• Cleaning: 20 – 30 Minutes
  • Drying: 10 – 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low

Brushed nickel light fixtures give your home office or dining room a contemporary look and are a popular choice for enhancing the interior design of your living spaces. 

They can elevate your living space and lend it a degree of sophistication. Nevertheless, just like any other fixture, you need to clean brushed nickel fixtures regularly to maintain their attractive appearance.

As brushed nickel is more sensitive than other materials such as stainless steel or chrome, it’s imperative that you clean it with proper care and the right products and equipment. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to clean your brushed nickel light fixtures without causing any damage to their finishing. 

We’ll cover the ceiling, hanging, and wall-mounted light fixtures, best practices that you should consider, and also answer some frequently asked questions submitted by our readers.  

Safety Tip: When cleaning wall and ceiling lights, always ensure that the electricity is turned off through the light switch and the circuit breaker in your home. 

Cleaning Brushed Nickel Ceiling Light Fixtures 

brushed nickel light fixture ceiling

In this section, we’ll teach you how to clean ceiling light fixtures that are made of brushed nickel. For the cleaning process, you will need to use a ladder.

Therefore, make sure to use it safely and follow the steps below to achieve optimal results.

1. Remove the Light Cover

Begin by removing the light cover of the ceiling light. Removing the light cover will allow you to access other more affected areas of the fixture and clean individual components more easily.

The light cover is most likely to be made of a transparent material and should be cleaned along with other parts. 

2. Cleaning the Ceiling Light Fixture

Ceiling light fixtures are more commonly placed in kitchens or bathrooms and are commonly stained with grease and oil stains. Here are some of the supplies and equipment you’ll need for the job:

  • Terry cloths
  • Mild detergent solution
  • Water

The first step in the process is to wipe all components of the brushed nickel light fixture with a dry and clean terry cloth. Terry cloth is a soft cotton-blend fabric that works well on brushed nickel. 

Once it’s free from dust, you’ll need to remove any signs of grease and oil buildup with the terry cloth. To do this, make a mild solution of soap and water and apply it to clean the fixture meticulously.

Mix 1 teaspoon of detergent solution with 2 cups of warm water. Soak a clean terry cloth in the solution and wipe the brushed nickel with it. Rinse the cloth if it gets too dirty and repeat the process until the brushed nickel light fixture is completely clean.

For stains that are a little tougher to remove, apply moderate pressure onto the cloth with your index finger and rub them away. Ensure to switch the light off before the cleaning process and use steady support to reach the ceiling light fixtures. 

We recommend working slowly to make sure that the cleaning solution does not get on your ceiling, leaving unsightly streaks.

3. Reassemble the Light Fixture

Once the ceiling fixture is completely clean, you need to allow it to dry fully before reassembly. You can either let each component dry naturally or use a soft cloth to speed up the drying process. 

Once the brushed nickel fixture is completely dry, you can proceed to reassemble the ceiling light fixture.

Cleaning Brushed Nickel Hanging Light Fixtures

hanging brushed nickel light fixtures

Hanging light fixtures made of brushed nickel are typically found in living rooms with higher ceilings. You’ll also need a secure ladder to safely clean it. 

Certain hanging light fixtures come with a cover, while others may not. If your hanging lights are coverless, you may skip the first step. 

1. Remove the Light Cover (If Applicable)

If your hanging light fixture has a cover, then you should start by disassembling the light cover. This will allow for more accessible and convenient cleaning of the fixture and will also give you the chance to thoroughly clean the cover. 

2. Cleaning the Hanging Light Fixture

For a hanging brushed nickel light fixture, you need to employ a similar cleaning technique but with a few changes due to the fragile nature of the hanging mechanism. 

To begin cleaning, prepare the following items.

  • A spray bottle
  • Mild detergent solution
  • Water
  • Terry cloths
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

Start by wiping all components of the light fixture with a dry and clean terry cloth. Once the light fixture is free from all superficial dust, you need to deep clean the brushed nickel material with a mild soap solution.

Add 1 teaspoon of mild detergent to 2 cups of warm water. Pour this solution into a spray bottle to easily clean the rod, chains, or other delicate parts of the hanging light fixture. 

Spray all of the components with this solution and wipe the material clean with a fresh cloth. Rinse the cloth if it gets too soiled and repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result.

If you notice any hard-to-remove marks on your brushed nickel hanging light fixture, make a thick paste of vinegar and baking soda and apply it to the affected spots. 

Let it sit for about 3 – 5 minutes, and wipe away the residue with a soft cloth. With this paste, you will notice that the gunk or grime is much easier to remove, as baking soda is able to dissolve impurities. 

Since a hanging light fixture is quite fragile, ensure not to put too much weight on it while cleaning. Also, remember to clean the chains and rods of the fixture carefully and ensure the cleaning solution does not spray onto the ceiling.

3. Reassemble the Light Fixture

Once all components are clean and completely dry, reassemble the light fixture and put together all parts just as they were before. Switch on the light to check if everything is in order.

Cleaning Brushed Nickel Wall-Mounted Light Fixtures

wall-mounted brushed nickel light fixture

Wall-mounted light fixtures made of brushed nickel are relatively easy to clean, as they don’t require the use of a ladder.

This means that they’re also easier to access and you won’t need to clean looking upward. However, you should always ensure to turn off your electricity when you’re cleaning them.

1. Remove Light Cover

To clean wall-mounted light fixtures, you must remove the light cover first. It is much easier to remove dirt and dust from individual components rather than from an attached light fixture. 

Therefore, any other removable parts of the brushed nickel light fixture should also be removed to provide easy access for cleaning. 

2. Cleaning Wall-Mounted Light Fixture

We suggest cleaning the fabric or class covering first, before proceeding with the fixture itself. To clean wall-mounted light fixtures made of brushed nickel, you should prepare the following:

  • Warm water
  • A mild detergent
  • Terry cloths
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon

For the first step, we recommend wiping the complete light fixture and its removable components with a clean and dry terry cloth. This step will take away all settled dust on the light fixture and prepare it for the next step.

For the deep cleaning step, you need to mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water to create an effective cleaning solution. Dampen a clean terry cloth with this solution and wipe the complete fixture to remove finer dust particles on the brushed nickel material.

If you notice any tarnishes or marks, apply a baking soda and vinegar paste or rub a piece of lemon on the affected spot. Allow the paste or lemon juice to sit on the stain or mark for a few minutes. 

Wipe away the paste or lemon juice from the fixture for an immaculate finish. You can also wipe your brushed nickel light fixture with a vinegar and water solution (50/50 ratio) for a more polished look.

For elaborately designed wall-light fixtures, ensure to get into the nooks and crannies for a consistently clean look. Ensure not to get any cleaning product on the walls since it may leave permanent marks.

3. Reassemble the Light Fixture

Allow all the cleaned components of the light fixture to dry completely before reassembly. For reassembly, ensure to put together the cover of the light fixture and any other removable pieces carefully to prevent any damage.

Best Practices When Cleaning Brushed Nickel Light Fixtures

Brushed nickel is a relatively sensitive metal compared to chrome and stainless steel. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned with care using cleaning solutions that don’t affect its matte and brushed appearance. 

Mild cleaning solutions, soft cleaning equipment, and regular maintenance are key to keeping your brushed nickel light fixtures clean and in good shape for years to come. 

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals – Using harsh chemicals on brushed nickel can result in the material getting scratched or tarnished. Avoid using solvent-based, alcohol-based, or acid cleaners for these types of light fixtures – instead, resort to effective homemade cleaning solutions or a suitable off-the-shelf cleaner. 
  • Avoid Abrasive Materials – Abrasive cleaning materials such as steel wool and hard brushes can ruin the brushed finish of the light fixture. Therefore, we recommend only using soft, lint-free microfiber or terry cloths.
  • Maintain Your Light Fixtures Regularly – Cleaning your brushed nickel light fixtures regularly can keep them from developing gunky or grease-hardened spots, which can be very difficult to remove. Cleaning them once every two to three weeks can ensure the grime and grease on them do not build up and damage the appearance of the material.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll find some frequently asked questions below. Feel free to submit your questions to us and we’ll be happy to add them to our list. 

How to Remove Rust from Brushed Nickel Light Fixture?

Brushed nickel is ordinarily resistant to rust, but the material can get rusty if kept in a humid environment or in constant contact with water or moisture. We recommend using salt and vinegar to clean any early and tough rust stains.

Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt to make an effective rust-cleaning paste. Apply the paste to the rusty parts of brushed nickel with a delicate scrubbing pad and let it sit for 4 to 6 minutes. 

Then, use the scrubbing pad on the rust stains. Repeat the process, if necessary, and wipe away the residue with a clean microfiber cloth.

How Often Should I Clean My Brushed Nickel Light Fixtures?

You should deep clean your light fixtures about 2 to 3 times a year. However, for wall-mounted light fixtures light cleaning every 2 to 3 weeks is good practice and can prevent any grime or dust build-up.