March 25th, 2013 | Published in lighting
Tips to maintaining large chandeliers
A chandelier of any size attracts attention, regardless of its setting. Large chandeliers therefore, not only quickly become the topic of conversation but also inspire awe among guests visiting your home. Given the interest that chandeliers can create, you need to maintain their sparkle by keeping them clean.
In general, a chandelier of large size is hanged to impress – and it requires as much effort to maintain its awe-inspiring appearance as it does to select it in the first place. A well-maintained chandelier is more than just about the appearance; homeowners can also benefit from significant energy savings and reduced maintenance requirements in the long term.
Cleaning a large chandelier need not be challenging, and can be tackled as a DIY task. Some safety precautions, a tall step ladder, common household cleaners and a whole lot of patience, and you will have a gleaming, sparkly chandelier at the end of the day.
Switch off the chandelier: Safety is an important part of chandelier maintenance. Turn off the power to your chandelier at least an hour before cleaning to allow the bulbs to cool off sufficiently. When the bulbs are cool, cover each with a plastic bag and secure with a rubber band or twist tie.
Protect your floor: Place old towels or absorbent sheets on the floor to collect any drips or dust from your cleaning. The towels will also prevent any damage to crystals if they are accidentally dropped during cleaning. For additional protection to the floor, cover the sheets with newspapers.
Dry cleaning: Regular dusting and dry-wiping of chandelier components such as the crystals, glass drops, beads and bulbs as well as the arms and frames will go a long way in reducing elaborate and time-consuming maintenance. Use a soft cloth to wipe down each part. You could also use a hair dryer on low speed from above to blow down on the chandelier parts and remove stubborn dust particles from the crevices.
Wet cleaning: Wet cleaning can be carried out without taking the chandelier down. Prepare a mild cleaning solution from vinegar and water (1:3) or dish soap. Cleaning solutions specifically formulated for chandeliers are also available in the market. Just ensure you do not use any harsh detergent as it may damage the crystals and the metal components. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning solutions on brass, chrome or gold-plated chandeliers as they may tarnish the metal parts.
Spray and wipe: Since the bulbs have been bagged, you can safely spray the mild cleaning solution on the chandelier parts. Take the chandelier by sections and clean the crystals, drops, beads and arms. Try not to rotate the chandelier as it may loosen the fixings. After letting the cleaner soak through the grime, use a soft cloth to wipe down the part till dry. Ensure there are no water spots on the crystals.
Removing deep-seated grime
To remove dirt that does not come off with wiping, you may have to take down the crystals, glass drops and beads and clean them separately in the sink or a basin, before wiping them dry and placing them back. Given that a large chandelier may have hundreds of components, it’s best to work by sections.
Cleaning the bulbs: Remove the bags from the bulbs and carefully unscrew each bulb from its socket. Wipe down each bulb with a slightly damp cloth to remove any dirt. Ensure the bulb’s metal base is completely dry before putting the bulb back. Blow out the dust in the sockets before fitting the bulbs.
Disassembling the chandelier: If you are planning to take your chandelier apart before cleaning, ensure you have the original assembly drawings with you. Additionally, take photographs of your chandelier before disassembly to use as reference when you are putting it back together again.
Give it a day: Let the chandelier completely dry out for a day before switching it back on.
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