When it comes to interior design, lighting plays a crucial role. Light creates an attractive ambiance and gives charm to our homes. However, to make our homes luminous, light fixtures have to be clean. Built-up dust and grime can diminish the amount of light you get and the effectiveness of the lighting. Additionally, accumulating dirt can decrease the life span of the light fixture or produce permanent damage. For all these reasons, cleaning light fixtures should be on everyone’s to-do list. While it may seem like a daunting task, you can make your lamps and lights spick and span with ease with a bit of preparation and know-how. Just follow this simple guide with dos and don’t of cleaning light fixtures.
Prepare all the tools you’ll need
From table lamps to ceiling lights, cleaning all the light fixtures will take some time and preparation. If you rush it, you risk doing a poor cleaning job, or even worse, damaging your lovely light fixtures. For that reason, ensure you have enough time to properly clean all the lights. Also, it’s a good idea to prepare all the tools you’ll need during the process. Here’s the detailed list of everything you might need:
- soft cloths (microfiber would be best)
- warm water
- mild soap or detergent
- a lint roller or a vacuum cleaner with fabric attachment
- a ladder
Safety tips for cleaning light fixtures
Another important thing is to ensure both your own safety and the safety of your light fixtures. Climbing up the ladders and dealing with electricity can pose a risk for injury. Also, many light fixtures are delicate and sensitive, so you need to be careful. Here are some tips to ensure everything goes smoothly:
- turn off the lights
- wait for the bulbs to be completely cool
- ensure the ladder is stable and secure before you climb
- don’t apply too much pressure on the items you clean
- know the type of fixture you’re cleaning
- consider hiring experts for antique lamps or extra valuable pieces
Different types of light fixtures require a different approach
And now we come to the heart of the matter. It’s essential to know what care different types of fixtures need. For example, looking after a stone table lamp is quite different from cleaning a crystal chandelier.
First of all, you need to take care of the bulbs. The best way to clean them is to take them off and gently wipe them with a soft dry cloth. Try not to press too hard, or they might shatter. You could also check their expiration date and replace them if necessary.
If you’re packing your light fixtures for the relocation, it’s best not to take the light bulbs with you. Professionalmoverottawa.com advises to safely dispose of them. Instead, replace them with new bulbs when you arrive at your new home. This is because they break easily, and many of them contain mercury, which can be dangerous.
As they are often very intricate, chandeliers demand special care. Firstly, you need to climb the ladder and bring the chandelier safely down. Before you dismantle it for deep cleaning, take pictures or notes so you can reassemble it later.
Then, put all crystals and pendants into the warm soapy water and let them soak. Meanwhile, clean the base with a damp cloth. After about ten minutes, dry each crystal separately and quickly (to avoid water stains). Reassemble the chandelier and hang it back.
Other ceiling lights
While you should clean all lights gently and without rushing, other light fixtures aren’t as demanding as chandeliers. For example, flush mounts are much more manageable. Remove the covers and soak them in warm, soapy water. Wipe the base with a damp cloth and after you gently dry the covers, put them back.
The same goes for pendants and ceiling fans. Remove the globes and blades and let them soak in warm, soapy water for a while. In the meantime, clean the extensions, cables, or bases with a damp cloth.
Alternatively, if they don’t require deep cleaning, you don’t even have to remove them from the ceiling. Instead, climb the ladder and use the damp cloth to clean all the light fixture parts in question.
Whether the table or floor lamp base is made of glass, wood, or metal, there is a simple way to clean it. Wiping it with a damp cloth (not too wet) followed by a dry cloth (to avoid leaving marks or stains) should be enough for regular cleaning.
On the other hand, if the lamp base requires a more thorough cleaning, use a mild detergent appropriate for the material. Ensure you use a non-abrasive cleaner to avoid damaging the base. Additionally, you can use glass finish, metal finish, or wood polish to give your lamp some extra splendor.
Lampshades are incredibly delicate and require special attention. Whether you are packing them for the move or cleaning them, be careful and gentle when handling them. Glass or metal ones are best cleaned with a damp cloth (like the lamp bases). On the other hand, it’s best to gently vacuum bead or fabric shades. Use the appropriate attachment to avoid damage. Alternatively, you can use the lint roller. And lastly, use the dry cloth to clean any paper shades you might have.
When is the right time to clean the light fixtures?
To keep your lights bright all year round, clean them at least once a week. You can use a simple electrostatic duster (extendable for the ceiling lights) or wipe them with a damp cloth. Also, to achieve the best effect and keep your lighting fixtures in the best shape, it’s a good idea to deep clean them once or twice a year.
Additionally, make sure your light fixtures are well protected during house renovation and similar activities. Also, it would be best if you made cleaning the lights a part of cleaning before moving house, regardless of whether you plan to take them with you or not. Either way, you certainly want to leave everything clean for the next owner or have your beautiful fixtures ready for your new home.
Enjoy your lovely bright home!
We hope you find this guide for cleaning light fixtures practical and helpful. As you can see, there’s no need for delaying or dreading this task. With a bit of patience and effort, your lights will look splendid and brighten your home in no time!
Sarah James is a freelance writer and an interior design enthusiast. When she’s not busy remodeling and decorating her home, she loves sharing valuable decor tips with others. In her free time, she enjoys DIY projects and painting.