How to clean a chandelier

Looking for advice on how best to clean a glass or crystal chandelier? Make sure your chandelier stays as bright and sparkling as the day you bought it, with this complete guide…

Nothing tops a chandelier for adding wow factor to a space. To keep your chandelier looking lovely and working efficiently, it’s important to carry out a little maintenance from time to time. From keeping on top of general dust and dirt, to giving your chandelier a deeper clean, here are Pooky’s top expert tips.

How often should you clean a chandelier?

To help stop dust and grime from building up, you should dust your glass or crystal chandelier every week or two. For more stubborn dirt, you will need to give your chandelier a deeper clean periodically - once or twice a year, or more regularly if it’s situated in an area of significant activity, such as a kitchen or entrance hall.

Keeping on top of dust and dirt

To help keep dust and dirt at bay, and to maximise the time between deep cleans, give your chandelier a regular dusting at least every other week. Using an extendable feather duster, gently wipe over the surfaces of the crystals and the frame. This will help to stop dust from building up and solidifying. Try including this as part of your regular household cleaning, and it will soon become routine!

Juliet chandelier

Giving your chandelier a deeper clean

Despite your best efforts with the feather duster, dirt, cobwebs and other general grime will naturally accumulate over time, meaning that your chandelier loses some of the light-reflecting qualities that give it its sparkle. Common signs that it’s time for a more thorough clean are if the crystals are looking cloudy or hazy, if there are dirt spots, or if the light is not performing as well as it should be. There are two main ways of cleaning a chandelier: with the chandelier in place (‘crystals on’), or alternatively taking it apart and cleaning the individual pieces (‘crystals off’).

Before you begin

Remember, before cleaning a chandelier you should always turn off the power supply and allow the bulbs to fully cool down. Make sure your chair or stepladder is stable and on an even surface, and that you can comfortably reach the different parts of the chandelier. Prepare the area by laying some blankets or towels underneath the chandelier. This will help to protect your flooring during any wet cleaning, and will cushion the blow should any of the pieces become dislodged or dropped (it happens!)

What you need to clean a chandelier

To clean your chandelier, you will need:
  • soft, lint-free cloths
  • cotton gloves, for handling crystals and accessories
  • a mild glass cleaner, or specialist chandelier cleaner
  • a bowl of warm water
  • a thick blanket or cloth
  • a clean, dry towel
  • a lined table or similar flat surface
  • pliers or screwdrivers to undo any fixings

Cleaning a chandelier in its place - ‘crystals on’

If the build-up isn’t too bad, you can clean the chandelier in situ, without needing to take it down from the ceiling or disassemble it:
  • Apply the gloves
  • Carefully remove the bulbs and set them aside on your lined table or surface
  • Dip the lint-free cloth into the cleaning solution (you can use the gloves to clean, if you prefer)
  • If using a cleaning spray, apply the spray to the cloth or glove, rather than direct to the chandelier
  • Gently work the cleaner around each crystal and strand of the chandelier, taking care to cover every surface
  • Move carefully around each part of the chandelier as you clean - reposition your ladder if necessary, rather than manoeuvring the chandelier itself
  • Rinse the cloth or glove as often as needed
  • Polish each piece with a separate dry, lint-free cloth (or glove). This will remove any residues and help prevent streaks and watermarks
  • Wipe the frame, hooks, fixtures and cables with a soft, dry cloth or an appropriate cleaner. For metal, painted or antique frames and fittings, make sure you use the right cleaner, to avoid causing damage or discoloration
  • Gently dust the light bulbs with a soft, dry cloth and return them to the chandelier. Now's also a good time to replace any damaged or discoloured bulbs.

Removing a chandelier for cleaning - ‘crystals off’

Sometimes it's necessary to give your chandelier a more intensive clean to get rid of accumulated dirt, or where there are stubborn spots or marks. This means completely removing each crystal, strand and accessory for washing. This may seem like a daunting task, but if you work carefully and methodically you can help your chandelier to maintain its brilliance and shine!
  • First, gently remove the bulbs and set aside on a lined, flat surface
  • Before removing any crystals, pendants or other accessories, make a note of where they go - taking a few photos can be very helpful
  • Carefully remove each piece from the fitting and set it aside on a lined table or surface
  • Place the pieces into the mild detergent solution - do this one at a time, to avoid any unwanted contact
  • Gently rub each piece individually with a lint-free cloth
  • Replace the water as needed, or every 10-20 strands
  • Rinse with cold water and dry immediately with a fresh cloth
  • Set aside on a soft, clean towel
  • Wipe down the frame, hooks, fixtures and cables with a dry cloth or an appropriate cleaner - depending on your chandelier, you may be able to remove all or part of the frame for cleaning with an appropriate cleaning solution
  • Once everything is completely dry, reassemble your chandelier piece by piece from the top down, using the photos to guide you
  • Wipe and replace the bulbs
  • Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!
With a little TLC, you can make sure your chandelier shines as brightly as ever. At Pooky, we create affordable designer lighting for beautiful rooms. See our range of chandeliers here.