If you own a crystal chandelier, you might love the classical touch of beauty it brings to the room. You might also know that its beauty can fade as its sparkle becomes dulled by layers of dust and grime. Cleaning it might not sound like the easiest chore on the list, but depending on how dirty it is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are three methods that will put back the shine with varying degrees of ease.

For all of these methods, you can either purchase a special chandelier cleaner, such as Sparkle Plenty, from a lighting retailer; or you can make your own solution of one part isopropyl alcohol to three parts distilled water.

Safety first – before starting, turn off the chandelier and give the bulbs plenty of time to cool down.

White Glove Method – This method can be a little tedious, but it doesn’t require taking the chandelier apart, and it creates very little mess. Put on a pair of white cotton gloves. Dampen one glove with your chosen cleaning solution, and keep the other dry. Working one crystal at a time, rub each one with the damp glove until it is clean, and then repeat with the dry glove to dry and prevent streaking.

Drip Dry Method – This is probably the easiest and quickest method, but also the messiest. First, cover the area underneath the chandelier with a drop cloth, some newspaper or an old sheet. Place a plastic bag over each light fixture and secure it with a rubber band to prevent any liquid getting into the sockets. With a spray bottle of solution, spray the chandelier from different angles, making sure to cover each crystal. Blot up any liquid that settles on any relatively flat surfaces, let dry overnight, remove the plastic bags, and you’re done!

Removal Method – This is the most involved method, but it is also the most thorough, and may be necessary if it’s been a long time since the chandelier’s last cleaning. The good news is, you only need to do this once to get it really clean. After that you can use one of the above methods for regular maintenance.

It’s a good idea to take a picture of the chandelier before you begin, so you’ll remember how to put it back together. Another good idea is to work on a section at a time, using the remaining sections as a guide to rehanging the crystals.

Line both sides of the kitchen sink with soft towels (if your sink only has one basin, you’ll need a dish pan or large bowl). Fill the first basin with water and gentle dish soap. In the second, place the cleaning solution mentioned above. Carefully remove the crystals and wash them in the soap and water solution. While they soak, dust the chandelier’s hardware and clean it with cleaning solution.

Once the crystals are free of spots, rinse off the soap and dip them in the second solution to bring out the sparkle. Wipe them dry with a soft, clean cloth, and place them on a soft surface until you are ready to return them to the chandelier. Once both the crystals and the hardware are dry, re-hang the crystals, referring to either the photo you took at the beginning or the sections you left untouched to make sure they’re hung correctly. When you’re done, turn on the lights and admire your chandelier now that it’s returned to its former glory!

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