How To Clean a Chandelier

At first, learning how to clean a crystal chandelier without damaging it may seem like an overwhelming challenge. That’s how I felt when my mother-in-law told me we would inherit the family chandelier. But (thankfully!) I learned it isn’t as hard as it looks, as long as you follow these quick and easy steps.

Before getting started, it’s a good idea to turn off the circuit breaker for the chandelier. Even if you can’t do that, remember to turn the lights off and let the bulbs cool down before you start cleaning.

Most chandeliers have finishes that are properly lacquered and backed, so you shouldn’t use liquid cleaners or abrasives. These chemicals can ruin the finish, causing discoloration, peeling, or breakage. If you have questions about how to clean a chandelier in your home, you can refer to your product manual or check the manufacturer’s website for cleaning instructions.

Weekly Chandelier Cleaning

Once a week, take a magnetized duster and slowly go around the chandelier, touching the bulbs, the crystals, and all the metal on the fixture. A magnetized duster or a soft cleaning stick will attract the loose dust and cobwebs better than traditional feather dusters, which may throw dust into the air.

Spring and Fall Chandelier Cleaning

Scheduling your chandelier for a more thorough cleaning twice a year is easy when you put it on your seasonal cleaning lists. Climb high enough on your ladder to get a closer look at the chandelier from top to bottom. Your goal is to identify any loose hangers or skewed crystals before you clean and fix them.

For this task, purchase a pair of soft, disposable white gloves. Put a glove on and carefully wipe down each of the crystal pieces, as well as the metal and bulbs. The gloves are the key because they allow you to use your fingers for intricate pieces and apply more or less pressure as needed. The gloves also keep fingerprints and smudges away from your shiny clean chandelier as you move from piece to piece.

Yearly Chandelier Cleaning

Once a year, take the chandelier apart and give each piece a good cleaning. Part of knowing how to clean a chandelier is to have a plan for putting it back together after you’ve cleaned it. Keep different sections of chandelier crystals together while you clean them, or take some close-up photos of the chandelier, so your “Before” and “After” looks are (hopefully!) the same.

As I mentioned above, keep fingerprints off your freshly cleaned chandelier crystals by wearing a pair of disposable gloves. Using a mild detergent and warm water on a cloth, gently clean each crystal piece and the metal parts. For stubborn buildup, you can use a microfiber cloth dampened with vinegar and water and towel-dry the chandelier pieces. Next, lay everything out on a microfiber or lint-free cloth to air dry; you can also polish them dry if you are really in a hurry.

How To Clean a Crystal Chandelier Without Disassembling It

If the thought of taking down your chandelier piece by piece seems scary, we get it. What if you lose one of the crystals or can’t figure out how to put it back together? You can spray clean your chandelier without taking it down, but things are going to get messy.

There are plenty of commercial crystal chandelier cleaners available that tout spotless, sparkling shine, and most are probably effective. But you can create a brilliant finish on your chandelier with a DIY chandelier cleaner that costs pennies. Mix one part distilled white vinegar and three parts distilled water in a spray bottle and you’re done! We use distilled water because it evaporates without leaving spots.

Here’s how to clean a chandelier without taking it apart:

  • Turn off the breaker
  • Lay down a sheet of plastic under the chandelier to keep the floor from getting wet
  • Remove the lightbulbs and cover the sockets with plastic and tape
  • Spray your chandelier cleaner all over the chandelier until it’s dripping wet
  • Continue to spray down the chandelier until the runoff is clear

Let the chandelier drip dry, take the plastic off the sockets and make sure they are completely dry using a microfiber cloth. Clean up your mess, turn on the breaker, hit the switch for your chandelier, and behold your dazzling masterpiece!

Now that you know the best way to clean a chandelier, what house cleaning project do you want to tackle next? Check out our extensive library of professional cleaning guides based on over 40 years of residential cleaning experience. No time for reading or housekeeping? Let The Maids take care of the dirty work for you. Get your free estimate today.


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