Antique lighting - cleaning
Many people still ask us - ‘casually’ throwing in a question during negotiations about cleaning their antique chandelier .
Chandelier cleaning is not the laborious task it used to be, and only our much valued stately homes with chandeliers which are museum quality go through the process of cleaning each part by hand with ‘secret’ solutions, recipes for which have been handed down since a bloke first rented them one for a party in Circa 1608 covered in candle grease .
We use vinegar and water for our most delicate stock and Antiquax who sell online a product in a can which sprays on ( remember to turn the lights out first ) this cleaning spray also works a treat on mirrors . Follow the instructions on the can .In order to clean a chandelier of any size, simply spray the whole chandelier (avoiding any electrical parts) until the cleaner and dirt drip off onto newspaper placed below. Once the dirt has been removed, allow any remaining cleaner to dry, leaving a streak free sparkling finish.
Cleaning brass is also not advised unless you are of the persuasion that demands it shiny , and the only way to do that is to lacquer after cleaning . Patinas built up over the years are adding value , this is not to say the dirt is !! but the natural oxidation of metal parts adds to the charm of an antique light and should not be removed , the same applies to natural verdigris on copper. A quick flick with a feather duster most weeks will remove cobwebs and as we mostly no longer smoke or have coal fires so the pollution no longer affects your average hanging antique light .
Silver tarnish may be prevented by a quick coat of furniture polish.
Glass parts on antique table lamps can be cleaned gently with baby shampoo . Never scrub with an abrasive on anything antique .