How to Clean Indoor Lights - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Stop paying for electricity you don’t benefit from, clean your lights! Dust on lamps and lampshades – as well as on light bulbs – seriously dims your rooms. The heat from the bulb draws dust to the shade and only periodic cleaning – every other month is good – gets it off.

Don’t forget to clean the light bulbs themselves, which get dustier than the shades. Wipe over them with a microfibre cloth.

Take lampshades off before cleaning them so that you can get at both sides. Vacuum robust fabric and plastic lampshades with the crevice attachment. For delicate shades made of paper, use the brush tool.

When vacuuming isn’t enough, take fabric lampshades to the bathroom. Stand them on a plastic mat in the bathtub and clean them very gently using a sponge dipped in a solution of washing-up liquid. Rinse with a damp sponge and dry them with a hairdryer on the lowest setting if necessary. Only put back shades that you are certain are totally dry.

Never wet paper shades. If dusting won’t do, consider replacing.

If you have wall- or ceiling-lights with glass fitments, consider buying a proprietary spray that lets you clean them in situ. Taking down glass fittings can be a big task, so save this for every six months or so at a time when you’re not rushed. Always turn off electricity. The skill is remembering how to hang it all together again afterwards.

Chandeliers can be deceptively heavy, so consider making this a two-person job. Lay thick material on the floor, under the light. Carefully undo your fittings and lay them on the fabric. Wipe over every surface with a microfibre cloth, or a slightly damp linen cloth. Refit with care.