Your crystal chandelier no doubt looks stunning, sparkling as it catches the light, in pride of place in your home. To keep it looking at its best, you need to clean it regularly or the gathering of dust and dirt will make its appearance dull – but naturally the thought of removing each crystal droplet from the chandelier is a daunting one.
Especially if you’ve seen that episode of Only Fools and Horses, when Del Boy and Rodney attempt to clean a large chandelier and things go from bad to worse, you’ll want to find an alternative way to clean your light fighting if at all possible!
Lightly dusting your chandelier with a feather duster once a week or once a fortnight will help to keep it looking clean, by removing the dust and preventing a build-up of dirt that becomes hard to shift. Once settled on the glass, a duster won’t be able to move the grime, but by dusting regularly you should limit how often you need to clean your chandelier more thoroughly.
Watch out for a loss of sparkle
When you notice this, now’s the time to take action – if you spot that the droplets are not catching the light as beautifully as they previously were, then you’ll need to do more than dust at this stage. As a guide, with quality crystal, dusting once a week or fortnight should mean you only need to clean more carefully every six to twelve months, depending on the location of your light fitting.
To clean more deeply, you can use a good glass cleaner or specialised crystal cleaner for the task. Before you begin, switch off the ceiling light and remove the light bulbs from their sockets – in their place, put some tissue paper or equivalent to prevent any liquid from getting near the wires. Also, place lots of newspaper and cardboard on the ground beneath the chandelier as this is where the spray will land. Then start spraying. The idea is that the liquid will take the dirt with it. Let the droplets dry thoroughly, leaving them overnight to make sure, before putting the bulbs back – you can wipe these first with a dry cloth to remove any dust on them also.
Another cleaning method that’s less messy is one that uses gloves and a glass or chandelier cleaner. Wearing a pair of cotton gloves, lightly spray one finger and carefully apply this to the glass before drying using the other gloved hand.
Prepare if you dare
Should you decide you need to take the chandelier down and remove each and every droplet in order to clean it properly then make sure you draw a diagram of it, label the pieces or take a photo first so you can put it back together again afterwards.
As you remove each droplet, take care not to scratch or damage the glass. Carefully place each one in a bowl of warm water that has a bit of mild detergent in it, before rinsing in cold water. Dab dry using cotton gloves and then reassemble.
Whatever approach you decide to take, don’t be tempted by shortcuts – rotating the chandelier will loosen the fitting and could result in the device falling from the ceiling.
- License: Creative Commons image source
O’Brien’s Lighting are Irish retailers of crystal and ceiling lighting