As the Butler in a billionaire's household, something I'm often asked is "How do you clean your chandeliers?" And my answer is always "We don't. We get someone else to do it!"
Cleaning a chandelier is one of the most tedious time-consuming tasks known to mankind. So if there's any way you can avoid it, don't even think about doing it yourself. Among other chandeliers in this house, in the dining room we have an enormous Baccarat - three tiered with forty-six lamps. There's several dozen large crystals and literally hundreds of small ones, including the ones on beaded loops. Honestly, there's just no way can we clean this monster ourselves.
But here's what I know, and what we do around here:
1) First and most important, there's several products on the market that ask you to spread a drop-cloth below the chandelier, then spray all the crystals with their product. Supposedly all the dirt, grime and soot will just drip off. But nay, not so! None of them work very well, they all leave the crystals streaked and cloudy, so don't waste your time and money with this.
2) We keep our chandeliers looking fresh by dusting the cobwebs and hand-polishing the large crystals ourselves. (You need to use a rubber glove and a lent -free cloth sprayed with Windex, or some other glass cleaner of choice.) If the large crystals look sparkling clean to the casual observer, then that must mean the entire chandelier is clean, right? If a guest just stands there and rudely stares at your chandelier, he needs to be thrown out and never invited again.
3) The most effective way to clean a chandelier, of course, is to send it out to a professional cleaner, who will take apart each crystal, polish it, and reassemble the entire fixture. And there goes an easy $20,000 for the movers to take it down, for the experts to clean it, and the movers to re-install it. And your dining room will be out of service for at least a couple of months.
4) Our solution around here is to hire someone willing to sit on a ladder for hours on end and polish each and every crystal by hand. Not to be insensitive but you'll probably want to find someone with minor OCD's and you''ll want to pay a hefty hourly rate, comparable to a renowned surgeon who does heart transplants. We have a wonderful young lady who can clean our dining room chandelier in about eighteen to twenty hours.
So there you have it from a professional butler - for whatever it's worth. You know in your heart you'll never clean your own chandelier. So get rid of the guilt and get someone else to do it.
Thanks for stopping by tonight. I hope this was helpful.