How To Clean Your Home’s Light Fixtures

One area of your home which you may rarely think about cleaning is your light fixtures. 

Yet, they get dirty like everything else!  

Dust, cobwebs, and even grime can build up on the glass surfaces over time—usually much faster than you’d imagine, particularly in high-use areas like the bathroom and kitchen, where hairspray and cooking spray can land on the glass and attract dirt even faster than usual. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts for keeping those fixtures looking great!

How To Clean Your Fixtures – A Step-By-Step Guide

First, you’ll want to do your cleaning during daylight hours, as you should always leave any lights you’re cleaning turned off for 15-20 minutes before you begin, so the lightbulbs and glass around them can cool down.

Step 1: Remove The Bulbs And Fixtures

When you’re ready, remove the bulbs and set them aside. Then, carefully remove the glass from the fixtures.  

If you need to climb up to do so, remember to place your chair or ladder in a secure position. And of course, take care when climbing up and down with glass in your hands! 

As you remove them, carefully set your fixtures down on a flat area covered with a towel (to keep from damaging the glass and also to keep from scratching whatever surface you’re using).

Step 2: Washing The Fixtures

Fill your sink with warm, soapy water. Then, carefully place each glass fixture in the water, and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. (If your fixtures are too large, use a plastic tub or even your bathtub.) 

If the fixtures are particularly dirty, you may need to use a degreaser to really get those tough grease spots and stains off. But in general, the soap and warm water should loosen the dust and grime enough for removal.

Next, remove each piece one at a time. Carefully rinse the soap off, and then gently wipe each piece down with a soft dry cloth. 

Set them back down on a (clean) towel, and leave for a while so they can dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Clean The Wall Fixtures

While the glass fixtures are soaking and then drying, use your time to clean up the wall fixtures. 

First, use a duster to get rid of the easily-removable surface dust. Next, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the metal. 

If grimy, use a bit of warm soapy water on the cloth.  

Don’t get your cloth too wet, and take care never to come into contact with the parts of the fixtures where the bulbs plug in! 

If you have concerns, find the circuit breaker that controls power to the room you’re working in, and shut it off until all your cleaning is done.

Do not use rough scrubbers, anything abrasive, or any cleaning fluids with ammonia or alcohol in them, on either the glass or the wall parts of the fixtures. These can damage the painted surfaces, metal, or finishes on the glass.

Step 4: Clean The Bulbs

Finally, just before you’re ready to put everything back together, take a moment to clean the bulbs themselves. 

Microfiber cloths work great for this purpose, either dry or (slightly) damp as necessary. 

(Microfiber cloths are also great for removing water streaks from clear or mirrored glass.) 

As always, exercise caution when handling the bulbs. And once they’re clean, you’ll want to be sure that your hands are clean and dry when you replace them.

Step 5: Put It All Back Together

Next, reassemble your (now) clean and dry fixtures, again taking care with the glass and with any climbing you may have to do (get another person to help if necessary), and put the bulbs back in place. 

If powered off, you can now turn your circuit breakers back on, and then flip the light switch. 


Welcome to a room filled with bright and shiny fixtures.


RCH Professional Cleaning specializes in thorough cleaning services for homes and businesses in Southwest Missouri.

If you would like your light fixtures cleaned by professionals, we can help!

Contact RCH Cleaning today for more information.

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