Remember the day you installed that beautiful foyer chandelier and how excited you were to step back and take in the exquisite view? It cost a pretty penny but it was worth it because you knew you’d have it for many years to come. And it changed the entire look of your entrance way – made the doorway area much more inviting and appealing to arriving guests. Maybe you purchased a stunning dining chandelier and have spent many months having family meals under it’s showering light.
But months later you’ve noticed something has changed. The fixture doesn’t dazzle you as much as it originally did. At first you can’t figure it out. Was it just your excitement over having something brand new that overrode the fact that it wasn’t as beautiful as you initially thought? It still looks clean on inspection, but somehow it’s…well, it’s just duller! It doesn’t sparkle like it once did. Something has happened to the luster of the crystals and now it’s really noticeable… maybe not to your invited guests… but to YOU! What happened? How did it loose it’s initial shine? Can something be done to get back it’s initial sparkle? The answer is yes! Here are some easy crystal cleaning tips to regain that original shine:
Though your fixture does not appear caked in dust and dirt, every home has floating air particles that carry elements of debris. You’ll usually recognize it as ‘cooking grime’ in the kitchen, when you find yourself cleaning the greasy film off of your appliances. That grease comes from cooking elements (oils that precipitate out from steam), which settle often on the range hood. But in a dining room or a foyer, it’s not grease that is the culprit; but actually very fine specks of general house dust that first begin to adhere to the crystals. Outside debris from nature might even be partially to blame when a foyer light is constantly exposed to the outside elements via the doorway. Over time, the crystals accumulate a light film of this microscopic debris, clouding the original luster of the crystal teardrops. There is a relatively easy way to regain that sparkle – without having to separate and scrub each crystal. You may have to pull out the ladder if it is hanging in a foyer, but the rules for cleaning are the same whether it is located in a dining room, a bedroom or a foyer.
Here’s the things you will need:
1 large plastic sheet (for covering tables or floors)
1 roll of 1 inch masking tape
1 box of plastic baggies
1 bottle of apple cider vinegar
1 empty spray bottle
1 cup of water
To be completely safe, turn off the power where you will be working, at the breaker box. Spread directly below the chandelier, the plastic cloth; to protect a table, furniture or just to keep your floor area clean, if it is a foyer fixture you are cleaning. Cover all the candelabra light sticks with a plastic baggie. Wrap the baggie around the candlestick, and secure the plastic at the bottom of each candlestick lightly with a piece of tape. (Do not wrap the tape so tightly around the stick that you can’t later easily remove it). This will protect the sticks and bulbs from getting wet. Then, add in to the one cup of water, one additional cup of apple cider vinegar and pour the mixture (equal parts) of both into the spray bottle. Lightly spray the entire chandelier, concentrating more on the dangling crystals which hang below the candlesticks. Give the chandelier a good rain bath, lightly saturating the crystals with the vinegar-water mixture. For full coverage, you should move all the way around the chandelier, spraying as you go, and moving the ladder to do so if you must. Try not to twist the chandelier. If it is a relatively new chandelier, there is no need to wipe the crystals. Just let it air dry. When it dries, you will see that the crystals now appear as clear and sparkly as the day you bought it.
If you haven’t cleaned your chandelier for a year or so, you may need to use a lightly sudsy washcloth to gently rub each crystal teardrop. Over time, grime can build up and make it tougher to get the crystals clean. After gently rubbing them, respray them with the vinegar mixture. (A second option would be to re-wet the chandelier with a second or third dose of the apple cider mixture to see if repeated sprays help dissolve the grime film.)
When fully dry, remove the tape and baggies and restore power. There was no scrubbing. There was no painful disassembling of each individual crystal. There was no arm sore chore of re-hanging the separated but now-clean crystals. All you really did was safely give your chandelier a gentle rain bath. The apple cider vinegar did the actual work for you. Recommended cleanings of this type are three to four times a year. If you wish to stretch out your cleanings to only once or twice a year, then purchase a fluffy dusting stick and lightly dust every month. This will help to keep all of your chandeliers as bright and beautiful as the day you bought them!