It doesn't take long for a light fixture to gather dirt, dust, and grime, dimming both your home's ambiance and your fixtures' ability to put out all the wattage you're paying for.
Whether your fixtures are wall sconces, chandeliers, or ceiling fans - or all three - regular housecleaning should include them. It will help keep them bright, attractive pieces of your home's decor.
And at least once a year - ideally as part of your spring cleaning routine - you should give lighting fixtures a thorough deep cleaning.
This is also a good time to check the condition of your fixture and its wiring, and to make repairs or replacements as necessary.
It's a safety thing.
Turn of the electricity to the fixture - or simply unplug it - before you dive into your housecleaning here. Don't risk the shock of coming in close proximity of a lit bulb with your hands.
As you head up for your housecleaning, check out the territory. If you notice any damage or frayed wires, fix these before you begin cleaning.
Wipe the exterior clean with a rag or dust cloth. You can do this whenever you do your regular house cleaning. Clean it each time you change the bulb.
You don't need to lather on abrasive cleaners to polish up your brass, chrome, steel, nickel or pewter fixtures. Harsh cleaners could mar the wax or sealer that keeps these surfaces looking their best.
Instead, gently rub the surface with a clean, damp cloth.
You'll want to unscrew or otherwise remove the exterior of fixtures from the wall or ceiling when it's time for a deep cleaning or spring cleaning.
Hand wash the exterior glass using a cloth dipped in water and hand dish-washing liquid.
it may be tempting to pop that glass fixture into the top rack of the
dishwasher instead, resist this urge. The heat could break the delicate glass cover, or fade exterior detailing.
dishwasher detergent can scratch or dull the decorative design and
coating on some fixtures. Be safe and wash by hand.
Plastic recessed covers, commonly found in kitchen cabinet under-counter fixtures, can be cleaned in the sink.
Fill the sink with water, add a few squirts of hand dish-washing liquid and gently wash cloudy fixture covers.
For hard-to-reach fixtures, use a stepladder or an extended-reach dust and dirt removal too. Use a vacuum dust brush to keep these looking clean and grime-free.
About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.