How to Clean Light Fixtures in 6 Quick Steps

Jacqueline Quach
Written by Jacqueline Quach
Updated May 11, 2022
luxury white kitchen with glass light fixtures
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images
Difficulty

Intermediate

Perfect for handy homeowners.

Time to complete

30 minutes

It’s always a bright idea to give your light fixtures some TLC

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Towel
  • Duster
  • Large plastic tub

SUPPLIES

  • Dish Soap
  • Glass cleaner

Light fixtures do more than brighten up a room—they add to the aesthetic and can elevate your home’s style. While it’s tempting to leave them dusty, cleaning and caring for your glass fixtures can help all the lights in your home sparkle a little brighter. 

Cleaning your glass light fixtures can be an easy and simple process. As long as you have the know-how and exercise care and caution, you can have your glass fixtures looking pristine in no time.  

6 Steps to Clean Glass Light Fixtures

  1. Prepare Your Space

    Lay a towel on a table and set up a sturdy place to put your light fixture after taking it apart. This prevents you from scratching or damaging your light fixture, keeping it safe and sound. 

    You may also want to place microfiber cloths within reach in case your glass light fixture is coated in dust or dirt. By having towels and cloths handy, you can make cleaning up effortless and quick.

  2. Take the Light Fixture Apart

    woman removing glass light fixture
    Photo: Tiko/ Adobe Stock

    Before taking the glass light fixture apart, turn off the light and make sure the lightbulb is cool to the touch. If it’s still hot, wait a few minutes so you can unscrew the lightbulb comfortably. 

    Once the lightbulb is out, carefully unscrew the light fixture and empty it of dust and dirt. Place the fixture on the towel you laid out and make sure it’s secure. Then, take a microfiber cloth and wipe the inside and outside of the fixture. 

    You can also wipe the lightbulb. Dirty lightbulbs give off less light, so you can improve your lighting by keeping lightbulbs clean.

  3. Soak the Light Fixture

    Leave the light fixture on the towel and fill your sink with warm water. Put in a few drops of mild dish soap, and place your fixture in the soapy water. Let the fixture soak for 5 to 10 minutes. If you have a large lighting fixture, use a bathtub or large plastic tub instead. 

    The dish soap will break down any stubborn buildup, which prevents you from handling your glass fixture vigorously and risking damage. Once it’s soaked for enough time, gently wipe the excess dirt with a cloth.

  4. Rinse and Dry

    Create another secure spot to put your glass fixture by placing another clean towel on your table or kitchen counter, along with a few microfiber cloths. Drain the excess water from the sink and carefully rinse it. Place the fixture on the towel and wipe it dry with the microfiber cloths.

  5. Repeat if Needed

    If your glass fixture has particularly tough stains, you may need to soak and rinse your light fixture again. Fixtures that sit in the kitchen or close to the stove can accumulate layers of grease over time, so getting rid of those stains may take a few washes. 

    It’s better to soak your glass fixture multiple times and treat it with care to avoid scratching it. With some patience and a little effort, your light fixture will look brand new. 

    If the fixture is still looking dull or dirty after multiple washes, you may want to consider updating your light fixture.

  6. Keep Your Light Fixtures Clean

    woman cleaning and polishing light fixture
    Photo: Valerii Honcharuk/ Adobe Stock

    Maintain the cleanliness of your glass fixtures by using a duster every week to prevent dust and dirt from building up. It’ll help your lighting shine brighter, as dust can make it look dimmer.

DIY Glass Light Fixture Cleaning vs. Hiring a Pro

Cleaning glass light fixtures isn’t a complicated task, but it does require you to know how to safely unscrew and reassemble your light fixture. If you’re unsure about how to take apart the glass fixture for cleaning, ask a professional for assistance. Safety is always the priority, so only DIY this if you’re completely sure you can unscrew your fixture securely. 

For handy homeowners, the supplies for a DIY cleaning cost around $10. But if you’d rather have a professional take over, it costs about $180 to hire a house cleaner if you live in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house. 

Additional Questions

How do I clean my light fixture if the glass is yellowed?

Glass fixtures take on a yellowed appearance when they haven’t been cleaned often. If the glass is yellowed, soak it in a mixture of vinegar and water and scrub gently with a microfiber cloth. Once it’s done soaking, just rinse and wipe clean. 

Can I use bleach to clean my glass light fixture?

If your glass light fixture has any metal attachments, it’s not recommended to use bleach since it corrodes metal. If you have any stubborn spots that won’t come off after multiple cleans, put denture cleaner in a sink filled with water and soak your glass fixture in it. 

How often should I deep clean my light fixture?

While it depends on how much dirt accumulates on the glass fixture, clean it twice a year for maintenance. As long as you wipe your glass light fixtures weekly, they should look sparkling clean.

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