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Lighten Up: How to Clean Light Fixtures

The cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID know that dust and grime builds up on light fixtures throughout your house.

Here are some great cleaning tips:

  • Table Lamps:  Turn off lights and remove their shades and bulbs. Wash the removable parts with regular soap and wipe the fixed parts with a damp cloth.
  • Shades: Dust the shade from top to bottom. If dirt remains, you can clean washable lamp shades in the bath tub or laundry sink. But be careful – the fabric may be washable, but the glue that holds it together may not be. Most fabric lampshades can be dry-cleaned. For paper lampshades, dust with corn flour to absorb any stains. Leave for 24 hours, and then gently brush the residue off with a duster.
  • Chandelier: To clean a chandelier or other elaborate light fixture, turn off at the switch and give the lightbulbs time to cool down. Place newspaper or a towel on the floor to catch drips. Without dismantling the chandelier, immerse each pendant for a few seconds in a container of hot water and vinegar, and allow to drip dry.
  • Ceiling Fan: If your ceiling fan has a light fixture, turn it off and then unscrew the light fixture (once cooled) and wash it in the sink with warm water and dish soap. Rinse and dry before reattaching.
  • Fluorescent and Track Lighting: Dust the hardware and bulbs with an extendable duster. Unscrew the metal ceiling mounts and wipe with a cloth rinsed in water and dish soap. Re-attach.

Now all your lights should be as bright as bright can be!

Note: For safety sake, it’s important to always unplug lamps before cleaning and never plug in any appliance with wet hands (this puts you at risk of an electrical shock). Of course, if cords are frayed, don’t plug them back in either. For cleaning wall-mounted lights, turn off the electricity at the fuse box.