A dusty or grimy crystal chandelier does not give off the sparkle and brilliance that it is meant to have. Follow these steps to clean the chandelier thoroughly while taking delicate care of each crystal.
Spray and drip-dry cleaning
This method of cleaning is good for regular cleaning to remove dirt and dust every two to six months, depending on the conditions in the room where it is placed. You do not have to remove the crystals from the fixture. First, switch off the power to the chandelier and make sure the light bulbs are screwed on tight in their sockets so that no water enters. For further protection, cover the bulbs with small sandwich bags and tie rubber bands around the bases.
Place a towel or a large bowl on the floor below the chandelier to absorb or catch the drips. For the cleaning spray, you can either use a store-bought crystal chandelier cleaning solution or make your own cleaner. Mix one part ammonia with three parts distilled water, which will not leave watermarks on the crystal such as tap water is prone to do. Alternatively, some crystal chandelier manufacturers believe that hot soapy water is an effective cleaner, while others suggest a mixture of one part isopropyl alcohol to three parts distilled water.
Spray the chandelier thoroughly such that the solution covers all surfaces, but avoid any electrical or wire parts. The chandelier should remain stationary. Let the dirty solution drip off the crystals. Next, spray the crystals with distilled water to rinse off any remaining soap and dirt. An alternative to letting the crystals drip dry is wiping them dry with white cotton gloves. Once the crystals are dry, remove the bags from the light bulbs. Use a soft microfiber cloth dampened with the cleaning solution to wipe down the light wells.
Cleaning individual crystals
If the chandelier has accumulated stubborn dirt and grime, you may need to remove individual crystals from the chandelier to hand wash them. Prepare a sink or basin lined with a soft towel to protect the crystals while washing. Fill the basin with a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Line a second basin the same way and fill it with hot water mixed with ammonia. This will be used for rinsing the crystals.
Carefully remove a few crystals at a time, taking note of where they are positioned on the chandelier. If you need some help remembering, take a digital snapshot of the intact chandelier for reference. Place the crystals in the basin of soapy water and wash them gently, then rinse them in the second basin. Wipe each crystal dry with a clean, soft cloth. Take another cloth, dampen it with the soapy water, and wipe down the frame and arms of the chandelier.
Hang the clean crystals back in place on the chandelier, using a cloth or gloves so that you won’t leave any fingerprints. Repeat the cleaning process with small sections of the crystal parts, until you have cleaned the entire chandelier.