Cleaning a Chandelier August 26 2014
The following information is courtesy King's Chandelier Co.
"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 parts:
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.