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 among the most enduring and popular among interior designers and homeowners.
What makes alabaster special as one of the leading materials in the manufacture of chandeliers? “Alabaster” is defined as a compact, fine-textured, usually white and translucent gypsum or a hard, compact calcite/calcium sulfate or aragonite that 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 has been 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 a soft, warm glow. It is for the preservation of this unique, subdued glow that interior designers have been incorporating alabaster in the many styles of chandeliers, ranging from antique designs to chic modern styles.
Despite the sedate beauty of alabaster chandeliers, it has a major drawback. Because it is a very soft, fragile stone, it is vulnerable to scratching. Drawing a fingernail over the surface will already create fine lines. It is also notorious for its porosity. Alabaster absorbs dyes from the mildest of soaps as well as impurities from simple water very easily, resulting in 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 might want to tag each piece so that you will know to which specific spots on the chandelier you will return them.
Even with the necessity of regular upkeep and high maintenance, alabaster chandeliers are worthy investments for any home. Learn more about how to keep your alabaster chandelier in its beautiful, pristine condition.