Chandelier cleaning

bbstxDecember 18, 2013

I am putting the chandelier below in my dining room. Everyone (ok, my mother mostly) keeps asking how I'm going to keep it clean. I've read about sprays that you mist on the chandelier and it drips off taking the dirt with it. Do those work? If you have experience with them, is there a particular brand you recommend?

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The crystals and chains of crystals are 'hooked' onto the frame. You really need to remove them, and wash in soapy water, and dry immediately.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 1:46PM
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I use a soft cloth(one that won't 'catch' on the metal ends, no terry cloth!), spraying a light mist of Windex on the cloth. Starting from the top, work your way down each row/single crystal. As the cloth dries, spay a bit more on a clean part of the rag. It's not a quick job, but it is a quick fix and easier than disassembling the complete fixture.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 2:06PM
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i do like patty cakes... it doesn't need to be done that often, so it really isn't that big of a pain...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Yes, the spray works . I always have a bottle of "Hagerty" chandelier cleaner on hand which lasts me years because I do not clean my chandelier regularly. BUT, I still blame it for causing the wire on which the beads are strung to rust - I may have sprayed on too much once. The crystal beads however shine afterwards. Be sure to lay newspaper under it before spraying the chandelier with the cleaner. Cover any bare sockets.

I prefer to wash it by hand with soap and water, but my chandelier is large and has many, many beads, some small as a BB. And each needs to be rinsed and dried after the soapy water. Plus I always have to use caution when putting hands in between the strands of larger beads or a wire will break. No fun when you are standing ontop a tall ladder.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Thanks, all. I may give the Hagerty's a try. This chandelier is going to be a pain to keep sparkly, but I think it will be worth it.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Holly- Kay

I feel your pain. My crystal pendants and chandy don't have near as many crystals as yours and I am scared witless at the thought of cleaning them. I am actually thinking I will look for a cleaning service to clean them. My cleaning lady doesn't want to tackle the job!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:14PM
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The basket of mine is the tough part to clean. The beads graduate to tiny ones set very close together. Even difficult to dust. Then as I mentioned, the strands of larger beads are very fragile. Good luck with the cleaner, let us know how it works for you. Now you have me thinking I should really do mine after the holidays.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:42PM
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I think I would rather do it myself than trust the job to a cleaning service. And I know I don't want my cleaning lady doing it. She's a sweetheart and works hard, but dealing with small, delicate things just isn't her forte.

Schoolhouse, your chandelier is gorgeous!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:59PM
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In a previous house with a crystal chandelier I would disassemble it bit by bit. Soak for about 30 seconds in a shallow pan with windex. ( I actually used a frisbee because I wanted something that would be less scratchy than a bowl.) Then wipe dry with a soft dishcloth (linen is best), and then re-hang. This made sure each piece got back into the same spot.

It always came out great. It took a decent amount of time and was a total pain.

I never selected a crystal chandelier again in any other house. Just couldn't justify the time for doing this.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Holly- Kay

Bbstx, you are so right. My Jeannie is a sweetheart but like a bull in a china shop. I can't count how many things she has broken or damaged but I wouldn't dream of replacing her. She has a heart of gold and is as honest as the day is long.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:58AM
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I have a 1920's crystal chandelier that I've moved with me from house to house, and it's going into the new house we're building now. I've tried the spray on stuff and wiping it down, and haven't been happy with either. I'm also convinced that spray on stuff accelerated some of the rust that occured on the strands of crystals. I had the whole fixture rewired and restranded about 10 years ago.

I love the chandelier so much that I actually enjoy the process once I get started of cleaning it. I have to take the individual crystals off, then each rope of crystals off, then the bowls around the lights. I carefully layer them into a plastic tub of soapy water, then let them soak while I clean the arms and the parts that don't come off. Then I remove all the crystals from the soapy water, rinse and lay on towels and dry with linen towels. It is a labor of love, but looks so amazing everytime I clean it, and I wouldn't let anyone else touch it. I've never had cleaning help that is that careful. I find that cleaning it twice a year is totally adequate. Just pick a day when you don't have anything else planned.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Helpful hint: never layer your chandelier with live pine tree boughs no matter how lovely it looks. You'll have dried needles in the bottom for many, many, many years. Ask me how I know. :(

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have a crystal ceiling fixture which I take apart to wash and then reassemble. I keep a pair of the old fashioned white gloves just for the purpose of reassembling so I don't put finger prints on the crystals. It is a labor of live, but the sparkle makes it worthwhile.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:33PM
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bbstx - I LOVE that chandelier, will look forward to seeing it in place.

I have a much simpler version that I regularly forget to clean. No way to disassemble and boy is this thing heavy. When I do remember to clean, I use the bottles of canned air.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:32PM
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oldbat2be--love your light fixture!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:13PM
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I think if you can dust it regularly, something I never do, then a major cleaning won't be needed as often.
I've use the spray in the past and, like schoolhouse, I found rust starting to form along the electrical wires that run along the frame. So, I'm back to hand least favorite chore.

Love the idea of the Dust Off!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Too many incidences of rust. Crossing the spray off my list! Guess I better get used to taking the chandelier apart and washing it periodically (notice, I didn't say "twice a year" or the like. I know I won't do it that often!)

Thanks, ob2b. I was going for a contemporary take on an empire fixture. Only 2 more months until I can actually see it hanging, I hope!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:42PM
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