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
(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 www.chandelier.com/care.asp
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 www.extension.usu.edu/weber