Have dinner parties seemed a bit dull lately? To make evenings at home sparkle, try cleaning your crystal chandelier.
Step 1: Unplug the fixture Unplug the fixture or turn off the electricity in the room you're working in. While you let the bulbs cool, move all furniture and breakable objects out of the work area.
Step 2: Put a blanket on the floor Place a thick blanket on the floor under the fixture, which will soften the fall should you accidentally drop a crystal prism.
TIP: Before you take it apart, take some digital photographs of your chandelier to help guide the reassembly.
Step 3: Remove the bulbs Climb your stepladder and remove all the bulbs in the chandelier. Set them aside.
Step 4: Cover the sink bottoms Place two large bath towels on the counter: one for dirty crystals, and one for clean ones.
TIP: Placing pieces in a plastic colander inside the sink is another way to protect the crystals before you wash them.
Step 5: Clean in sections Carefully remove the crystals from a section of the chandelier, and place them on the first towel. Wash them in the soapy water, rinse in hot water, and wipe dry. Then place them on the second towel. When you're done with the section, replace the prisms before moving on to the next section. Repeat until you've cleaned all the crystals.
TIP: Wash crystals The tiny wires that connect the prisms to the frame can be tricky to unfasten. A pair of needle nose pliers helps. Try not to bend and unbend wires unnecessarily as they can break.
Step 6: Wipe and buff frame Dampen a rag in the soapy water, wipe down the frame of the chandelier, and buff dry. Be careful not to get the wiring wet. Metal frames should be cleaned with an appropriate metal cleaner. Let the frame dry completely.
TIP: If your chandelier is looking shabby even after you clean it, you can find several sites on line that sell replacement prisms.
Step 7: Reassemble Reassemble your fixture, being careful not to twist the chandelier too much, since you can loosen it from the ceiling. Turn the fixture back on and marvel at your room's brilliant new vibe.
FACT: Legend has it that Galileo discovered the law of pendulum motion by looking up at a cathedral chandelier during a church service.