How to Clean Light Fixtures


How to Clean Light Fixtures

It’s essential to clean your light fixtures to ensure quality light in your apartment. Likewise, it can even reduce your gas and electric bill!
It’s an easy task to push off, but the results are worth maintaining. Use the best methods to clean each light fixture to get the longest lifespan out of the lightbulbs!

Dust Frequently

A weekly light fixture dusting will keep dust and dirt at bay. An extendable duster might help with the ceiling chandelier and other hard-to-reach light fixtures.

Deep Clean Occasionally

A weekly dusting is essential, but an annual (or bi-annual) deep clean is critical. Read about the best methods for each light fixture.

Wipe Bulbs

Dusty light bulbs decrease illumination. Wipe down cool bulbs with a dry microfiber cloth.
If a dry cloth doesn’t lift the dirt, dampen the cloth. Try to avoid wiping the electrical contact with a damp cloth.
Do not screw wet light bulbs in. Allow light bulbs to dry completely before replacing them.

Wash Glass Covers

Dome and pendant light fixtures usually have glass covers. Remove the glass covers to clean them. Ensure you have a good grip on the cover while removing its screws or clamps, and dump any dirt or dead bugs directly into the trash.
Soaking the glass cover in a bucket of warm soapy water will be easiest. Do not place warm glass covers in a bucket of warm soapy water.

Do Not Machine Wash Glass Light Fixture Covers

Do not place glass covers in your dishwasher. The covers can be brittle; if it breaks in the dishwasher, you must clean the glass from the bottom.
Use a sponge or cloth to wipe away any grime that survived the soak, then dry it thoroughly with a towel. If the bulbs are dirty, use the steps above to clean them before screwing or clamping the cover back into place.

Can and Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is easy to clean. Turn off the electricity to the room you’re working in (if you can), remove cool lightbulbs from each fixture, and wipe down the sides with a dry microfiber cloth.
For safety, avoid the light socket (even if the electricity is turned off). You can dampen the cloth if tough grime refuses to lift. Ensure the bulbs dry entirely before screwing them back in.


Chandeliers can be tedious. If yours has many dangling pieces, cleaning piece-by-piece at the table or on the floor will be easier.
If your chandelier is one piece (or minimal pieces), you can use a ladder to clean it. Look up your specific chandelier on YouTube for detailed advice.
Take a few photos of your chandelier before you take it apart, making it easy to assemble when you’re done cleaning it.

Chandelier Cleaning

Mix one part vinegar with three parts warm water. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution and gently clean each chandelier piece.
Use a different microfiber cloth to dry each piece as you wash it. If you’re on a ladder, dry each piece after you wash it.

Lamp Shades

Fabric and paper lamp shades can be cleaned in place, or you can remove them. Use a soft upholstery attachment to vacuum lamp shades in place.
Sometimes, a lint roller will suffice if they’re just dusty. Wipe the harp while you’re there and ensure the bulb looks good before moving on.

Safety Tips

First, be mindful that you’re working with electricity. Turn off the power before unscrewing light bulbs and removing light fixtures if possible. Second, be careful when using a ladder and have someone footing the ladder for stability.
Third, light bulbs tend to stick. If a bulb is stuck, use a pair of heavy-duty gloves or cloth to grip the bulb. Fourth, turn the lights off and let them cool for at least one hour before cleaning them. Allowing bulbs to cool will prevent burns.
Fifth, ensure all bulbs, lamp shades, and chandelier pieces are dry before turning the power back on.

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