How to Clean Iron Fixtures and Chandeliers

Chandeliers are a gorgeous focal point in various rooms. However, they can become unappealing when they get dirty. You can restore the beauty of your chandelier whether it is wrought iron or any other type, when it looses its shine. More than likely all it requires is a good cleaning. Because of the complex designs, if you don’t know how to clean iron fixtures it could become a difficult task.

Equipment & Tools

– 2 or 3 basins, depending upon the size of your chandelier as well as how dirty it is before you clean the fixture

– A commercial cleaning agent or dish-washing liquid

– Glass cleaner

– Soft, non-abrasive washrags

– Rubber gloves

– A step ladder, in order to reach your chandelier, this is essential when you are cleaning the arms and frame

– A large sheet or towel, depending upon the size of your chandelier, as this will catch any drippings from cleaning the various sections attached to the ceiling. You can also us a large piece of plastic. Place it on the floor at the base of the ladder and then lay a sheet or towel for cushioning, on top of the plastic, if you worry that you may knock some of your crystals loose, to prevent damage to them if they should fall to the floor.

The Cleaning Process

1. Remember to turn off the breaker when you are working on any item that has an electrical current, especially when you are cleaning your chandelier.

2. Remove the light covers and light bulbs from the fixture carefully. Never expose the light bulbs to any liquid, as they will burst while hot. Rather you should gently wipe then with a clean soft dry cloth while they are cool and then place the clean bulbs on a soft towel until you are ready to put them back into place. Micro-fiber clothes work well for task.

3. Fill your sink or one of the basins with warm soapy water and then wipe the frame and decorative arms down with this soapy water.

4. In another basin, add clean water and a small portion of dishwashing liquid or the commercial cleaning agent. Use this water to clean the light covers and the crystal droplets of the chandelier. In another basin, you will rinse these items in warm water. You may add approximately ½ cup of ammonia to the rinse water, as this will cause your crystals to sparkle.

5. Remove only a few crystals at a time in order to remember where exactly they came from, since most likely they all look alike. Doing this makes it much easier to put them back in the exact place they belong. Whisk each piece in the soapy water and then rinse. Carefully dry them with a soft rag before you replace them.

6. Turn the breaker back on and survey your handiwork. There should be no cobwebs or dirt remaining and your crystals should sparkle magnificently.

While you are cleaning, check for raw or loose wiring as well as damage or rust. If they need professional attention, make sure this is taken care of as soon as you can.


Cleaning is only one aspect of keeping your wrought iron chandelier light fixtures looking their best. You should maintain them between cleanings. It does not have to take a lot of your time to do a few basic things. During your weekly vacuuming, you should ever so gently touch up the chandeliers. This helps to eliminate any minor coating of airborne particles such as dust adhering itself to the fixture. Keep in mind you can lengthen the lifetime of your wrought iron chandelier, by not having them installed in moist damp rooms. The wrought iron portion of a chandelier can easily rust when exposed to moisture.


If you are unable to take your chandelier apart for cleaning as described above, simply do a wet cleaning. Turn off the breaker and then cover the bulbs with plastic, such as small sandwich bags for protection. Mix a solution of ammonia and some distilled water and then spray it onto your crystals. Allow the run off to drip to the protective covering on the floor. To reduce leaving any water spots, rinse by spraying with distilled water.