The first thing any King´s Chandelier employee learns is how to clean a chandelier, and with some 200 fixtures in our showroom to keep clean, the knowledge is used quite frequently. What follows is a compilation of some of the techniques we have developed over the years.
Most likely, you will not need to clean your chandelier more than once a year. In many cases, especially with new house constructions, once every two years will suffice. Cleaning a chandelier can be intimidating, but the shining result is well worth the time and effort.
Before disassembling your fixture, always make a diagram of where all the removable bits of the chandelier belong. Take it from us: you may think you know where everything goes, but odds are you will find yourself scratching your head while staring at a mound of crystal.
Make sure to turn off the lights and give the bulbs time to cool. Place a thick quilt or comforter under your fixture to catch any prisms that may drop. You want to provide enough of a cushion to prevent anything that slips out of your hand from breaking or from scratching your table. Most importantly, do not turn your chandelier as you clean it. Keep the fixture stationary while you move around it. If you can reach it, this is a good time to make sure the screw loop is tight.
Cleaning your All Crystal Chandelier...
Carefully remove all of the trimmings, placing the pendants in a plastic colander. Use a small amount of mild dish detergent and rinse the pendants well with hot water. The hotter the water - the fewer the spots. Lay these on a towel for quick drying.
To discourage tangling of the strands, use both hands to hold them (one hand at each end) and place them under running water. Move your hands back and forth so that all of the strands get clean. Again, use a small amount of mild dish detergent and rinse well. Lay these on a towel for quick drying as well. A clothes drying rack is an excellent way to dry the long strands.
To clean the body of the all-crystal chandelier, we recommend dusting the fixtures with a dry cloth. Using your favorite glass cleaner sprayed on to a cloth (never spray into the fixture), wipe and polish all pieces. Dusting first cuts down on polishing later. Do not forget to clean the bulbs.
The less lint your cleaning cloth has, the better results you will have. Some popular low lint choices include cheap paper towels, newspaper, or heavily worn cotton fabric. We actually favor the new type of micro-fiber cloths that are available in either the automotive department or the household cleaning department of many home or discount stores.
Return all hanging pieces to the fixture, working from the inside to the outside. A quick polish on each piece as you go will take care of any lingering drops of water.
For our solid brass fixtures, we recommend that you remove the crystal trimmings and clean in the same manner as described for the all-crystal chandelier trimmings. However, the bodies of the brass chandeliers need only dusting. Do not apply cleaner or brass polish to this brass.
We do not recommend the garden hose or dishwasher method. (Yes, unbelievably, we have had customers try those.) There are many spray-on chandelier cleaners on the market, and these cleaners work well for those who do not have the means to clean their chandelier any other way; however, the old-fashioned method of taking the chandelier apart is the most thorough and longest lasting method. If you really do not want to clean your chandelier, contact local cleaning services and lighting stores for contract workers. King´s has employees with years of experience with whom you can contract to clean your chandeliers, and wall sconces. If you live within a 400-mile radius, contact us for more information.
A few words about dark pinning...
We recommend that you use mild soaps when cleaning pendants. Harsh chemicals can react with the soft metal of the pins causing them to become brittle and dark.
Most pinning will darken with the years, but you can slow this process by using water and a gentle soap.
Should you re-pin?
Re-pinning is a difficult and time-consuming task. Keep in mind that you are most likely to chip each piece as you remove the old pinning.
We generally do not recommend a full re-pinning project. However, as your chandeliers age, it is a good idea to keep a few extra clip or pins on hand so that you can repair pieces as needed.
When you don´t have much time, simply wipe the bulbs and bobeches of the chandelier. This will make a larger difference than you think.
Or, simply use a lint free cloth, no cleaner, and wipe all parts of the fixture.