30 Dec Chandelier Cleaning Can Be A Daunting Task
Chandelier Cleaning Can Be A Daunting Task
by Keith Campbell, Inventor and Owner of Acu-Bright Chandelier Services
If you find maintaining the chandeliers at your estate overwhelming, you are not alone. Chandelier cleaning presents a unique set of challenges with no easy in house solutions. Chandeliers are often difficult to reach, fragile, complicated to disassemble (see diagram) and they have electrical components that must be handled with care. In addition to these obstacles, chandeliers are generally very valuable and proper maintenance deems that they be serviced annually, or in some locations more frequently. So what are the options for safely caring for a chandelier and keeping it sparkling at all times?
Before reviewing the options, just a word of caution regarding chandelier spray cleaning products. These cleaners claim to be an easy and safe method for cleaning chandeliers but they, in fact, cause significant damage and make subsequent cleanings more difficult. Use of these cleaners can actually void the manufacturer’s warranty (and yes, they will test the damaged area for chemicals). In short, chandelier spray cleaning products, no matter how they are marketed, should never be used on a fixture.
There are really only three options available to properly clean chandeliers. Following is a review of each method.
The most commonly used method is hand cleaning. This option is often believed to be the least expensive because it can be done in house, but it is so labor intensive that there is no actual savings. Proper hand cleaning involves the following steps:
Documentation of crystal parts before removing (pictures are helpful)
Removal of each crystal (ladders or scaffolding may be needed depending on height)
Washing in hot water with a couple of drops of dish detergent
Rinsing in de-ionized hot water
Placing on a soft cloth to dry (hand drying with a microfiber cloth will be necessary to eliminate remaining spots)
Reinstallation of cleaned crystals (wear cotton gloves to avoid fingerprints)
Clamp wires holding crystals for safety (be careful not to stretch pins on swags as this weakens them)
An average size chandelier can contain thousands of crystal parts so allow extra time to properly clean by hand.
(Note: Be sure not to turn the chandelier during cleaning as this can cause an electrical short or in the worst case a fall from the ceiling.)
There are a few small companies that will disassemble and hand clean your chandelier. When choosing a company to hand clean your fixture make sure that:
They are fully insured.
They do not use chemicals or chemical sprays.
They have at least 10 years experience in the field.
They have a large enough crew to complete the job in a reasonable amount of time especially if the chandelier is in a frequently used area.
They are responsible for breakage and dropped crystal
The final option is the use of chandelier cleaning technologies using sound waves and a patented atomizer system. The benefits of these methods are:
These chemical free systems do not harm any portion of the chandelier.
All chandelier styles are cleaned, at least, 85% faster than hand cleaning method.
This touch-less system eliminates breakage of crystal resulting from repeated handling of pieces.
This touch-less system eliminates stretching of pins resulting from excessive handling of pieces.
The advanced equipment accesses areas that fingers cannot reach.
The efficiency of the system makes it the most cost effective method.
The efficiency of the system also makes it the least disruptive to customers.
(Keith Campbell is the only person in the world who designs equipment to clean chandeliers. His inventions have revolutionized the way chandeliers are serviced and his chemical free systems are ensuring the preservation of valuable and historical chandeliers across the country and in Canada.)