How to Clean an Antique Chandelier

An antique chandelier, like all chandeliers, needs to be cleaned of dust and grime once in a while. The same principles that apply to cleaning more modern chandeliers apply to the cleaning of older one's too though you just have to use a bit more caution when dealing with older chandeliers.

Unless it is hung in particularly dusty area or where smog or other contaminants are found in the air an antique chandelier should not need to be cleaned more than once every 3 to 6 months depending also on the type of crystal found in the chandelier. Some crystal tends to repel dust while others will tend to attract it.

If a cleaning is called for there are several different ways to do it.

Method 1

If you just purchased your antique chandelier or if it has not been cleaned in a long time the best way to clean it is to remove the crystals and clean them separately from the chandelier itself. It is important to make sure that you are able to put the crystals back on in the same place where they came from. To accomplish this you can either draw a diagram yourself or use what is called a trim diagram which can sometimes be found for a particular brand of chandelier either from the manufacturer if they are still around or from the person you bought the chandelier from. The important thing being to put the crystals back in their place properly. Once removed the crystals can be washed with warm, not hot, water using a mild dish soap, rinsed well, and then dried with a soft, clean cloth before being put back on the chandelier.

Method 2

If the crystals and / or chandelier is not too dirty you can clean the chandelier by leaving the crystals installed. Cleaning them in place. A cleaning solution of one part isopropyl alcohol to three parts distilled water can be used. Distilled water does not contain any mineral contaminants and will not leave any streaks. Likewise the alcohol will mostly evaporate and not leave any residue behind. You will need two white cotton gloves. With one glove moistened with the cleaning solution you can wipe each crystal. Following quickly with second, dry glove to wipe the solution off the crystal. You may need several pairs of gloves to accomplish the job depending on how big your chandelier is.

It is important, especially when cleaning an antique chandelier, that you not use chemical cleansers that will eventually degrade the finish of the chandeliers. Ammonia is one such chemical that should not be used on a chandelier.