Advantages and Disadvantages of Alabaster Chandeliers
Among the many kinds of chandeliers that are available in the lighting market today, alabaster chandeliers are considered to be one of the most enduring and popular among interior designers and homeowners.
What makes alabaster special as one of the leading materials within the manufacture of chandeliers? “Alabaster” is described as a compact, fine-textured, usually white and translucent gypsum or a hard, compact calcite/calcium sulfate or aragonite which is translucent and sometimes banded or veined like marble. It is characterized by a snow white color, but there are light yellow and reddish variations. Because alabaster is a very soft and fragile stone (although calcite alabaster is harder than gypsum), it has been popularly used for carving ornaments, vases, and statuary.
Over the centuries, the functionality of alabaster continues to be extended to lamps and chandeliers. Commonly used as lamp covers for the individual light bulbs of a chandelier, alabaster has been effective in muting the glare of the bulbs to some soft, warm glow. It is perfect for the preservation of this unique, subdued glow that interior designers are actually incorporating alabaster in the many types of chandeliers, ranging from antique designs to chic modern styles.
Despite the sedate beauty of alabaster chandeliers, it offers a major drawback. Because it is a very soft, fragile stone, it is susceptible to scratching. Drawing a fingernail on the surface will already create fine lines. It is also notorious because of its porosity. Alabaster absorbs dyes from your mildest of soaps as well as impurities from simple water very easily, leading to alterations in the stone’s appearance. It is because of alabaster’s fragility that regular cleaning methods, such as using detergents, scrubs or abrasive clothes, are strictly forbidden.
Regular maintenance of your alabaster chandelier requires careful, gentle dusting or vacuuming on a daily basis. If you have allowed dirt and dust to accumulate on the chandelier, you will need to clean it gently with a damp cloth and a little borax. Before cleaning your chandelier, make sure that you unplug it to prevent electrocution. If you harbor apprehensions about cleaning your alabaster chandelier in its entirety, you can dismantle the alabaster pieces, clean them, and then put them back. You may want to tag each piece so that you will know to which specific spots on the chandelier you will return them.
Even with all the necessity of regular upkeep and high maintenance, alabaster chandeliers are worthy investments for any home. Learn read more about how to keep your alabaster chandelier in the beautiful, pristine condition.