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Four Products You Should Never Use On a Chandelier
by Keith Campbell, Acu-Bright, Inc.         download download pdf

Four Products You Should Never Use On a Chandelier

by Keith Campbell, Acu-Bright, Inc.

Have you ever googled instructions on how to clean a chandelier? Try it and youʼll come up with several different methods. Many will tell you to spread a large cloth under your chandelier and then spray it with your "favorite" cleaner, allowing the dirty solution to drip onto the cloth. No fuss, no muss, right? Wrong.

Cleaning a chandelier may seem a simple process, one that requires no special know-how. But contrary to popular belief, the cleaning and maintenance of your expensive chandelier is of utmost importance to preserving its beauty and functionality for years to come. Here are four products you should NEVER use to clean your chandelier.

1. Harsh soaps

2. Any chemical-based cleaner

3. Ammonia-based products

4. Citrus orange cleaners

And why not?
Harsh soaps and chemical-based cleaners loosen and remove the protective lacquer coating on the metal. The metal and pins are the first to go, then the silver and brass banding. Over time, the chemical residue affects the crystal, and in extreme cases, the metal actually oxidizes onto the crystal.

To a chemist, this actually makes perfectly good sense. Ammonia, citrus orange, and other chemical cleaners are water-based. When the water evaporates, a residue is left behind. Unless the fixture is wiped completely dry, this residue can react with the metal portion of your chandelier and damage it. The glass crystals also become cloudy for the same reason.

Perhaps a greater danger presents itself when residue is left in the light sockets. This not only can cause the bulbs to burn out quickly, but it can also, in some cases, start a fire.

Another important reason to avoid these cleaners relates to your warranty. Return policies may vary among manufacturers and retailers, but thereʼs one thing on which they all agree. No one will accept a return on a product thatʼs been cleaned using harsh soaps or chemicals. And even when a cleaning product is labeled "for chandeliers," theyʼre not always safe.

So how should you clean your chandelier?
The best way is simply to dust it; or you may use a tiny amount of very mild liquid detergent solution (about a drop to a gallon of water). Although it will take longer, itʼs recommended you take the chandelier down and clean the crystals by hand, being careful not to touch the metal. Disassembling a large chandelier can be a daunting task, so itʼs best to mark each piece or make a diagram of where the pieces go before you begin.

Of course if you choose to hire a company to do the job, thereʼs another option. A method, less well-known but extremely effective, is a cleaning process that uses water and sound waves. Called "Aquasonics," this process is being used in many of our state capitols, as well as in Washington, DC. With Aquasonics, a chandelier can be cleaned in place without removing any of its parts. And best of all, the cleaning process does virtually no harm to the crystals, wiring, or any of the other surfaces—or to the environment. In addition, this process saves time, and the effects last longer.

Whatever method you use to clean your chandelier, the results will always be well-worth the cost and effort, because a clean, sparkling chandelier is a beautiful sight to behold and one that adds a touch of class to any venue.




Keith Campbell is the owner of Acu-Bright, Inc., a company that cleans and restores the most valuable and historical chandeliers in the United States and Canada. Acu-Brightʼs patented cleaning process (Aquasonics™) uses water and sound waves to safely and effectively restore chandeliers to their original beauty. Aquasonics is the only cleaning method of its kind in the world. Contact Tel: 800-927-4448.