How to Clean Light Bulbs: A Quick Guide

how to clean light bulbs

Did you know that falls are among the leading causes of injuries occurring in homes? They even accounted for about a third of home injuries among surveyed US households in 2020.

Poor lighting, in turn, can contribute to such incidents, as it can impair one’s vision. For example, it can cause you to misjudge the position of stair treads, in which case, you might miss a step and thus, fall.

Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that you not only have enough light bulbs but clean ones, too.

Don’t worry, though, as we’ll teach you how to clean light bulbs the proper way, so be sure to keep reading.

Prioritize Your Safety

Before cleaning light bulbs, make sure you cut their power supply first. That way, you can reduce your risks of sustaining electrical injuries. Note that such incidents are prevalent, with over 30,000 occurring each year in the US.

You can turn off the power supply by flicking the bulbs’ switch off or unplugging the lamps from the outlet. To be on the safe side, though, you might want to turn off the lights’ circuit breaker itself.

Also, since you’ll be turning the lights off, the best time to clean the bulbs is during the day. That way, your house wouldn’t be too dark as you can take advantage of natural light. You don’t have to open the windows; just open the curtains or blinds so that sunlight can stream into your home.

One more thing: Make sure you use a stable and sturdy ladder or platform if you’re cleaning ceiling lights. It’s also vital to keep three points of contact with a ladder at all times. Lastly, ensure that you wear non-slip or slip-resistant footwear before mounting the ladder.

Let Them Cool

After you turn the lights off or cut their power supply, wait for a few minutes to allow the bulbs to cool down. Do that whether you have incandescent, CFL, or LED bulbs, as they can all be a little too warm to the touch. The last thing you want is to lose your balance after getting surprised by the bulbs’ heat.

Take Them or Leave Them

While waiting for the bulbs to cool, decide if you need to clean them in place or take them out of their socket. You can base it on their location; for instance, the former is fine for those you have quick access to, such as a floor lamp. However, if you want to clean light bulbs mounted on the ceiling, it’s best to do the latter.

It’s may also be wiser to remove bulbs from their fixtures if they have excessive dust build-up. That’s likely to happen if you live in a dusty or polluted area and you tend to leave your windows open. After all, about two-thirds of the dust you find at home is outdoor dust.

Dry-Clean the Bulbs

Moisture can corrode a light bulb’s electrical components, such as its circuit board. That’s why dusting with a feather duster and a lint-free cloth are some of the best light bulb cleaning tips. That way, you don’t have to worry about water seeping into the electrical parts.

Start by checking if the light bulbs have thick layers of dust on them. If so, it’s best to brush the dirt straight into a plastic bag. Doing so helps ensure you can contain the pollutants and not end up having to eliminate dust on your floors, too.

Next, wipe the surface of the bulbs using a lint-free cloth. Be gentle as you rub the fabric over them; there’s no need to exert that much pressure.

Use a Damp Cloth

Some of your lightbulbs, such as those in the kitchen, can develop a coating of grime. In that case, you can use a small amount of water to remove the greasy, icky stuff.

However, make sure you don’t spray the water itself onto the bulbs. Instead, you only need to dampen a clean piece of cloth, such as a microfiber towel. Be sure to wring out as much excess moisture as possible.

Then, slowly wipe the light-emitting glass part of the bulb with the damp cloth. Do not rub the metal area and the electrical contact with the moistened fabric.

If any stubborn grease remains, gently wipe the spot using a circular motion. As always, avoid applying too much pressure, as it may crack the glass.

Once clean, get a fresh piece of cloth and thoroughly wipe the bulbs dry.

Dust the Light Fixtures or Sockets

Before screwing the bulbs back, you might as well clean their fixtures or sockets, too. While they may not get as dirty as the bulbs, they can still develop a thin layer of dust. If debris covers the electrical contacts, it may cause the lights to flicker.

Besides, letting fixtures get covered with dirt can also make the lights appear dim. Thus, it’s best to wipe dust, debris, and grime from the light fixtures and sockets, too. Lastly, ensure you only use the dry cleaning method for this task.

Let There Be (Clean) Light

After cleaning their houses, it pays to give the light bulbs one last inspection. That way, you can clean any grimy spots you may have missed. Don’t forget to make sure that the bulbs are dry, too.

If everything is good, you can screw the bulbs back into their respective places.

If you turned the circuit breaker off, don’t forget to switch it back to the ON position. Then, turn on the light switches. If you cleaned and installed everything correctly, your lights should now be brighter.

Use This Guide on How to Clean Light Bulbs

Always remember that dirt on bulbs can reduce their light by half or even more. Thus, it’s vital to keep them dust- and debris-free at all times. So, if you haven’t shown them some TLC for a while now, then it’s time to follow this guide on how to clean light bulbs to a T.

Don’t have time to clean all the light bulbs at home? If so, then our team here at Maid For You can help! Make an online booking now or request your free quote today!

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