Crystal Clean Chandeliers

Consumer Educator Teresa Hunsaker offers a homemade cleaning solution, and says use white gloves – one to wet each crystal, and one to dry.

Choices for cleaning:

1. Do it yourself by keeping the chandelier in tack and in place—either dry or wet method.

a) Advantages to this option: You don’t have to come     up with a place to clean, only a cleaning solution     and supplies. And only supplies if you choose the     dry method. Basically a microfiber and a ladder is     all you need for the dry method. Oh, and time.
b) Disadvantages: What solution to use and the time     it takes to clean in place. Getting up and down the     ladder is another disadvantage. Damaging by     bending or breaking the housings/arms for the     crystals.

2. Take the chandelier apart and individually hand clean.

a) Advantages: You can usually get the chandelier     cleaner this way.
b) Disadvantages: Getting it back together is a real     challenge—you need a “map” of where pieces go     and how to detach and reattach. Your chandelier     nowadays come with a diagram. You may also     want to take some digital photos. You also need to     set up a place conducive to taking it apart and     laying out the pieces for cleaning. Putting a towel     across the bottom of the sink while washing is also     very helpful in case you drop any pieces or     strands.


3. Hire a professional to clean it.

a) Advantages: Saves you time and hassle.
b) Disadvantages: Cost—as much as $200+     depending on the size, style, and access to your     chandelier.

Cleaning Solution for the Wet “In Place” Method

3 parts distilled water
1 part isopropyl alcohol
Spray bottle
White gloves
(Some folks have actually used Gin as the alcohol…and swear by it! Maybe the Gin is just to get you through the experience??)

Place a glove on each hand. Spray one glove with the cleaner and wipe down and rub each crystal. With the other glove dry clean the crystal.

Word of Caution for DIY folks:

Put some kind of padding down under your plastic or drop cloths…heavy quilt folded up, etc. It softens the blow if some crystals should be knocked off. Turn the breaker off to the switch for the chandelier.

Do not use acid or ammonia in your cleaning solution—these can corrode the metal in the frame. Cover the light bulbs themselves with some sandwich bags and an elastic band—or take out of housings altogether. There are those that propose spraying the crystals directly and let them drip dry, or hand rub dry. There are others who say not to. Good luck with that decision.

Schonbek Chandelier Manufacturer: cleaning tips
Kings Chandelier Manufacturer

If you have any questions, contact Teresa Hunsaker at the Family and Consumer Science Education Department at the Weber County USU Extension office at (801) 399-8203 or online at

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