This antique crystal chandelier hung in my mom Nadine’s house for many years.
When we cleaned out her house no one else wanted it. There were even under the breath mumblings of “It’s ugly.”
I pleaded its case “It’s an art deco chandelier. With real crystals.”
Lucky me. :)
It arrived safely in a box in November (Thanks Sharalyn!). I knew it would be a bit of a project. Possible rewiring, installation, the silver support bands really needed polishing and the crystals had not been cleaned in years.
I was SO eager to get it cleaned and hung as I had the perfect place in mind for it. The lavender guestroom.
Because this was the fixture that was in the room. (It came with the house.)
A lacquered Victorian ceiling fan. Any takers?
Given the chandeliers age and delicate condition I researched various cleaning methods before settling on what I felt was the best and safest way.
Note: You can also use this method on newer glass crystal chandeliers too.
For those of you who are old school and prefer photos, here is the layout. I used jewelry pliers to remove the crystals from the chandelier.
Lay the dirty crystals on a soft towel to protect the delicate glass.
Line a double sink or two plastic basins or pots each with a towel.
Fill one side with HOT water and mild detergent to clean the crystals.
Fill the other side with HOT water and 1/4 cup of ammonia to rinse the crystals in. The hot water helps prevent water spots. The ammonia provides a bit of extra cleaning and sparkle.
It should be noted that while the addition of the ammonia does provide unmatched sparkle, over the years it also darkens the pinnings (the wire hardware) on the crystals.
If this is something you wish to avoid then don’t add the ammonia to the hot rinse water.
As the pinnings on this chandelier were already dark I went for the extra dazzle!
Once you have washed and rinsed the crystals, dry them with a soft linen or cotton cloth. Do not use terry cloth to dry as the pinnings could get caught in the terry cloth loops and stretch out the wire.
Lay the crystal on a soft towel (terry cloth is ok) to protect it while you wash the rest of the crystals.
Here you can see the cleaned crystal on the left and the dirty crystal on the right. A truly big and bright improvement!
Safety tip: With old chandeliers it is a good idea to get the wiring checked by a lighting professional or electrician before installation. I am lucky that Mr. Décor possesses such skills.
Once the chandelier was hung I began attaching the clean crystals back on to the metal tiered hoops.
A close up of the lovely Art Deco design. Much of the silver plating has worn away but I still love it.
Now for your Monday viewing pleasure, a few bloopers.
Two right hands.
Rudi decides to bark in the backyard. Loudly. Continuously.
I am tongue tied.