Image of a bathroom with a chandelier.

How to clean crystal, glass & brass chandeliers.

Last Updated: November 29, 2021

Chandeliers add gorgeous ambience to any room, but what do you do when they start to lose their sparkle? We’ve got easy tips for cleaning a chandelier without taking it down.

Like anything else in your home, chandeliers require regular maintenance and cleaning to continue looking sparkling and beautiful. Luckily, cleaning crystal, brass, and glass chandeliers doesn’t have to be a difficult process.

If you’re wondering how to get the job done before a holiday or big event, keep reading for the best products and methods to keep your chandeliers sparkling.

What is the best cleaner for crystal chandeliers?

Cleaning a chandelier doesn’t require lots of harsh cleaning products. Instead, the best ingredients to clean chandeliers may already be in your cabinet.

To clean your crystal chandelier or glass chandelier, you need:

For best results, you should clean crystal and glass chandeliers using a combination of either dish soap or isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. Regardless of which solution you choose, you should wear cleaning gloves throughout the process to prevent fingerprints.

Mrs. Meyers cleaning products and Grove Co. cleaning caddy

Become a Grove member

Wondering who Grove is, what types of products we offer, and how to get a free gift set when you sign up? Learn more about flexible monthly shipments, customizing your shipment, and joining millions of happy households — no monthly fees or commitments required.

To clean using the dish soap method:

Mix a small amount of gentle dish soap in a bowl with lukewarm water.

Rinse individual chandelier pieces if you’ve disassembled the fixture, then immediately dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

If the chandelier is still hanging, wipe pieces with a dish soap solution-soaked cloth, then follow immediately with a dry cloth.

To clean using the alcohol method:

Mix one part isopropyl alcohol with four parts distilled water.

If the chandelier is hanging, use a spray bottle to spray the mixture onto a cleaning cloth and wipe down each piece of the fixture.

If you’ve disassembled the chandelier, hand wash each piece in the solution, then dry completely.

Grove Tip

Can you clean a chandelier with vinegar?

Vinegar is ideal to use when cleaning a brass chandelier. A rag soaked in warm distilled white vinegar can be dipped in table salt to create a safe, natural solution for scrubbing tarnished brass and removing buildup. When finished, simply rinse the chandelier with water and dry.

Vinegar may also be used to clean glass chandeliers or crystal chandeliers. Simply mix one part vinegar with three parts warm water; however, this isn’t the most popular cleaning solution for crystal and glass chandeliers.

Using a combination of water and dish soap or isopropyl alcohol may be more likely to leave chandeliers sparkling and streak-free.

Can you clean a chandelier without taking it down?

If you’ve been worried that the only way to clean your chandelier on a high ceiling is to take it down and completely disassemble it, we have good news.

For regular maintenance, you can usually clean your chandelier while it’s still hanging up and fully intact.

Here are 6 basic rules for cleaning a hanging chandelier:

  1. Always turn off the power to the chandelier before working.
  2. Set up alternative lighting so you can see while cleaning.
  3. Wear cleaning gloves to prevent fingerprints.
  4. Place a drop cloth or towel under the fixture to catch any mess.
  5. Only use soft microfiber cleaning cloths with the either cleaning mixture mentioned above.
  6. Don’t rotate the chandelier while cleaning, as this could loosen supports.

5 steps to deep clean a chandelier

Disassembling a chandelier annually may be necessary for deep cleaning.

If you have an old, tarnished, or very dirty chandelier that needs a more thorough cleaning, here’s how to safely disassemble it and get the job done:

  1. Similarly to when you clean a hanging chandelier, cut the power and place a drop cloth on the floor to catch drips and debris.
  2. Take photos of your chandelier to capture the unique hanging pattern. You could also draw it or write down notes on how it’s put together.
  3. Remove chandelier pieces in small sections using needle nose pliers or the appropriate tool.
  4. Clean the piece individually with a damp cloth, then rehang before removing the next piece to avoid confusion.
  5. If your chandelier’s hanging pattern is too intricate or the fixture is too high to reach, call a professional cleaner to prevent possible damage or injury.

For more deep cleaning tricks, watch this video:

How do you make a chandelier sparkle?

Regardless of what kind of chandelier you have, the first step to keeping it sparkling clean is regular dusting. Use a duster every two to three months to remove dust and build-up from the surface of the chandelier.

Here are some other tips to keep every kind of chandelier looking bright and shiny.

Crystal and glass

For added sparkle between cleanings, try a drip wash:

  • Lay a drop cloth on the floor, cut power to the chandelier, and remove the bulbs.
  • Stuff a tissue or cloth in bulb sockets to protect them.
  • Spritz the chandelier with a natural glass cleaner.
  • Let the chandelier drip dry completely without touching it.
  • Remove tissues or cloths and reinsert bulbs once it’s dry.

Note: Ammonia-based products should never be used, as these can create streaks and break down varnish on the metal parts of the chandelier.

Solid brass or antique brass

Brass chandeliers can be kept shiny with simple polishing. After cleaning with a mix of white vinegar and salt, as explained above, buff the brass with some natural essential oils.

To do this:

  • Make sure the chandelier is turned off.
  • Rub the chandelier down with a lint-free cloth dipped in lemon oil.
  • Wash off excess oil with dish soap and water.
  • Dry the chandelier immediately.

Follow Jonathan Van Ness' lead and try plastic-free natural products from Grove

Read more from Grove.