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How to Clean Outdoor Light Fixtures: 5 Effective Tips

by remy-claxy - 2022-11-25 02:23:27
How to Clean Outdoor Light Fixtures: 5 Effective Tips

Wondering how to clean outdoor light fixtures?

You’d agree that your outdoor lighting needs to stay bright and the fixtures spotless. Not only for safety but also since you picked out the most eye-catching lighting fixture to make your outdoors elegant.

Being outside, light fixtures get dusty, pick up dirt, attract bugs and get bug debris. It’s inevitable.

For this reason, you need to know how to clean outdoor lighting fixtures effectively, and regularly too.

Fixtures are also made up of different materials that get dirty differently. For instance, sconces made of copper and bronze could get tarnished.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s get your outdoor lighting and appeal back!

How to Clean Outdoor Light Fixtures

Before you begin the cleaning process, here is a list of tools you’ll need to have at hand.

  • A ladder (in case your fixtures are far off the floor)
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Warm/hot water
  • Liquid soap
  • A soft piece of clothing
  • A pair of safety gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • A tin (to hold your screws)
  • Glass cleaner (for any glass pendants)
  • Soft brush

The Cleaning Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

Once you’ve made sure you have all your tools, follow this step-by-step guide on how to clean outdoor light fixtures.

1. Turn off your lights from your main power source. This is crucial for your safety. As you may already know, you’ll be dealing with electricity and the last thing you want is water getting in contact with anything electric. Be it your sockets or light fixtures.

2. Set your ladder up to a suitable level depending on how far off the ground your outdoor wall lights are. If you don’t have a ladder, you can use a chair or anything stable enough to hold you up there.

3. Put on your safety rubber gloves and prepare your soapy water in a bucket. Rubber gloves protect your skin from harmful detergents or chemicals from glass cleaners.

4. Remove your light bulbs and place them aside, on a soft surface. Then, using your screwdriver, remove any globes, grills, or casings and soak them in soapy water.

5. Use your soft brush to dust your pendants and remove any bug debris or cobwebs.

6. Take your soft piece of clothing and dip it in soapy water. Then, wring it out to wipe the fixtures on the wall. Remember not to get any of your electric sockets wet.

7. Remove the fixtures out of the soapy water and rinse them in a second bucket with clean water. After rinsing thoroughly, wipe them out to dry.

8. For any glass surfaces, use a piece of cloth to apply a professional glass cleaner. This will revive its shininess.

9. Use non-abrasive cleaners on metal surfaces to remove stains. Some easily-accessible household items you could use include white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. We’ll discuss how to use them later in the post.

10. Wipe your screws and light bulbs gently with a damp cloth.

11. Reassemble your fixtures and wait for everything to dry out before turning the lights back on.

5 Effective Tips When Cleaning Outdoor Light Fixtures

When you’re learning how to clean outdoor light fixtures, there are some helpful and precautionary tips you must not miss. These will keep you safe and potentially make everything easier for you.

Ensure Electrical Safety

This tip to clean outdoor light fixtures ensures your safety. As mentioned, always turn off the power before you start cleaning. Also, keep water away from your light switch and ensure that the fixtures dry before turning the power back on.

Avoid Using Chemicals To Clean

Stay away from generic chemical cleaners as these dull your copper or brass coatings.

How do you clean them then?

Instead, use soap and water to clean your globe pendants and fixtures.

Avoid Using Chemicals To Clean

Image via Claxy

Avoid Abrasive Material When Cleaning

Rough textured clothing could damage your surfaces and cause scratches. The best item to clean outdoor light fixtures is a soft piece of cloth.

Tips to Make Your Metallic Fixtures Shiny

For brass and copper fixtures, there are a few household options you can use to restore their shine.

Make Your Metallic Fixtures Shiny

Image via Claxy

This is if your surfaces are still tarnished after following the basic outdoor light fixture cleaning process.

  • Lemon, salt, and cornstarch: Take equal portions of lemon juice, regular cornstarch, and salt, and mix them. Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture on tarnished spots of your copper fixture and leave it for an hour or so. Clean it off with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth or a soft brush.
  • White vinegar and baking soda: Mix equal portions of white vinegar and baking soda and apply the mixture to your brass surface. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then use a piece of cloth and soapy water to clean it off.
  • Before applying these hacks, ensure your fixtures – and not just their coatings – are made of copper or brass.

    To maintain the shine of your metal surfaces or prevent future dulling, you can use metal polish or liquid wax coating.

    Tips to Reduce Bugs and Spiders

    Insects are attracted more to white and cool light. And how can you avoid them?

    Using yellow (warm) lights reduces the number of bugs your fixtures will attract. Using an LED light bulb also helps.

    Tips to Reduce Bugs and Spiders

    Image via Claxy

    You could also spray the area around your fixture with bug deterrents to keep them from accumulating in your fixtures.


    1. How do you clean metal light fixtures?

    To clean metal light fixtures, use a soft piece of clothing with dish soap or mild detergent. Avoid scrubbing metal parts using abrasive items like steel wool or rough-textured clothing.

    2. How to clean outdoor light fixtures that are rusty?

    If you wish to clean rusty metallic fixtures, you can use non-abrasive pastes or liquids. Some DIY household solutions include

  • Lemon, salt, and cornstarch mixture
  • White vinegar and baking soda mixture
  • 3. How to clean hanging outdoor light fixtures?

    To clean hanging light fixtures, first, turn off the power. Then, disassemble the light fixture from the fixture, and remove the light bulb. Clean each piece separately with soap and water, dry them out, then reassemble each piece.

    4. What can I use to clean glass light fixtures?

    All you need to clean glass pendants is warm water and a mild detergent. Once you soak your glass globes in soapy water, rinse them and dry them up, they’re as clean as it gets. All that's left is to use a professional glass cleaner to shine them up and they’ll be good as new.

    5. What happens to brass outside?

    Brass turns darker over time with exposure. However, it doesn’t corrode, making it suitable for outdoor light fixtures. On how you can clean outdoor light fixtures, you can restore the shine of brass by using lemon juice, salt, and flour.

    Restore Your Outdoor Light Fixtures

    Now that you know how to clean outdoor light fixtures, it’s time to restore the sconces on your porch, hallway, and decks. Whether they’re metallic, glass, acrylic, or any other material, going in with warm water and dish soap should get the job done.

    Unless, of course, there are tough stains. In which case, you’d have to do more than just soap and water. All in all, you have all the information you need now.

    Your exterior fixtures need regular cleaning. Don’t allow dust and dirt to build up and affect your home’s exterior look.

    And to get new outdoor lights, you can always head to Claxy.


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