How often are you supposed to clean a chandelier? Is 12 years too long between cleanings? What if you hate the chandelier? What if you’re planning on replacing it but just haven’t found the right fixture yet?

These are questions I ask myself every time I go down the stairs. Because that’s when I see this dreaded light and the cobwebs that hang from it to all corners of our front entrance way. Look at it. It’s hideous!

Kate's crappy dusty chandelier needs to be cleaned

I’ve been on the search for a new fixture since we moved into this house 12 years ago. Not a REAL search, but you know… if I’m out and see something that I like, maybe I’ll buy it.

So, 12 years in a stone house that is essentially made from dust and deteriorating. 12 years of pets. 12 years of pretty intensive renovations.

Can you see the line along the top where I dragged my finger to test the dust? NO? Well that’s because there isn’t one. Incredibly, the dust is so thick and “set” that it didn’t come off on my finger!

So how to clean it? Trial and error and a little “help” from the 1-year-old. I could just tell you what worked but because I’ve got all these e-cloths and people want to know what they’re good for, I’ll add what didn’t work.

Oh but first, put some calming music on because this is a $#%& of a job.

Plan A – Leave it hanging and clean it dry (dust)

  1. e-cloth dusting cloth – Probably this would work if you cleaned your chandelier regularly and the dust was loose but in my case, it failed miserably. It picked up some dust but it also kept getting snagged on the little hooks that hold the glass pieces together. Major pain in the ass so I threw it on the floor. Remy (the 1-year-old) picked it up and dusted the wall for me. Nice!
  2. e-cloth High Performance Dusting Cloth – I thought this might be better since it’s nice and shaggy. But like the dusting cloth, it just kept getting snagged. So I threw it on the floor too. Roxy (the dog) put her head down on it and went to sleep.
  3. I’m convinced that you can only use Plan A if you do it once a month.

Plan B – Leave it hanging and use a damp e-cloth

  1. e-cloth furniture cloth – I shook the dog hair out of it and got it pretty damp. Worked better than when dry and less snagging but it still got caught a lot and was just too frustrating

Plan C – Take the glass bits off and wash them in the sink

  1. Eureka! I put the chains of glass in the sink with a tiny bit of dish soap and some vinegar and let them soak for 15 minutes. No wiping required.
  2. While they were soaking, I wiped the main part of the fixture with the damp High Performance Dusting Cloth It worked really well and got in and around the little metal bits. I even used it on the light bulbs.

Now look at it! It’s still ugly as all get-go but wait… do you see them? The little rainbows on the fixture and on the wall? Maybe it’s worth cleaning this darned thing after all! (click on the photos to see larger views)