Cleaning Your Chandelier
The following information is courtesy King's
"If properly cared for a chandelier is an investment
and an heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation"
Most people never need to clean a chandelier more than once a year. In
many cases, especially with new house constructions, once every two years
will suffice. Cleaning a chandelier can be intimidating, but the shining
result is well worth the time and effort. Before disassembling your fixture,
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS make a diagram of where all the removable part
of the chandelier belong. Take it from us, you may think you know where
everything goes, but odds are you'll find yourself scratching your head
while staring at a mound of crystal chandelier parts. Another solution
is to clean the chandelier by sections.
Never clean the chandelier with the lights turned on, and make sure to
give the bulbs time to cool before beginning. Place a thick quilt or comforter
under your fixture to catch any prisms you may drop. Hopefully, this will
provide enough cushion to keep anything that slips out of your hand from
breaking or from scratching your table. Most importantly, do not turn
your chandelier as you clean it. Keep the fixture stationary while you
move around it.
We recommend the following method for cleaning all the crystal and chandelier
Carefully remove all of the trimmings, placing the pendants in a plastic
colander. Use a small amount of mild dish detergent and rinse the pendants
well with hot water. TIP: The hotter the water, the fewer the spots. When
putting festoons under running water, they should be held at full length
with both hands to discourage tangling. Again, use a small amount of mild
dish detergent and rinse well. At this point, you can either lay out the
chandelier parts separately to air dry or leave in the colander to cloth
dry later. TIP: We recommend that you use mild soaps when cleaning your
pendants. Harsh chemicals have a tendency to react with the pinning causing
them to become blackened and brittle. Admittedly, most pinning darkens
with age (remember the black pins on your Grandmother's chandelier), but
you can slow this process by sticking with soap and water.
When cleaning the body of the all-crystal chandelier, we recommend dusting
the fixture with a dry cloth, then using your favorite glass or chandelier
cleaner sprayed on to a cloth (never spray into the fixture), wipe
and polish all pieces. TIP: Dusting first cuts down on polishing later.
Don't forget the bulbs. The more lint-free the cloth, the better results
you will have. We favor cheap (the cheaper they are, the less lint they
leave behind) paper towels, but worn-out sheeting or newspaper is popular
as well. Return all hanging chandelier parts and pieces to the fixture,
working from the inside to the outside. A quick polish on each piece as
you go will take care of any lingering drops of water. TIP: For a quick
spruce-up, clean and polish your bulbs. You won't believe what a difference
this makes. For our solid brass fixtures, we recommend that you remove
the crystal trimmings and clean in the same manner as described for the
all-crystal chandelier trimmings. However, the bodies of the brass chandeliers
need only dusting. Do not apply cleaner or brass polish to this brass.
Vinegar or ammonia will give the crystal a good shine; however, you should
be careful to keep these solutions away from the metal pinning. A strong
wipe with a cloth shines just as much without the fumes. There are many
spray-on chandelier cleaners
on the market, and these work well for those who don't have the means
to clean their chandelier any other way; however, the "old fashioned"
method of taking the chandelier apart is the most thorough and longest
lasting method. If you really don't want to clean your chandelier, contact
local cleaning services and lighting stores for contract workers.