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How To Clean a Crystal Chandelier Safely and Quickly

How to clean a crystal chandelier

My grandparents had a crystal chandelier, and I remember looking at it as a kid and wondering, has anyone ever cleaned that thing? Crystal chandeliers are like magnets for dust, but they make for a really interesting light fixture. I’ll show you how to clean a crystal chandelier so you can hopefully avoid calling in a professional cleaning service for this project. Luckily my method is relatively simple and requires just a few things you already have around the house. 

Before You Begin: Important Tips

When cleaning a crystal chandelier, your biggest challenge is ensuring you do no damage. These light fixtures are expensive, and let’s not forget we are working with electricity here. 

  • Turn Off Electricity. Ensure the light switch is off before cleaning your chandelier to prevent electrical hazards
  • Avoid Spraying. Do not spray the entire chandelier with a cleaning solution to prevent a mess
  • Wear Gloves. Use white cotton gloves to minimize fingerprints during the cleaning process
  • Use a Drop Cloth. Place a drop cloth under the chandelier to protect the floor or furniture
  • Choose Safe Cleaners. Steer clear of hot water, abrasive materials, and ammonia-based cleaners to protect the crystal
  • Be Cautious with Mixtures. Exercise caution when combining cleaning methods to avoid damaging the chandelier or causing harm to yourself

How To Clean a Crystal Chandelier

The best cleaner for crystal chandeliers is a mixture of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and water. The isopropyl alcohol is good at removing grease, grime, and built-up dirt. In addition, it dries incredibly fast, making it a great streak-free glass cleaner. 

Supplies and Tools

Step 1: Prepare the Area

Start by turning off the light switch to your chandelier; not only do the light bulbs create heat but using the cleaning solution in combination with the electricity is not a smart decision. Place a drop cloth under the chandelier fixture to ensure that dust and debris are not spread throughout the home. 

Step 2: Create the Cleaning Solution

Create a cleaning solution with 1 Tbsp of isopropyl alcohol and 4 Tbsp of water and place it in a spray bottle. Put on white cotton gloves as your fingerprints can be difficult to remove from the crystal pieces.

Can You Clean Crystal Chandeliers With Vinegar?

Vinegar can be used to clean a crystal chandelier. However, with the isopropyl alcohol drying faster than the vinegar solution, it often makes a better choice. The cleaning process with the vinegar will be almost identical; using a microfiber cloth with a 3:1 vinegar solution on the cloth should get the chandelier crystals to have a streak-free shine. 

Step 3: Dry Dusting

Use a feather duster to lightly remove any of the dust that is sitting on the crystal pieces. Do this before any of the crystal pieces are wet, as it will help to remove the dust with ease. Work slowly so as not to disturb any of the chandelier pieces. 

Step 4: Gently Wipe Down Each Crystal

Spray a small amount of the cleaning solution onto a lint-free cloth (not directly onto the chandelier). Wipe each of the crystal pieces with the damp cloth. Work from the top down so any falling dust or debris lands on crystals you haven’t cleaned yet.  

Step 5: Dry and Turn the Power Back On

Isopropyl alcohol evaporates incredibly quickly, but you will still want to use a dry cloth to wipe down each crystal after it is cleaned. When finished, turn the power back on with the wall switch. 

How To Clean a Chandelier With the Crystals Removed

One of the most popular methods for cleaning a crystal chandelier that needs a more thorough cleaning is to remove all of the crystals, wash them individually, and then put them back in place. Many people ask, can you wash chandelier crystals in the dishwasher? Cleaning crystal chandelier pieces in the dishwasher is not recommended because the heat and pressure are too much. Instead, use mild dish soap and water. 

Step 1: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Create a cleaning solution that mixes warm water with just a few drops of mild dish soap. I put the cleaning solution in a small bowl or container so that I can dip my soft cloth in as I clean. 

Step 2: Wipe Down Each Crystal

Wipe down each crystal with a bit of the cleaning solution and the microfiber cloth. Be sure to protect the crystals from fingerprints by wearing white cotton gloves. In addition, make sure you are storing the cleaned crystals in a safe and dry place before you put them back on the chandelier. 

Step 3: Dry 

As you clean each crystal piece, dry it. The longer you let it stay wet, the more water spots you will encounter. 

Step 4: Carefully Put Back Together

Put your chandelier back together, ensuring you keep your fingerprints off the glass. Make sure each one is dry as you are placing them back. 

How To Keep a Crystal Chandelier Clean

Now that you have gone through the process of cleaning your crystal chandelier, which can sometimes take hours if you have a large one, the last thing you want to do is be stuck doing this again next week. Here are a few tips to help keep your crystal chandelier clean and make these deep cleans a less frequent occurrence. 

  • Dust the chandelier often, every other week should be sufficient to keep dirt and grime from building up
  • Avoid touching the crystals to prevent the need to clean off fingerprints, oil, and dirt
  • Use air filters in your home to cut down on dust and dirt in the air 
  • Keep the area around the crystal chandeliers clean by regularly vacuuming, mopping, and dusting 

When To Call for a Professional Crystal Chandelier Cleaning

If you have a crystal chandelier showing signs of damage or discolor or has never been cleaned, you may want to talk to a professional. In addition, if your crystal chandelier is too difficult to access with a short ladder or it is a very expensive piece, consider calling a professional. The professional will avoid harsh chemicals and ensure your chandelier is not damaged. 


Britt Olizarowicz