They’re an integral part of the way our homes and workplaces look and feel, but lights and their fittings can be baffling things to clean; often they become the grimiest things in the room. Here, we shed some light on the situation.
Light bulbs these days last for years. That’s good news where shopping’s concerned, but it also means there’s more cleaning involved to keep them nice and bright. Play it safe; turn off the light and let the bulb cool first. It’s also worth momentarily switching the power off at the mains. Remove the bulb from its socket and brush off any excess dust with a cloth. Next, take another, slightly damp microfiber cloth, and wipe both the glass and metal base clean. Buff both up with the dry cloth, and put back into place once entirely dry. Doing this every couple of months makes a big difference.
When you think how many times in the day a light switch is used, you can see how it’s easily one of the most germ-infested things there is. The key to keep your light switches clean is not to go overboard on the fluids. Spray a little anti-bac cleaner or rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber cloth (never directly onto the switch), and clean up the surrounding plate. For the switch itself, cotton buds make for great precision cleaning. If the switch is metal, give it a nice shine with the relevant polisher. Try to make your light switch cleaning a regular habit.
You’ll need to exercise a little patience and caution when it comes to cleaning your lamp shade fabric, as this can be delicate stuff. Take a small, soft brush and work your way around the shade, getting rid of any dust. You might be able to use the vacuum cleaner if the shade’s big enough, but be careful; you don’t want to suck it up in its entirety. A hairdryer on the cool setting is good for cleaning up the edges. If you’ve got stains on the shade, use your own judgement as to whether applying a damp cloth will help it, or make it worse. If you know exactly what the fabric is – and it’s not attached to a plastic interior – you can dip it in warm water and a couple of drops of detergent. If you do this, let the shade dry thoroughly before replacing. Every few months is enough for this little ritual.