I have to admit, cleaning the light fixtures in my home is one of those cleaning chores that I tend to put off as long as possible. But when I finally get around to doing it, I can’t believe the difference it makes! It gives the room a new life, plus it ensures that I’m getting the most out of the lifespan of my light bulbs. So as painful as it is to consider, this chore definitely needs to be on your spring cleaning “to-do” list!
With clean light fixtures on the brain, today I’m sharing some simple tips for once-a-week maintenance cleaning, as well as some advice on how best to do a deep clean on your light fixtures, whether they’re domes, pendants, chandeliers, or even recessed lighting. Here’s to a bright future! :-)
As I’m sure you’re aware, light fixtures are MAGNETS for dust and dirt…but a weekly dusting should be enough to keep your fixtures from getting buried beneath it. ;-)
I purchased an extendable duster a few weeks ago, and it has made the process of dusting my light fixtures and ceiling fans SO much easier. Not only can I stay firmly on the ground while dusting, but the fuzzy duster head is great at trapping dust and dirt, rather than just knocking it down onto my floors. But if you don’t have an extendable duster, a step ladder and a dry microfiber cloth will work just as well! Or, you can attach a microfiber cloth to the end of your broomstick with a rubber band. Works in a pinch. ;-)
While I’m sure this is common sense, it bears repeating that you should never dust or clean a fixture while the lights are on. Not only would you risk singe your cleaning tools, you also risk burning yourself! You can avoid any issues by turning the lights off and waiting at least an hour for the light bulbs to cool before cleaning.
For fixtures with glass covers, such as dome lights or glass pendant lights, removing the glass will be the easiest and most effective way to clean them.
Support the glass firmly with your hands while you remove the screws or clamps holding it in place. When you’ve safely removed the glass from the fixture, dump any dirt or dead bugs out into the trash, and fill a bucket or your sink with warm, soapy water. Soak the glass in the water for a few minutes. (A warm water bath is recommended here, as it will be the gentlest on your glass. As tempting as it is, washing the glass in the dishwasher could cause the glass to break, and no one wants that!)
While the glass is soaking, take a look at the light bulb(s) themselves and determine if they need any attention. If your bulbs have a dirty film on them, your room may be getting less light than it should be! Using a damp cloth, very gently wipe any residue from your bulbs, and allow the bulbs several minutes to dry completely. Replace the bulbs into their fixtures.
After soaking the glass for a few minutes, use a sponge or cloth to wipe away any remaining grime, then dry it completely with a towel. Replace the glass with the screws or clamps.
If you can’t remove the glass, or would rather clean them in place, be sure to spray any water or cleaning solution onto a cleaning cloth first, not directly onto the fixture!
For those with recessed lighting, you’re in luck – these fixtures are simple to clean! All you need is a quick wipe-down of the inside of each fixture. Carefully remove the lightbulb, and use a microfiber cloth dampened with water (or the water/vinegar solution mentioned below,) and wipe around the sides of the fixture, making sure to avoid the bulb outlet. Wipe down the bulb if necessary, then replace the bulb when it’s dry.
If you have a small chandelier, especially one with dangling crystals or other features, it will be far easier to clean it piece-by-piece at your table or on your floor, rather than trying to clean it in place from on top of a ladder. (For help with dissembling your particular model of chandelier, I would recommend looking it up on YouTube! Odds are you’ll find a great video of some talented smarty-pants who will show you how exactly how it’s done.)
But before you start taking your chandelier apart, be sure to snap a photo of it with your camera phone, so you have a reference to look at when it’s time to put it back together.
To clean your crystal pieces, a couple of microfiber cloths and a diluted vinegar cleaning solution will have them sparkling in no time! Mix 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water, dip one of your cloths in, and wipe down each crystal to gently dissolve any built-up grime. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry each piece immediately, and you’ll be amazed at how much they shine!
A weekly dusting of your ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, and recessed lighting is important, but it’s just as important to give them a deep cleaning once or twice a year. Luckily, remembering to dust regularly will make the deep-cleaning process much easier!
What’s your best tip for cleaning light fixtures?