Chandeliers are beautiful and chic and if you have the type with crystals, then the light will reflect in an awesome way, until they get dirty.  Then they are not so chic!

I used to say there was a reason many of those massive chandeliers went out of style!

But if you become a bit more proactive with your maintenance you can still have a gleaming beautiful light for years to come.  These beautiful crystal chandeliers are an investment that you want to protect.  Just like you would wash your car and shine it, you need to do the same to this type of light fixture.

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Start with dusting this at least once a month with a soft cloth or better yet something that will attract dust on a wand.  Swiffer makes dusting cloths that I know I use all the time to attract dust off of electronics.  But something like that with NO product sprayed on it, just a light dusting at least once a month unless you live in a dusty area, or maybe your chandelier hangs in the main foyer where the door opens and closes a lot.

Just make sure not to use any products on the duster cloth as this actually attracts dirt and makes them sticky.  I like to use the type on an extendable wand, this attracts dust and gets rid of cobwebs too.  

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Cleaning the Crystals

Once there is a coating of dirt or heavy dust, the crystals lose their shine and the light seems dull.  If you want to bring that sparkle back, then you have to get involved and will need some supplies.  You can hire this job if your fixture is super high up, but if you are up for the challenge and have a step ladder that reaches this fixture comfortably, then you can do this yourself and save.

You could take it apart with help, but try this method first; this will save all the hassle of putting it all back together again.  (NOTE:  If you decide to go that route, take a picture first with your phone so you know how to put it back together again).

It also wouldn't hurt to put a protector on the floor or furniture that is directly below the fixture.  You could use a painters canvas or a large towel or blanket or something washable to help project your floor from any flying bits of dust or dirt depending on how dirty the crystals have become.

What You Will Need:

1.  A pair of cotton gloves (you can get these in bulk online)

2.  Glass cleaner of your choice, or make your own with 50% vinegar and 50% warm water in a spray bottle

3.  Apron with pockets

4.  Step ladder

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Put on your apron and arm yourself with your equipment. (spray bottle of cleaner, extra cotton gloves)

Put the spray bottle in the pocket and put on the gloves. 

Decide which glove will be the cleaning glove and which one will be the polishing glove.  Use your more prominent hand for the cleaning and the other hand for the polishing.  Just remember to be gentle until you get the feel of the surface.  You hand works best because you can also weave in and out of strings of crystals.

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Six Steps to an Awesome Glow!

1.  After you have dusted to get rid of obvious fluff and cobwebs, and making sure the light is off, head up your ladder and then take your spray and spray the glove.  NEVER spray the crystal directly.  Take that hand and gently wipe the crystals.  Do a few at a time quickly and then with the other hand polish it up.

2.  Just keep track of which hand is which.  Using cotton gloves allows you to make a more detailed cleaning compared to a cloth. 

3.  Continue this way until you are finished or need to change to a second pair of gloves.  By spraying your hand and then rubbing the cleaner on, you can be gentle and get all the sides.

4.  If you wish to clean the arms, don’t use the cleaner, simply dust it or use a slightly damp cloth, but cleaners tend to tarnish the arms even the natural ones that contain vinegar. 

5.  The dirt should not be that hard to remove unless you smoke in your home, this can be stickier and takes a bit more elbow grease.

6.  Once each crystal has been cleaned and polished, head back down your ladder and switch it on and see just what a difference it makes.  They crystals should now be sparkling. 

Nothing Worse than a Dim Light

It happens so gradually, the dirt collecting on them, but you really notice it when they are cleaned.  Depending on the environment they are housed in will give you an idea of how often then need cleaning to shine again.  Front foyers seem to get dirtier first, then kitchens.  So you may be able to get away with a once a year cleaning as long as there is some dusting in between, or maybe more often.  But once you get a routine going and keep the supplies on hand, you can quickly attack this job.

The apron with pockets is key or a utility belt, but the apron keeps some of the dirt off your clothes. 

Simply Wash Your Supplies for Next time

Throw your cotton gloves and apron in the washer and dryer ready for next time.  Using your hands is the best way to clean chandeliers with crystals.