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As dust and airborne soils quietly build up on chandeliers, they lose their brilliance, the whole reason they exist. When dirt can’t be dodged any longer, fortunately there are several ways to clean chandeliers.
If grease and grime haven’t been encrusted the chandelier, you can drip-clean it. Turn off the power to the fixture, then vacuum carefully to remove loose dust and cobwebs. If bulbs and sockets point upward, place a plastic sandwich bag over each one and secure it with a rubber band.
Place a dropcloth down to protect the floor and then lay out towels or newspapers over it to catch the drips. Lighting dealers sell ready-to-use chandelier cleaner such as Sparkle Plenty, or you can mix your own. Use 1 part isopropyl alcohol to 3 parts distilled water. This is safe for metal as well as crystal, glass or plastic parts of most chandeliers.
Spray a generous amount of the solution over the whole thing (stay away from bulbs, wires, and sockets) until water drips from each part. Make sure you get every side of every pendant. The crystals should drip dry without streaks or spots. A slight film may remain. If you can’t live with that, re-wet the crystals and take a clean cloth and buff them after the solution’s been on a few minutes. After the crystals are clean and dry, remove bags and wipe any saucers and non-crystal parts of the light with a soft cloth dipped in the same solution. Let the whole thing dry overnight before turning on the power.
If the chandelier is really dirty and you want first-class results, there’s no escape from hand-cleaning each crystal. You can spray and wipe each piece in place, working your way from top to bottom, and being careful not to put pressure on the wires that attach the pendants. Don’t pull on them – just hold them in place with one hand while you wipe and polish with the other.
Or, you can remove all the crystals for cleaning, and then re-hang them, but don’t plan anything else that day. If you’re insecure, make a sketch of the chandelier, or photograph it from all angles before you start dismantling. To avoid scratching the prisms, use a plastic tub for cleaning solution and another for rinse water. Carefully take down a dozen or so pendants (or one tier) and lay them in the bottom of the tub to soak in the solution described earlier, till all the dirt is dissolved. Don’t let them touch each other. Then dip them into the rinse water and polish with a clean dry towel. After you clean all the prisms in the tub, replace them on the chandelier (use needle nose pliers to bend the small wires back into place) and take down the next set. Doing only a small area at a time will help you remember where each piece is supposed to go.
Good luck and have a great day!