When it comes to holidays or special occasions, nothing beats a beautifully set table with crystal, china, silver, and linen. And nothing brings that to life quite like a gleaming, sparkling chandelier.
The problem is that many chandeliers suffer from neglect. Because of their intricacy,many people resist cleaning them until it’s absolutely, positively necessary.
If your chandelier is coated with dust and cobwebs, it’s time to clean it before that special occasion comes and when you might be in a hurry, which could cause you to drop crystals or damage the fixture.
Instead, clean your chandelier before the big event and it will be ready when YOU are!
Two methods to clean a chandelier
You have two choices when it comes to cleaning a chandelier. The choice pertains to the way you clean the fixture. The choice is to wet clean or dry clean. If you have an ornate chandelier or one that’s too high too clean, you may end up having to wet clean the fixture.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
If you have a particularly fine chandelier, you should contact your favorite lighting center or where the fixture was purchased to inquire about how to clean it properly. Or if you’re in doubt, always ask a lighting professional. However, many will recommend a spray cleaner or individual hand cleaning. If you have any concerns at all, hand — or dry — cleaning is always the best choice.
Before cleaning the chandelier, follow good safety practices.
* Turn off the electricity at the breaker box.
* Set up a light that’s plugged at another outlet on another breaker switch.
* Move the table away.
* Bring in a ladder that is tall enough so that you don’t stand on the last two steps.
* Place a piece of plastic on the floor to catch any drips.
* Place a washable, soft, double-folded blanket on the floor just in case any crystals fall.
Now you’re ready to begin cleaning your chandelier.
To dry clean a chandelier
Dry cleaning a chandelier involves having two cloths, one to clean with and the other to polish with. I recommend using microfiber cleaning cloths because these are lint free and wipe away smudges and dirt better than any plain cleaning cloth. The ultimate glass cleaning kit includes soft, microfiber cloths and Sprayway cleaner, a commercial glass cleaner.
Spray one cloth with enough cleaner to make it thoroughly damp. Next, wipe each crystal clean with the damp cloth. Follow up with a dry cloth to polish and dry each crystal.
This is a tedious, time-consuming process, but you will have the assurance that no liquid worked its way into any electrical wiring. You will also know that each crystal was independently polished.
To wet clean a chandelier
Preparation is the key here. Take the time to do all the steps completely.
Cover all bulbs with small plastic sandwich bags and secure with a rubber band.
Following the instructions on an ammonia bottle, make a cleaning spray of ammonia and distilled water; (distilled water won’t leave a residue on crystal like tap water does). Follow up by spraying the chandelier with plain distilled water to rinse. Or, you can purchase a special chandelier cleaner. Spray the chandelier thoroughly to clean off dust and dirt and allow cleaner to drip off, or follow the directions on the product.
Some crystals will need to be wiped by hand.
Let the fixture dry for one to two days before turning the light on again. Now, you have a sparkling chandelier just ready and waiting for your next special meal!