Contemporary Ideas

How to clean your Sputnik light

The Sputnik light has a striking and modernistic design and is sure to attract attention from any who enters the room where it is on display. This feature light first became popular in the mid 50’s and has regained popularity due to the renewed interest in neo-modern design. Due to the number of bulbs and light stalks in its design, the fitting tends to attract dust and the chrome finish will need to be cleaned occasionally during the year. Here is how to get this tedious task done:

  • Using a feather duster for cleaning is a risky business. Bulbs tend to move in their sockets due to regular expansion and contraction and could be loose, so be wary.
  • As the fitting is ceiling-mounted and can be heavy, use a suitable ladder to access the light at a comfortable level. Make sure that you do not rest against or hang on the light as you may tear the fitting from its mountings.
  • Ensure that the power is off before handling the light and that the light has been off long enough for it to cool down. Use alternate light sources to illuminate the area where you will be working. Make sure your ladder or base is stable.
  • Natural oils and moisture on your hands will leave residues that are barely detectable to the eye. Once the light is switched back on, the metal stalks will heat up and fry any residue into visible marks. Make use of cotton gloves or a soft cloth, so that you make as little contact with the fitting with your bare hands as possible.
  • The best way to avoid damage to the chrome finish is to not allow it to get dirty in the first place. You have to deal the chrome before it gets dirtier, the more effort and force you’re going to have to use to clean it and the higher your risk of damaging it will become. Wash the chrome when you start to notice dulling.
  • If the chrome is not dull or very dusty, a bucket of warm water, a mild dish detergent and a soft cloth is all that you require. Be gentle with the cleaning as chrome can scratch quite easily.
  • If you have heavy deposits of dust and airborne grease, use vinegar as a chrome cleaner. The slight acidity of the vinegar works well for taking tarnish and dirt off of chrome. Turn your cleaning cloth regularly to avoid using dirty areas continuously. For more cleaning power, wet your cloth with vinegar and sprinkle baking powder on it.
  • If you find any rust spots on your chrome finish, use a crumpled piece of new aluminum foil dipped in vinegar. Without applying too much pressure, rub the foil over the rusted area and re-dip your foil in the vinegar solution regularly. Once the rust spots have disappeared, rinse down well with fresh water.
  • When the chrome is entirely clean, dry it thoroughly as water spots are very evident on the high gloss surface of the chrome. As soon as cleaning is complete, use a soft dry towel and polish the entire fitting with it.
  • Wiping the stalks down with fabric softener sheets will reduce static build up on the fitting and reduce the attraction of dust to the fitting. You will also have the benefit of the fresh scent of the softener in the room.
  • Making use of your gloves or a clean cloth, wipe the bulbs with a damp cloth. Tighten all the bulbs by hand, taking care not to over-tighten.

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