Antique lighting fixtures provide a classic elegance in an otherwise boring commercial space. Customers and clients are certainly impressed by this choice of lighting, but they can also be difficult to clean. Your antique lighting fixture has patina, a layer or oxidation that shows age of the fixture.
If you use the wrong products or clean the fixture too roughly, you could remove this important element. Here are some tips for cleaning your light fixture without ruining its integrity.
What Not to Use
Before discussing how to properly clean your lighting fixture, it helps to know what not to use. It is important that you not remove the patina, because that can lower the value of your antique lighting fixture. You should stick to nothing more than water and mild soap when washing the fixture or removing dirt and build-up.
Most store-bought cleaning products and chemicals will clean too well and remove that precious oxidization. You also want to protect the integrity of the piece by not using anything abrasive that will scrub the fixture too hard.
Prepare the Lighting Fixture
Whenever you clean a lighting fixture, you should always turn it off and unplug it first. If it is a fixture in the ceiling, you don't need to worry about unplugging it. Just make sure the switch is turned to off before you start to clean it. To get rid of the surface dust and dirt, begin by using your hair dryer. Plug it in and turn it to the low setting. Point it at the lighting fixture and let the hair dryer remove some of that dust.
For a good surface clean, you can wipe it down with a soft cloth after using your hair dryer. Use a cloth that does not leave behind particles and is not abrasive, such as a microfiber cloth. Use it to get corners of the fixture and to clean between detail work and carvings that might in the base of the lighting fixture. These are areas where your blow dryer won't be able to clean.
Wash the Fixture
If you have build-up of dirt and grime, you may need to wash the fixture beyond a simple surface clean. To do this, use natural products that will be safe on antiques, such as baking soda. Make a paste b combining baking soda with water. Keep it a thick consistency like paste, not like a lotion.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and paste to very gentle rub away the grime that is on the lighting fixture. You can also use mild soap instead of the baking soda paste. Use a damp cloth to rinse away the baking soda or soap mixture, and use a dry cloth to dry it before turning it on.
For more information or help, try contacting a company like New Metal Crafts Inc. with any questions you have.