Before touching the light bulbs, consider switching off the power from the wall or most preferably, the circuit breaker. If the lights were on for a while before disconnecting the power, allow some time for the temperatures to drop before cleaning.
A stable platform such as a stepladder might come in handy when accessing fixtures that are far from reach. Don’t touch the light bulb while hot to avoid burns or glass breaking, especially when it comes into contact with water. For added safety, consider switching off the circuit breaker.
Assemble necessary cleaning supplies
There are a few supplies that you need to equip yourself with when cleaning light fixtures. Have a screwdriver nearby if your fixture requires you to disassemble it before cleaning. Other items that may come in handy include soft, lint-free rags or microfiber cloth, small brush, warm and soapy water, and a soft dry cloth. If your fixture is made of glass components, you might consider adding an effective glass cleaner. Microfiber cloths are always recommended because they are gentle on delicate surfaces and work perfectly when it comes to capturing dust.
Vacuum dusty lamp shades and wipe off glass light fixtures before detaching them. When cleaning, start from top downwards to avoid repetitive tasks. Use a stable and adjustable ladder to access the light fixtures. Chandeliers and other decorative elements can be quite challenging to clean. Take your time with a soft-bristle brush to drive out the dust. Always be cautious when handling delicate fixtures to avoid accidental breakage or damage.
Disassemble if necessary
Light fixtures with removable parts like fabric shades or glass need to be disassembled carefully to allow for thorough cleaning. Use a screwdriver to unwind the screws if you can access them. Remove the shades of sconces, table lamps or ceiling lights and clean them as per manufacturer’s instructions. Detachable glass bulbs and their covers can be twisted anti-clockwise and cleaned separately. Chandeliers can be quite challenging to detach because of their intricate designs. Take note of how you unwind them to make it easier to assemble later.
Wash the light covers
If the crystals of a chandelier are detachable, you need to pay attention on how you remove them to make things easier during reassembly. Dampen a microfiber cloth in warm, soapy water and clean each piece before drying them to avoid leaving water marks. When cleaning flush mount light fixtures and their covers, always leave them to dry completely before reinstalling. All types of light fixtures can be wiped down using a lint-free rag. Just be cautious enough not to exert lots of pressure as it could cause it to shatter. Also, don’t immerse bulbs in water as it could get inside the electrical components. Keep in mind that bulbs stained with stubborn dirt may require replacing.
Reassemble and test the lights
After the light bulbs and covers are dry, they need to be reassembled and tested. Always stay organized when cleaning by arranging the pieces in order to make things easier for you during assembly. Once you have put everything back in place, test their functionality by switching on the lights. Turn it on from the wall or circuit breaker. In case it doesn’t light up, confirm whether you have secured all connections. Lights that flicker or stay dim indicate an issue with the bulb or ballast. When this problem keeps persisting after replacing the bulbs, consider bringing over a professional to fix the issue.
Cleaning light fixtures requires careful planning, and taking precautions when detaching or reassembling. Water and electricity don’t get along so, make sure all cleaned light fixtures and covers are dry before turning on the lights once more. Try not to force anything when dealing with light fixtures as they are made of delicate materials like glass that shatter instantly when heavy pressure is applied on them. Light bulbs that are too dirty to clean or have stubborn dirt may have to be replaced with new ones.