Cleaning chandeliers is one of our very favourite things to do. We do not use sprays - which leave a residue and can be very damaging - but rather each crystal is very gently cleaned by hand. Although it is meticulous and often painstaking work the results are always so lovely and satisfying. A newly cleaned chandelier is not only utterly beautiful itself, but it also completely transforms the look of a whole room.
At Virtu we always clean chandeliers in situ. If a chandelier is not too dirty, then brush vaccing (with a museum brush vac machine) followed by gentle polishing with microfiber gloves is the best and least invasive method of cleaning. Greasy or layered dirt however requires more intense treatments.
We were recently asked to clean a number of lead crystal and blown glass chandeliers which were really quite dirty – a cloudy film of greasy dirt was covering each crystal – so in this case we used de-ionized water mixed with a very small amount of conservation grade detergent to clean off the dirt. Each crystal was cleaned by hand and then polished using microfiber gloves.
Accessing chandeliers can be challenging. For our recent project we used 'Lift Pods'. These handy machines are great because they allow for such easy movement around the chandelier.
Some chandeliers can be turned while cleaning, and others cannot. Knowing whether you can turn your chandelier is VERY IMPORTANT. (There are some very unfortunate stories of chandeliers crashing to the ground after being unwound from their fitting by people replacing light bulbs. Always be extremely careful.)