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The Best Way To Clean Light Fixtures

The Best Way To Clean Light Fixtures

If the room appears dim or you find the need to strain your eyes while reading a book, then there might be an issue with the light fixture.

Problems with light fixtures are not uncommon, but sometimes there's no need for an electrician. More often than not, the lack of regular maintenance reduces the output, causing the lights to underperform.

Now, with simple cleaning techniques, it’s possible to return the lights to their former condition, thereby illuminating your home. But what are these techniques and are they safe? After all, these are electrical appliances we are talking about!

To help you, we have highlighted some of the most common cleaning and safety methods. So, are you ready to light up your life?

Cleaning Light Fixtures 101

A) Equipment Needed

Cleaning light fixtures is no rocket science, but it's essential to make the required arrangements. You can't just wake up one morning and decide to clean the lights.

Instead, it would help to assess how many light fixtures you have, the kind of lights, and materials you'll require. Also, cleaning takes time, so choose a suitable day to focus only on this task.

We've highlighted some of the basic pieces of equipment required to clean light fixtures:

  1. A duster, preferably one that is extendable and has electrostatic properties.
  2. Step ladder to reach the lights.
  3. Microfiber cloths, as they don't leave lint or scratch the lights.
  4. Cleaning solution and spray; the solution will consist of 3 parts water and 1 part cleaning agent or vinegar.
  5. Dishpan to hold warm water.
  6. For fabric lampshades, you'll need a vacuum or lint roller having an upholstery attachment.
  7. Mild dish soap.

That's all the equipment you'll need. Make sure that you have everything ready one day prior to cleaning.

B) Steps To Clean Light Fixtures

We've divided this guide into two parts. While the first part explains a basic cleaning technique, another section focuses on maintaining individual fixtures. Let’s talk about the former before diving into the details.

Person Holding Light Bulb

1. Switch Off The Lights

Switch off the lights and wait for half an hour to allow them to cool. Most lighting appliances emit heat even after a while, so it's essential to wait, or you may end up hurting yourself.

2. Wipe Surface Dust

The easiest part to clean is the light's surface, for which you'll need a microfiber cloth or electrostatic duster. Sweep the surface gently to remove the dust particles for a brighter output.

3. Removing The Fixtures

Prepare a dishpan with warm soapy water and keep it ready. Then, proceed to unscrew the covers or globes, holding the light with one hand while unscrewing with the other.

If it's an old light fixture, you may find debris or broken parts, so make sure to dump them in the trash. Then soak the dirty covers in soap water for several minutes.

4. Leave Them To Dry

When using a spray solution, don't apply the mixture directly to the lights, as it may seep into its internal components. Instead, use a mild dish soap to wipe the lights before leaving them to dry, along with the globes and covers.

5. Rinse And Wipe

Finally, replace the dirty water and rinse the components with clean water. You’ll then have to wipe the fixtures with a dry cloth and check if the lights are working.

C) Dusting

One simple and effective way of cleaning light fixtures is dusting. Pick a suitable day of the week and make it a point to remove the dust and debris inside the lights.

You can do this without uninstalling the fixtures, using a long dusting tool to reach the dirty spots. Be it chandeliers, ceiling fixtures or recessed light; every appliance requires regular dusting.

Furthermore, weekly dusting keeps the lights in top shape, ensuring that deep cleaning is necessary only two times a year.

D) How To Clean Different Fixtures?

Now, we'll discuss how to clean individual light fixtures. You can note these points down to prepare accordingly.

Person Changing Light Bulb In Roof

1. Chandeliers

Based on the design of the chandelier, it would be best to focus on dusting and annual maintenance to look after the light fixture.

Disassemble the chandelier part by part and have a schematic representation of the installation procedure to ensure that the reassembly is easy. Once you unscrew the components, place them down on a tray or dry cloth before spraying the cleaning mixture.

Clean the components one at a time, while polishing the surface. This gives the chandelier a shiny appearance.

2. Brass Fixtures

Brass fixtures are an integral component of antique lights, making them challenging to clean.

You'll need warm water, soap, and a cloth to wipe the surface of impurities before drying it with a clean towel. But if the tarnish remains, using a polishing agent or metal cleaner will do the trick.

Organic agents like natural acids are also suitable for maintenance purposes. For example, tomato sauce, ketchup, and lemon are common ingredients that act as a natural substitute for polishers.

All you need to do is let the sauce or ketchup sit on the brass for a couple of hours. Then wipe it off, clean the surface with soap, and dry it with a clean towel.

Similarly, cut a lemon, remove the seeds, and apply salt to the sliced area. Rub this combination of lemon and salt over all the brass components, allowing it to rest for an hour. Lastly, clean the surface with a dry cloth and apply mineral or linseed oil for protection.

3. Ornate Light Fixtures

You'll have to exercise caution and be gentle when cleaning ornate fixtures. They are easily breakable, and it's essential to use the right ingredients to retain their classy appearance.

Soap and water will serve as the best combination if you own etched glass or frosted covers. Furthermore, you can add a little vinegar or a mild cleaning agent before drying the components with a microfiber cloth.

You must note that not all glass should be soaked, like polychrome, decals, and painted-on fixtures. The best you can do is use cotton and a suitable cleaning agent to wipe the surface, ensuring that the design remains unaffected. Let it dry naturally so that there are no cloth marks on the surface.

4. Glass Ceiling Fixtures

The first step is to unscrew the lights from the ceiling to prevent damaging the glass. Next, deposit all the accumulated debris and dust into the dustbin before cleaning the internal components.

Using a simple dusting technique, you can restore the quality of the light fixtures without having to wash them. Also, the latter is dangerous and may harm the circuit.

The trick is to use warm water and small drops of dish soap. You can soak them with a wet cloth before wiping them down, making sure that the water droplets that might have crept inside the bulb are absorbed.

Lastly, double-check all the components, reassemble the parts and replace the light. We guarantee that your room will appear brighter.

5. Recessed and Flush-Mounted Ceiling Lights

You'll notice that a recess or mounting holder attaches directly to the ceiling. Consequently, you’ll have to remove the covers first, leaving them to soak in warm, soapy water. While the covers shed their impurities, you can clean the lights with a wet cloth.

Some lights also have a stuck dome fixture, which is challenging to remove. You’ll need to turn the fixture counterclockwise without pushing upwards, and refrain from applying too much pressure. Also, wear gloves as the bulb could break.

Lastly, check if the components are adequately dry before replacing them in their holders.

Is Cleaning Light Fixtures Dangerous?

Truth be told, there is an element of risk when it comes to cleaning light fixtures. For starters, you'll need a suitable ladder that won't wobble while removing the components. And as you'll have to dust at least once a week, owning a quality ladder is a necessity.

What's more, you need to prevent water from seeping into its electrical parts. If you remember, we have discussed wiping the surface of intricate lighting features with a wet cloth, but how wet?

Person Cleaning A Drop Down Light

It's important to ensure that the cloth is moist and doesn't drip water. This is the same reason why it's best not to use a sprayer - you run the risk of damaging the electrical wires.

Long story short, let the fixtures dry thoroughly before replacing them, and ask someone to hold the ladder steady just in case. With the correct precautions and proper cleaning techniques, the lights will illuminate your room for many years.

Cleaning Your Light Fixtures

That's all there is to know about cleaning light fixtures; hopefully, now you have all the information.

Remember, don’t procrastinate and take time out of your busy schedule to dust the lights. Also, check the switch and other electrical components, ensuring that they are functioning smoothly.

On that note, enjoy cleaning. Until we meet again!