.

You can get one with a long pole if you want to avoid climbing a ladder. Be careful – use controlled movements so you aren’t poking the chandelier back and forth and causing it to swing.

Differences In Cleaning Crystal, Glass, And Brass Chandeliers

entry to the house with chandelier

Depending on your chandelier’s material, you’ll want to use different chemical mixes to clean them.

The good news is that while each has professional products, you can use items you find around the home as replacements.

Crystal Chandeliers

For a crystal chandelier, you can use a dedicated crystal spray or you can mix isopropyl alcohol with water (1 part alcohol to 4 parts water) to make an effective rinse.

If you don’t have this, mix 1 part dish soap with 4 parts water – this won’t have the same sparkle effect, but it will clean it.

Glass Chandeliers

Glass is similar to crystal – you want to leave a sparkle without any streaks. Use the isopropyl alcohol mix with water again. If you don’t have any, mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water and spray this onto the glass.

Brass Chandeliers

Brass is a little different, and it needs to be properly polished. If you don’t want to buy dedicated brass polish, you can mix table salt with vinegar to create a paste.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a half cup of vinegar, and then add flour to turn it into a paste.

Rub the paste onto the brass, leave it for 10 minutes, and then rinse it and buff it dry.

Final Words

Chandeliers are tricky to clean, but only because they’re often so spectacular.

As long as you plan carefully, you can get the annual cleaning done with little fuss.

Just make sure the power is off, you have a safe working base, and you take your time with delicate parts.

Plus, use the right cleaner for the material.

How often do you clean your chandelier at home?

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