Sparkle Plenty, a spray on chandelier cleaner that I tried a few years ago, is amazing in two ways. It works amazingly well and it's priced amazingly high. Here's how to make your own crystal chandelier cleaning for $1.85.
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.
The colour of life's essential elements - the water, the sky, and the Windex.
I've always owned at least one crystal chandelier and dreaded cleaning it so much I just didn't. 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.
So months, sometimes years, after I should have, I'd take the chandelier apart and wash all the crystals by hand with Windex. Sometimes I'd put all the chandelier crystals into the the dishwasher to clean them.
There had to be a better (easier, less annoying) way.
I'd known about spray cleaning chandeliers for years but never bought the stuff for fear it would be money wasted. But for the sake of this blog and science I went out and stole some from my local hardware store.
I created a diversion by pointing at 1 of the 15 men in the hardware store wearing a plaid shirt and a beard, and yelled OH MY GOD IT'S BOB VILA.
30 seconds later he was being mobbed for selfies and I was strolling out with a bottle of Sparkle Plenty stuffed in my socks. Stealing household cleaners is a rite of passage every person should experience once.
Once I got home I tried it, it worked and I got to work deciphering what exactly Sparkle Plenty was made out of.
All you do is spray the cleaner on your chandelier (a lot ... you have to spray so much that it's actually dripping off your chandelier) and the dirt drips away.
Repeat until the water dripping off of the chandelier is clear.
Sparkle Plenty smelled like Windex so that's where my research started; figuring out what Windex is made of.
After an hour or so I had formulated a recipe for a DIY chandelier cleaner that would cost a fraction of what the Sparkle Plenty would have cost had I paid for it.
Sparkle Plenty is around $12 for a 32 ounce bottle. This DIY version will cost $1.85 for the same amount.
Table of Contents
DIY Spray Chandelier Cleaner
Most cleaning products are made up of distilled water and a bunch of other stuff. Often either ammonia or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).
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.
Because I had both things on hand, I mixed a concoction of 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts DISTILLED water.
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.
How to Spray Clean Your Crystal Chandelier
- 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.
Cleaning a Really Dirty Chandelier
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 or Windex and rubbing each crystal clean.
Sorry. 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 super-cool chandelier cleaning 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 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.
The smell will transport you back to another rite of passage in your life. 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 piercing your lobes with a rusty old hole punch she grabbed from her pencil case.
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OMG! You totally took me back to the mall where I got my ears pierced. Then one earhole grew back in, and my mom repoked it with a large darning needle!!! And then I promptly passed out on the bathroom floor! Probably why I don't have any other piercings... okay - there's other reasons, but you get it...
Karen, the alcohol in the cleaner sounds good. However. I'm an ammonia fan and I use it to clean just about any filmy/greasy formerly shiny thing.
A big bonus with ammonia is that it also shines most metals. I see that the little metal clips holding the crystals up are still dark after using alcohol cleaner. If you use about 2-4 tblsp ammonia (depending on the grease level) to a litre of distilled water (make the solution very warm), I bet you a green egg laying chicken that it will work better!
I have managed apartment buildings for 20 years and have learned a few great cleaning tips.
Extra tip: Soak that heavily greasy metal screen under your stove hood in 50/50 ammonia/water .. 10 minutes and a little go-over with a small brush .. ta da! sparkling clean!
I could go on. Really, an amazing grease cutter with no residue and it's environmentally friendly. And cheap, even without sticky fingers.
By the way, in my daredevil youth, I pierced my own ears with a darning needle poked through into a raw potato. I used alcohol for the needle. :-)
I have ammonia and rarely use it. I should read the label....
So, on the topic of cleaning.....why do the top shelves in my (sliding door) closet get so dusty? Actually, any clothes not worn in some time get dust on shoulders. Where does it come from - the doors are almost always closed????? Trying to find some travel supplies I think I inhaled about a quart of ancient dust.......and found an old hat. Dusty hat.
Dust is teeny. It gets through every little hole. And your clothes themselves make dust...every time you get something out of the closet, or put something in, you are creating dust. (insert dust to dust comment/joke here)
My favorite color is blue. It's so calming. I wonder if this would work on car windows. It may be too messy inside the car. I have all the ingredients so I'm gonna find out, lol. If it's a fail I can still use it on my chandelier.
Our mid-century modern home came with a fabulous chandelier that was coated in 50 years of nicotine. Testament to the world of modern medicine that the previous owner managed to live that long. No amount of hand scrubbing in hot soapy water could clean it. Until I found my husbands motorcycle parts cleaner and it cleaned those crystals into sparkly brightness with zero effort on my part. I think the name was something manly - like Purple power - and, well, the container was emptied on my project and the evidence destroyed. Smile. Our chandelier looks better than the motorcycle!
Careful using alcohol or the like on the teapots if they are hand painted (not glazed) on the outside at all. The paint will melt off. I have a Snoopy cookie jar that has silver & red painted on top of the glaze, and my Mom (trying to be helpful) sprayed it with Windex, and....you can guess why that area is not only clear white glaze.
I am officially asking for a Snoopy cookie jar for Christmas.
Another tip for a chandelier that is a big mess is to unhook the crystals and stick them in the dishwasher. That's what I did with mine! It used to belong to my grandmother and had went through a house fire. The crystals were covered in soot and they came out perfect! (I put the crystals in the utensil baskets with the top down. And if your chandelier is very elaborate be sure to snap a pic of it first!)
Oh, how I love a good read in the morning! The feeling of joy and smiles comes to mind.
It worked, thank you for this wonderful article. I did exactly you said . to make thihgs easy , biught a fertilizer spray used for plants, pumped it wit pressure, spraying beacme easy and effective.
ISo propyl is not that easy to buy, but got hold of some ( electronic grade ) mixed in ratio 2.5:1.
conclusion it looks much better than before but 50% if i do with hands.
Excellent. You've reminded me I need to do my chandelier. ~ karen!
I stumbed on this and just lost a serious amount of time reading all the entries. You all crack me up!! I will now go try the chandelier recipe and see how it goes. If you hear from Bob Villa, please send him over, I have a whole lot of renos he could help me with😀
Did you actually steal the bottle of cleaner? That is retail theft for which you could be prosecuted. Is it worth it? Further, shoplifting makes us all pay more due to the store's loses.
I’m pretty certain she was just kidding!😉
That is a formula all over the internet. The below comment is comical.. this works I made a gallon for under 1.49
Do you understand sarcasm?
I REALLY dont think anyone would write about how they just robbed a bank?????
What if this home made cleaner gets on the metal parts that the crystals hang from? Will it damage it or change the color?
I didn't see a mention of denture cleaner. If you remove the crystals from the fixture, soak them in water and effervescent denture cleaner (like Polident). Once the water has turned clear, you have beautifully clean crystals with no residue. Dry and rehang.
Bought this house & it has a nice chandelier (don't mind it all, I feel like a high class lady), but it has plastic amber hanging thingies. Do you think this solution will harm them & metal?
I actually have no idea, lol. I have a hunch it would be fine but I'd just do a test with one crystal. ~ karen!
Yes I make my own window cleaner too. Have for years. I find a couple drops of laundry bluing added to it made the glass shine and with no spots.
Surely you meant 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, and NOT 'rubbing' alcohol which has oil added and is only ~70% ??
not hand sanitizer
Wow! that is a BIG chandelier! I'm glad I don't have to clean it too. Because of the current situation, I haven't seen isopropyl alcohol in a long time. I'm (for now) saving mine to add to my foaming soap dispenser as a substitute for commercial hand sanitizer. I cleaned my small chandelier in the past with just water and a few drops of Dawn and let it drip dry. It worked but I think this would work better. Thanks for the tip.
And I trust this will also clean the grease and gunk off of my milkglass kitchen globes without having to stand on a ladder to unscrew all six of them.... That's a win. Still don't have a chandelier, but might contemplate one now that I can make this spray!
It will! But as with the chandelier you're gonna have to suck it up and clean them by hand one more time before you start using chandelier cleaner if you've got an abundance of grease and gunk, lol. ~ karen!
I clean Crystal Chandelier professionally. That spray and drip would rust your light fixture. If to dusty it will look muddy after it dries.
As a professional crystal chandelier clear. What do you recommend, I just want to do it right the first time.