Blue is the most loved colour around the world. Blue! Even among women in Thailand. Women everywhere as a matter of fact. That’s right. The favoured colour among the majority of women in the world is not pink or purple or polkadotsparkle. It’s blue.
Blue. The colour of earth’s essential elements. The water, the sky, the Windex. As long as we have those 3 things we can survive any attack.
We like our cleaning supplies. We like how they smell like lemon or lavender or my personal favourite, the sweet, sweet smell of bleach. In fact it was the smell of Windex that led me to figuring out a way to clean my crystal chandeliers without having to wipe every single crystal.
I’ve had at least one chandelier in this house since I moved into it and at one point I had 3. One in the kitchen, one in my laundry room and one very large pink one in the dining room. The one in the kitchen was always a total mess and to clean it I’d put some of the larger crystals in the dishwasher and the rest in the sink to hand wash. It was a pain, I hated it and therefore I never did it. A crystal chandelier loses a bit of its charm when it’s covered in grease and cat hair. Unless you’re one of those avant garde types.
I’ve known about spray cleaning chandeliers for years but I’ve never bought the stuff for fear it would be money wasted. But for the sake of this blog and science, 4 weeks ago I went out and stole some from my local hardware store. I walked in, I created a diversion by throwing a plaid shirt at a guy with a beard who was looking at screwdrivers and screaming OH MY GOD IT’S BOB VILA. 30 seconds later I was strolling out with a bottle of Sparkle Plenty and the store manager was taking a selfie with a very bewildered man.
Once I got home I looked at Sparkle Plenty, sniffed Sparkle Plenty and confirmed what I thought. It smelled like Windex. I then tried Sparkle Plenty on half of my chandelier.
All you do is spray it on your chandelier (a lot … you have to spray so much that it’s actually dripping off your chandelier) and the dirt supposedly drips away. Repeat until the water dripping off of the chandelier is clear.
It worked. Like, it actually did what it said it was going to.
In a world where most things don’t do what they claim they’re going to do this was almost too much for me to handle.
I had to take a nap. Also I was extremely tired after my busy day of dodging cops and browsing Google for some of the more delicate gang tattoos.
After a bit more research I came up with a recipe for a DIY chandelier cleaner that would cost a mere fraction of what the Sparkle Plenty would have cost had I paid for it.
Sparkle Plenty is around $12 for a 32 ounce bottle. Which really isn’t all that much and if you insist on actually purchasing things as opposed to stealing or making them yourself because a 32 ounce bottle would last a long time. I can highly recommend Sparkle Plenty. BUT … I wanted to try to make my own.
Most cleaning products are made up of distilled water and a bunch of other stuff. Often either ammonia or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
Because I had both things on hand, I mixed a concoction of 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts DISTILLED water. After checking the MSDS and online ingredients of Sparkle Plenty I discovered the main ingredient is distilled water. The reason for that is distilled water will evaporate without leaving any mineral spots on the crystals. See? Everything is better once it’s distilled. Just ask barley or rye.
I took my homemade chandelier cleaner over to the other half of my chandelier and started spraying just like I did with the Sparkle Plenty. The results were exactly the same as far as I could tell.
The one difference I noticed is that the Sparkle Plenty seemed to have something in it to make it a tiny bit thicker. It didn’t drip off quite as quickly as my homemade chandelier cleaner. Something that made it almost a bit glycerin-like, but I don’t think it actually contains glycerin.
Point is, drip dry chandelier cleaner works whether it’s store bought (stolen) or made.
- Cover the floor or table underneath the chandelier with towels.
- Turn off the light.
- Cover the lightbulbs and sockets with plastic so the spray doesn’t get in them.
- Spray the chandelier continuously until the drips coming off of it are clear. Not gucky.
If your chandelier is a total disaster, like the one in my kitchen that was covered in 10 years of french fry grease, then you’re gonna have to hand clean your chandelier by spraying a microfibre cloth or glove with chandelier cleaner or warm soapy water and rubbing each crystal clean. That’s just the way it is and you’re going to have to suck it up, but I’m sure you can because you’re tough, you’re resilient, you’re part of the gang.
Once you do that horrible job one time, you’ll be able to maintain your chandelier by just spraying it with a chandelier cleaner. I’d say maybe 3 or 4 times a year.
The smell will immediately transport you back to sitting in a chair at the mall, while the most qualified of all medical professionals, a teenage girl working in a junk jewellery store, wipes your earlobes with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol before slamming your lobes into a rusty old hole punch she grabbed from her pencil case.
So the choice is yours. Store bought or homemade with Isopropyl Alcohol. They both work. The store bought cleaner will cost you $12-$15 for 32 ounces. The homemade cleaner will cost you $1.85 for the same amount. A 32 ounce bottle will last for several chandelier cleanings.
(These costs have been calculated assuming that while you may have a sticky chandelier, you do not have sticky fingers)