Bright Idea: Cleaning the Light Fixtures

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Chances are, you don't think to clean the light fixtures until you notice they're dirty. Unfortunately, that happens faster than anyone wants to admit! Your cleaning services help keep the dust to a minimum, but eventually you'll have to get up there to clean them—yuck. There's good news, though: if you know how to effectively clean your light fixtures, it won't be nearly as dreadful as you're expecting!

Step #1: Globes & Sconces. The great thing about these extremely common household light fixtures is that they are made out of plain glass—plain glass that can be run through the dishwasher. Unscrew the globes and sconces, dump out any obvious dust or insects, and put them in your dishwasher. To minimize streaks and cut through any yellowing, add some vinegar to the wash. It does a great job of getting your fixtures clean.

If you don't have a dishwasher available, hand wash in warm water, inside and out. In either case, allow the fixtures to dry completely before you reattach them.

Step #2: Ceiling Fans. Now that the globes and sconces are washing away or drying peacefully, it's time to take on any ceiling fans. If there isn't much dust, simply wiping them down with a damp cloth (water and dish soap or vinegar works great) will work fine.

If there is a lot of dust and you're worried about it spreading, use a pillow case. Put the pillow case on the fan blade and then slowly pull back, wiping the top and bottom. The dust will fall in the pillow case and not on your floor!

Step #3: Light Bulbs. It's hard to see when the light's actually on, but light bulbs attract a lot of dust. Once they are turned off and have some time to cool, wipe them down just like you would any other dust surface.

Step #4: Lamps. To minimized dust spreading, gently vacuum the lampshade with an attachment first, then wipe down the base of the lamp. Don't forget to wipe the bulb, too!

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